If a dream is meant to come true, then the Climate Change Act of 2009 is the epitome of that dream. The Local Climate Change Adaptation for Development (LCCAD) and the Climate Change Academy (CCA) attest to this. Manuel “Nong” C. Rangasa, then Project Manager of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal Fund (MDG-F):1656, Governance Component, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), a Joint Program of the Government of  the  Philippines, Government of Spain and the United Nations, spearheaded the conceptualization of a national policy ordaining LGUs as frontline agencies for addressing the impacts of climate change. Former Albay Governor and now Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Sarte Salceda, the Philippine Green Economist, chided Rangasa’s proposal as “suntok sa buwan” (“shooting for the moon”).

This challenged Rangasa more and made him seek the assistance of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to pass resolutions for the adoption of policies and strategies, their institutionalization and provision of financial resources to strengthen LGUs’ capabilities against climate change. And so the Government of Albay, through then Governor Salceda, assisted by donor agencies and the UNDP in the Philippines rendered support that led to his order to establish the Centre for Initiatives and Research on Climate Change Adaptation (PGA-CIRCA) of which Nong Rangasa became the first Executive Director from 2007 until 2011. CIRCA became the institution for climate change concerns while its twin offshoots: the Climate Change Academy (CCA) was for enhancing LGUs’ capabilities and the Local Climate Change Adaptation for Development (LCCAD) was for the propagation of knowledge and expertise in the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation.

The CCA was officially inaugurated in November 25, 2011 by then President Benigno C. Aquino III while the LCCAD was registered as a mobile service provider at the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Provincial Government of Albay and donor agencies also supported the:

  1. Integration of climate change concepts in the curricula of primary and secondary education (Lesson Exemplars for teachers)
  2. Establishment of the Albay model for local, national and international advocacy; and
  3. Public-private partnership initiatives on Disaster Risk and Vulnerability Reduction (DRVR) and Climate Change Adaptation.

In that same year, the First National Conference on Climate Change Adaptation (1st NCCCA) was convened in Albay giving birth to the Albay Declaration that was recognized by the Office of the President, the Philippine Senate, House of Representatives, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank (WB), the International Centre for Agroforestry (ICRAF), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and other international development partners. It was presented to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bali, Indonesia as the Philippine Paper on Climate Change and recognized by UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan and then US Vice President Albert Gore. And so the dawning of the realization of Nong Rangasa’s dream has begun. Albay owes it to Rangasa as first executive director of PGA-CIRCA, such best practices as:

  1. Socio-Political Advocacy for Green Economy;
  2. Mainstreaming DRVR-CCA into Local Development Planning Processes for Integrated Physical Framework; and
  3. Mainstreaming Climate Change in the Philippine Educational Curriculum Focused in Albay, the first of its kind in the country, in Asia Pacific, and in the This best practice is the main contributing factor that earned for Salceda the title “First UNISDR Senior Global Champion on DRR and CCA in 2010.

It was also during the world conference of the UNFCCC in Durban, South Africa in 2011 that Director Rangasa advocated for Salceda’s nomination as the Philippine representative to the World Leaders Conference on the newly-created Green Climate Fund of the United Nations. This initiative was inspired by the world’s best international negotiator, an icon in her own right, Madam Bernarditas Muller.

The Albay Declaration of 2007 called for the early passage of the Climate Change Act and the creation of the Climate Change Commission. In October 23, 2009, House Bill No. 2583 proposed by Senator Loren Legarda, the Asia Pacific Regional Champion for DRR-CCA, was signed into law by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, now known as Republic Act 9729, the Climate Change Act of 2009.

In October 24, 2009 the 2nd NCCCA +2 was convened by the Albay- CIRCA, the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), DENR, UNDP and the Senate of the Philippines, the output of which was the Manila Declaration that called for the early passage of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act (R.A. 10121) and the creation of the NDRRMC.

In 2010 the LGU Summit +3i took place in the three main islands of the country namely, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The Summit was aimed at strengthening LGUs’ involvement in climate change adaptation.

In November 2011, the 1st National Media Conference on Climate Change Adaptation (NMCCCA) was convened attended by foreign and local media practitioners and produced the Media Declaration calling for more people participation in raising climate change awareness and officially turned over to then President Aquino III by the former Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio “Sonny” B. Coloma Jr.

