Climate change advocacy group formed in Basilan PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 11:51

ISABELA CITY, Basilan – The Basilan Communicators Network Inc. (BASCOMNET) HAS created the Climate Change-Resilience communication group that will plan and initiate advocacy campaign activities that hope to broaden people’s consciousness on the need for concerted efforts to protect Mother Earth.

Some 50 communicators and information officers from government and non-government organizations (NGOs) have turned up for the general assembly and Climate Change Advocacy orientation last July 9. The meeting also tackled various issues and concerns affecting the people of Basilan.

The Philippine Information Agency (PIA), which serves as the BASCOMNET secretariat, discussed the agency’s upcoming advocacy campaign on climate change in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

In support of the urgency of the campaign, the members have decided to create a Climate Change Advocacy Communication Committee with the local DENR as lead agency. Other members identified were the Department of Education (DepEd), Child Fund Philippines, Philippine Red Cross (PRC), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Philippine National Police (PNP), 104th Brigade Philippine Army, Provincial Information Office (PIO), and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The PIA encouraged the members to go aggressive on the campaign and that the COMNET must take its active role to promote not only the public’s understanding of climate change but more importantly its adverse impact on the people and their communities.

In the same gathering, OIC-Action Officer of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council Anwary Akalon gave the members updates on the status of disaster preparedness plans of the province. Akalon reported that the PDRRMC, together with the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) is going to the grassroots to intensify efforts toward communities’ preparedness for any disaster.

As part of the preparation for completing the Isabela City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, the PIA presented to the members the plans of the Communication and Warning Sector, which contained the communication flow of key government agencies when disaster strikes, communication roles and function of respective government and non-government organizations, and the needs and future undertakings of the sector.

Meanwhile, Cpt Dennis D. Nolasco, Operations Officer of the 104th Brigade PA gave an update on security concerns. He reported the accomplishments of the AFP in going after terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, its campaign versus illegal drugs with the arrest of drug pushers, conduct of joint mission planning with the police, clan “Rido” settlements, engagement in Brigada Eskwela and Brigada Masjid, conduct of massive tree-planting in support of the government’s National Greening Program and protection of watersheds, among others.

The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) personnel from the province and Isabela City, on the other hand, also updated the members of the extent of the scale insect infestation to the coconut industry in the area.

Onesima Hayawan of PCA-ARMM and Rudy Corsame of PCA-Isabela reported that the government has been conducting preventive measures (chemical and biological approaches) to control the spread of cocolisap. Both have asked the support of the members to help disseminate vital information, like identifying correctly the disease, as there are other diseases that attack coconuts with similar symptoms manifested by cocolisap-infected trees.

In response, COMNET members resolved to help PCA in the information dissemination as well as in the production of IEC materials for distribution. DepEd-Isabela was also requested to help in the translation of IEC materials in the local dialect. — FPG/RVC/PIA9-ZBST