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by anna | May 1, 2015

THE Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) is targeting workers in a program to be held in partnership with government’s Climate Change Commission (CCC).

TUCP President Ernesto F. Herrera said they aim to bring awareness to the organization’s 850,000 members “about the extent of the disastrous effects of climate change, the ways to reduce carbon consumption and the promotion and utilization of different renewable energy sources.”

“We hope this agreement can help in the reduction of the hazards that result from climate change,” Herrera said during the signing ceremonies on Friday.

In his speech after the signing, CCC official Heherson T. Alvarez said, citing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that climate change emanates from
increased carbon-dioxide emission.

Alvarez described carbon dioxide as the “devil incarnate, as it is slowly endangering the existence of humankind.”

But excessive carbon emission is caused by human activities, so laborers should be taught how to change their way of life so that carbon consumption can be reduced, according to Alvarez.

Alvarez said they partnered with the TUCP as “workers are the most affected by natural disasters, such as Supertyphoon Yolanda [Haiyan] in 2013.” That is why it is important for laborers to be more aware of the problems caused by climate change, Alvarez added.

According to the deal, the CCC and TUCP will hold seminars, symposia and conferences for their members to spread awareness about carbon footprint reduction practices. Herrera and Alvarez didn’t say if they would charge fees. They also didn’t say how much the program would cost.

The deal also includes the CCC’s cooperation in the establishment and implementation of
TUCP’s renewable energy demonstration systems.

Both organizations agree that coal and fossil fuel should not be used for oil and electricity anymore. Water, wind and solar plants should be developed and utilized as alternative energy sources, Alvarez said.

However, Alvarez didn’t say how long they plan to wean the Philippines from its dependence on fossil fuel that, according to the Department of Energy, remains the majority source of the
country’s industries.

Alvarez said the Philippines should keep up with other countries in its pledge to curb global carbon- dioxide emission. He hopes to generate more public support through this deal with the TUCP.

Herrera said there is a need to amend the implementing rules and regulations of the Labor Code of the Philippines, which he authored, to adopt provisions for the inclusion of climate change initiatives in labor activities. –Mary Grace Padin, Businessmirror