The first leg of the Summit, participated by governors, vice governors, planning officers, civil society organizations working on CCA and DRR and international financial institutions was held in Legazpi City where Albay’s best practices as role model on “zero casualty” during calamity as recognized by the UN was showcased.

The second leg was held in Iloilo City in the Visayas attended by then Vice President Jejomar Binay and UNDP country director Renaud Meyer and participated by members of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) in cooperation with the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP). The event was an advocacy activity for LGUs on CCA given their critical responsibility in shaping and implementing measures that would ensure continuity of development and provide safety nets for highly vulnerable groups at the local level.

The third leg was held in Davao City in Mindanao attended by members of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) and graced by then President Benigno C. Aquino III. CIRCA executive director and Summit convener, Nong C. Rangasa said the events were valuable in broadening collective action to develop the resilience and adaptive capacities of local communities to the adverse impacts of climate change.

In August 2012, the last in the line of “firsts” to be convened in Legazpi City was the 1st Philippine Tourism Conference on Climate Change Adaptation that gave birth to the Legazpi Declaration recommending for the integration of climate change adaptation into the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP). No less than the late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo issued a Memo Circular to all Local Chief Executives (LCEs) and stakeholders in the country and strongly endorsed their participation in the conference. His untimely death was greatly mourned when he failed to come for the opening ceremony as guest speaker. For this reason former Legazpi City Mayor and then City Administrator, and colleague, Noel E. Rosal dedicated the 1st PTCCCA in his honor.

The 1st PTCCCA (2012) was doubly significant to the LCCAD because it coincided with the launching of the maiden issue of The Philippine EPICENTRE, LCCAD’s Climate Change Magazine.

The Philippine EPICENTRE was lauded by then President Aquino, who together with then Vice President Jejomar Binay; Senator Loren Legarda; former Climate Change Commission Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Mary Ann Lucille Sering; former Presidential Assistant for Climate Change Secretary Elisea Gozun; former Presidential Adviser on Environmental Protection Nereus Acosta, Jr.; the late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo; former Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr.; former DENR Secretary Ramon Paje; and then Legazpi City Mayor Carmen Geraldine Rosal extended their congratulatory messages to the magazine.

The Legazpi Declaration was adopted by the First Malolos Green Covenant on Eco-Cultural Tourism, Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainable Development on the occasion of the 114th Anniversary of the Malolos Constitutional Congress held in historical Barasoain Church in Malolos City, Bulacan where Malolos and Legazpi adopted each other as Sister Cities. Through House Resolution No. 3016, the First Malolos Green Covenant signed by Mayors Atty. Christian Natividad and Carmen Geraldine Rosal of Sister Cities Malolos and Legazpi, respectively; and the National Presidents of the League of Provinces of the Philippines, Gov. Alfonso V. Umali, Jr.; League of the Municipalities, Mayor Donato Marcos; League of Cities, Mayor Oscar Rodriguez; Liga ng mga Barangay, Hon. Ricojudge Jonner Echiverri , and witnessed by 5,000 government officials led by LCCAD President and Chairman “Nong” Rangasa and My Shelter Foundation Executive Director Illac Angelo Diaz, was presented to the 3rd Regular Session of the Fifteenth Congress by Representative Dan S. Fernandez.

The House Resolution urged President Aquino to adopt the Covenant and support the concerted call for action of national and local government agencies and stakeholders for local capacity building for climate-proofing land use plans and development programs and the public recognition of best practices and practitioners through the “Climate Change Awards”.

In 2012, Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Region 5 thru then Regional Director Bernardo Rafaelito R. Alejandro IV and LCCAD led by Executive Director Nong C. Rangasa has entered an arrangement thru a memorandum of agreement between two parties. In the MOA, the OCD shall:

  1. Provide space and facilities for the use of LCCAD, Inc. in the OCD Office at Camp General Simeon Ola, Legazpi City;
  2. Provide certification of formal and non-formal training and workshop programs; and
  3. Establish and nurture linkages with local, national and international institutions for the development and implementation of individual and joint competency development programs in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction management.

Furthermore, LCCAD as the second party of the MOA shall:

  1. Provide and conduct climate and disaster risk assessment, focusing on characterization and evaluation of climate hazards, vulnerabilities and adaptive capacities;
  2. Provide expertise and experience on disaster/climate risk reduction and management; and
  3. Provide training and produce modules on climate change adaptation / disaster risk management, planning and programming.

A memorandum of agreement was also made and entered into by and between the Local Government Academy (LGA) – DILG, led by then Executive Director Marivel C. Sacendoncillo, and LCCAD in 2014. The commencement of the MOA started last January 2014 until December 2014. With this, the LGA:

  1. Provided guidelines in the conduct of the training based on existing government policies and procedures;
  2. Promoted the program to LGUs by enjoining its participation to LCCAP training conducted by the parties;
  3. Maintained core of DILG coaches on LCCAP formulation;
  4. Conducted sessions to continuously enhance the program;
  5. Provided administrative support to LCCAD in setting up of learning centers for LCCAP;
  6. Shared knowledge products relative to CCA & DRR to LCCAD; and
  7. Prepared reports to the DILG Secretary relative to the conduct of the program.

The LCCAD, as part of its MOA with the LGA-DILG, undertook the following:

  1. Assisted the LGA in continuously enhancing the competencies of DILG field officers in LCCAP formulation through mentoring and coaching;
  2. Assisted the academy in the conduct of residential training to LGUs on LCCAP formulation;
  3. Shared to the DILG through LGA its knowledge products on CCA & DRR; and
  4. Provided the DILG through the academy the reports of the trainings conducted on LCCAP formulation.

Last June 7, 2015, LCCAD joined Albay 3rd District Representative Fernando V. Gonzalez in presenting the Burias-Ticao Pass Protected Seascape during the World Ocean’s Day at Cabarias, Ligao City. Multiple institutions and stakeholders collaborated for the establishment of the protected seascape as a product of the meeting of the minds of the climate change adaptation practitioners: Albay 3rd District Rep. Fernando V. Gonzalez, DENR ARD for Technical Services Al Orolfo and LCCAD Executive Director Nong C. Rangasa.

The proposed seascape, a triangulation of the provinces of Albay, Masbate and Sorsogon (ALMASOR), covers an area of 414,244 hectares. House Bill No. 5966 is authored by Albay 3rd District Representative Fernando V. Gonzalez and co-authored by Representatives Elisa T. Kho, 2nd District of Masbate and Congresswoman Evelina Escudero, 1st District of Sorsogon.

The Climate Change Commission, led by then Vice-Chairperson Manny de Guzman, and LCCAD has agreed to a memorandum in 2016. Both parties agreed to the following obligations from February 1, 2016 until January 31, 2017:

The CCC shall undertake the following:

  1. Provide guidelines, standards, safeguards and recommendations for enhanced content and conduct of training;
  2. Encourage LGUs to join the LCCAP Formulation training program and capacity building for local adaptation planning and implementation of climate change initiatives in vulnerable and marginalized communities;
  3. Promote policy for subsidized training of all vulnerable 3rd, 4th and 5th class municipalities;
  4. Maintain a core monitoring and evaluation team for the LGU training-workshop and coaching programs;
  5. Publish a monitoring and evaluation manual for sharing with LGU clientele;
  6. Share knowledge products and technologies for CCA/DRR management training with LCCAD and its clients; and
  7. Establish a training institution in climate-disaster risk reduction planning and management skills and methodologies within an integrated conceptual framework for accelerated implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda 2030 with the Climate Change Convention in the Asia-Pacific region.

Meanwhile, the LCCAD will carry out the following:

  1. As capacity development service provider for CC, enhance the LCCAP Formulation training-workshop process and its products on a continuing basis, and in accordance with CCC plans, programs, and recommendations;
  2. Facilitate and provide assistance to CCC for capacity building in local adaptation planning, implementation of climate change initiatives in vulnerable and marginalized communities and areas;
  3. Provide assistance to CCC in the conduct of sessions for familiarization with the process of LCCAP formulation and integration into the CDP and CLUP processes;
  4. Provide inputs for the development of monitoring and evaluation guidelines, program and manual;
  5. Recommend appropriate climate and disaster database development and modeling technology to support LCCAP and CCC plans and programs;
  6. Share LCCAD training facilities, resources, and knowledge products that may be requested by CCC, subject to availability and purpose;
  7. Promote CCC plans, programs and activities for climate change mitigation and adaptation among LGU clients and development partners;
  8. Provide a listing of LGUs who completed the LCCAP training course during the previous year, with the status of LCCAP formulation; and
  9. Assist CCC in the establishment of an institute for training in climate-disaster risk reduction planning and management skills and methodologies and the development of an integrated conceptual framework for accelerated implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda 2030 with the Climate Change Convention in the Asia-Pacific Region.

In 2016, LCCAD, together with the Department of Education (DepEd), Office of the President – Climate Change Commission (CCC) and Office of Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Sarte Salceda, conceptualized the first K to 12 Learning Materials on Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk & Vulnerability Reduction (DRVR) integrated periodically from Grades 2 to 11 on all learning areas of the five major subjects: Mathematics, Science, English, Filipino and Araling Panlipunan.

Last February 2016, LCCAD Executive Director Nong C. Rangasa led the launching of the national project in Legazpi City. He was joined by then CCC Vice-Chairperson Manny de Guzman, DepEd Region 5 Director Ramon Fiel G. Abcede. Albay 3rd District Representative Fernando V. Gonzalez, Albay 1st District Representative Edcel “Greco” Lagman, Legazpi City Mayor Noel E. Rosal, Usec. Alexander Pama of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), represented by former Office of Civil Defense (OCD) 5 Regional Director Raffy Alejandro, UNDP Project Leader Amelia Supetran, Ako Bicol Partylist Representatives Rodel M. Batocabe, Christopher S. Co and Alfredo M. Garbin, Jr., Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Region 5 Director Aida Alcazar-Naz and world renowned scientists of the National Panel of Technical Experts (NPTE). They were also joined by the heads of the DepEd Albay Division: Schools Division Superintendent Bebiano I. Sentillas, Asst. Schools Division Superintendent Fatima D. Buen and CID Chief Dr. Sancita B. Peñarubia; and members of the Climate Change Commission: Mr. Romell Cuenca, Mr. Alfred Anciado, Ms. Resi Mariñas and Ms. Kat Firmeza.

The members of the NPTE: Dr. Rodel D. Lasco, Dr. Rex Victor O. Cruz, Dr. Felino Lansigan, Dr. Juan Pulhin, Dr. Laura David, Dr. Leoncio Amadore, Dr. Glen Roy Paraso, Dr. Rosa T. Perez, Dr. Lourdes V. Tibig, Dr. Carlos Primo David and Dr. Fernando Siringan; Dr. Amelia Supetran, of UNDP; Dr. Mahar Lagmay, Executive Director of the University of the Philippines Resilience Insitute (UPRI) NOAH Center; Prof. Glenn Banaguas, De la Salle University (DLSU); Dr. Eduardo Laguerta, Resident Volcanologist of the Philippine Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS); Dr. Landrico Dalida Jr., Climate Research Director of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA); Prof. Kristoffer Berce, UP-National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG); and Dr. Al Orolfo, DENR Negros Island Regional Director joined LCCAD Executive Director Nong C. Rangasa in providing year-long series of lectures to the teacher-writers and critics of the DepEd Divisions of Albay, Legazpi City, Ligao City and Tabaco City.

The learning materials underwent a yearlong assessment, review, evaluation, critiquing, re-integration, quality assurance and proofreading by the Department of Education through the Curriculum Implementing Division (CID) of the DepEd Albay Division, the Curriculum Standards Development Division (CSSD) by the Bureau of Curriculum Development (BCD) in coordination with the Bureau of Learning Resources (BLR) led by USec. Dina S. Ocampo and Mr. Butch Rufino, former Assistant Secretary of DepEd IP Education Office.

Moreover, Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Sarte Salceda has filed for a house resolution on the use of the K to 12 Learning Materials on CCA and DRVR by schools all over the country as part of the commitment to the adaptation measures by the LGUs. In the said resolution, Rep. Salceda also indicated the allocation of budget in order to provide the K to 12 LMs on CCA and DRVR for free in all public schools in the country.

Also, the League of Municipalities of the Philippines, through National President Mayor Maria Fe “Bubut” Brondial, has also passed a resolution regarding the use of the K to 12 LMs on CCA and DRVR by the public schools of all member municipalities. She formally turned-over the resolution to President Duterte during the March 2017 LMP General Assembly at the Manila Hotel.

Last June 2017, the Office of DepEd Sec. Leonor M. Briones has released the certification and approval of the K to 12 Learning Materials on CCA and DRVR for use of the Filipino students in the country.

Early in 2017, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte appointed Ms. Frances Veronica R. Victorio as the new Vice-Chairperson of the CCC.  With the new leadership in CCC, the commission and LCCAD has entered into a new MOA signed at the House of Representatives; together with the Special Committee Chairperson Christopher S. Co, Vice-Chairpersons Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda and Rep. Fernando V. Gonzalez and Rep. Rodel M. Batocabe and CCC Usec. Noel V. Gaerlan.

The new MOA states that CCC shall undertake the following:

  1. Provide recommendations for enhanced content and conduct of training;
  2. Encourage LGUs in coordination with DILG and other NGAs to join the LCCAP Formulation training program and capacity building for local adaptation planning and implementation of climate change initiatives in vulnerable and marginalized communities;
  3. Identify vulnerable communities to be prioritized in the conduct of the training;
  4. Provide support and training to vulnerable municipalities and cities, as appropriate;
  5. Maintain a core monitoring and evaluation team fort the LGU training-workshop and coaching programs; and
  6. Share knowledge products and technologies for CCA/DRR management training with LCCAD and its LGUs and other concerned stakeholders.

With the 2017 CCC-LCCAD MOA, LCCAD shall undertake the following:

  1. As capacity development service provider for CCC, enhance the LCCAP formulation training-workshop process and its products on a continuing basis, and in accordance with CCC plans, programs and recommendations;
  2. Facilitate and provide assistance, alongside CCC, to LGUs for capacity building in local adaptation planning and implementation of climate change initiatives in vulnerable and marginalized communities and areas;
  3. Train CCC personnel through conduct of sessions for familiarization with the process of LCCAP formulation and integration into the plans, including but not limited to CDP and CLUP;
  4. Recommend appropriate development of the climate and disaster database and modeling technology to support LCCAP and CCC plans and programs;
  5. Share LCCAD training facilities, resources, and knowledge products that may be requested by CCC, subject to availability and purpose;
  6. Promote CCC plans, programs, and activities for climate change mitigation and adaptation among LGU clients and development partners; and
  7. Facilitate and provide assistance to CCC for the integration of Climate Change Adaptation – Disaster Risk and Vulnerability Reduction into K to 12 Learning Materials and Teacher’s Manual.

The 2017 MOA between CCC and LCCAD is expected to take effect for 12 months from March 1, 2017 until February 28, 2018.

As one of its banner years, this 2017 also highlighted the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), led by National President Mayor Maria Fe “Bubut” v. Brondial, has partnered with the Local Climate Change Adaptation for Development (LCCAD), NOAH Executive Director Mahar Lagmay, PLLO USec. Ryan Estevez and PDP Laban Federalism Institute Executive Director Jonathan Malaya for the “2017 League of Municipalities of the Philippines National Roll-out Training Workshop on the Formulation of Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP) in the Philippines and Federalism”. LMP National President Mayor Brondial has also committed to the President Rodrigo Roa Duterte that the League of Municipalities will train for their LCCAPs within the year under the watchful eye and sector-based mentoring and coaching of LCCAD Executive Director Nong C. Rangasa. On the first week of the national roll-out, DILG USec. Emily Padilla, League of Municipalities of the Philippines and PDP Laban Federalism Institute signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) regarding this year-long activity.

During the year, the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), through environment officer Alvidon Asis as representative of National President Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, has released a memo to all the city members to train under LCCAD for the formulation of their Local Climate Change Action Plans.

It was also on this year that the MOA signing among the 2nd District of Albay Representative Joey Sarte Salceda, Local Climate Change Adaptation for Development and UPRI – NOAH Center for the promotion of probabilistic approach and multi-hazard maps, sharing of knowledge for the LCCAP formulation and enhanced CLUP, and imparting of DRVR information among the three national offices.

To date, the LCCAD, under the management of Manuel “Nong” C. Rangasa, continues to carry the torch advocating climate change adaptation and disaster risk and vulnerability reduction so that communities need not be left wallowing unaided in their vulnerabilities. What was considered as “suntok sa buwan” is now within the grasp of local chief executives (LCEs) in the provinces, cities, municipalities, across the Philippine Archipelago through the formulation of Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAPs) and Climate Vulnerability Disaster Risk Assessment (CVDRA) of the Barangay Contingency and Recovery Plans (BCRPs) as new tools for the integration of the local development plans such as CDP, CLUP, DRRM Plan and LCCAP.

And like the advocate that he is, LCCAD Executive Director Nong Rangasa was commissioned by the Local Government Academy of the DILG to developed the User’s Manual for LGUs Guidebook for preparation of LCCAP and Leagues of Cities and Municipalities of the Philippines as Resident Trainer, Coach and Mentor in the Formulation of Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP) for the 1700++ LGUs in the Philippines.