Chaired by Ms. Zita Concepcion P. Calugay of National College of Public Administration and Governance, University of the Philippines (UP-NCPAG), this session focused on public service. The presenters were Dr. Rizalino B. Cruz, Mr. Emmanuel A. Alfiler and Mr. Yogi Suwarno.
In her paper, Governiing Blue Carbon Ecosystems in the Philippines: Examining Various Tenurial Instruments in Four Municipalities of Aklan Province, Dr. Cruz's presentation focused on the factors shaping the adoption and implementation of local policies for conservation and protection of blue carbon ecosystems, that is, mangrove and seagrass ecosystems, which are found to store carbon for far longer periods of time relative to green carbon ecosystems (i.e., forests). Dr. Cruz's study looked into four cases in Aklan - namely, Kalibo, Ibajay, Cabugao and New Washington. The results of Dr. Cruz’s research showed different policy instruments that altogether apply community-based approaches and co-management principles to address different issues and contexts in each of the four cases. The findings re-echoed the need to reconcile interests and strengthen collaboration between local communities and the local government units (LGUs), as well as interlocal cooperation particularly between village-level governments (i.e., barangays). The findings also suggest the importance of collaboration in strengthening implementation and monitoring mechanisms for enforcing local policies to conserve blue carbon ecosystems. Meanwhile, Dr. Cruz cautioned against adverse effects of policy interactions and stressed the need for linking stakeholders vertically and horizontally to ensure that conservation policies and programs are coherent.
Additionally, Mr. Alfiler presented his paper on Resiliency by Necessity: The "Sustainable Development Goal 13, Climate Action" Experience of the Philippines. He reviewed various national and international commitment targets, policies and programs related to climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as reports that describe the progress the Philippine government has made so far. The findings of Mr. Alfiler’s study showed that, even before committing to then Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Philippine government has long been striving since the 1990s to create an enabling policy environment for climate change mitigation and adaptation, particularly through mainstreaming climate-related concerns across different sectors (energy, transport, agriculture, forestry, and waste management, among others). Recently, the Philippine government has renewed its commitment to address climate change in its 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan and proposed measures and frameworks for disaster risk reduction and management. However, as Mr. Alfiler emphasized in his presentation, climate change mitigation and adaptation remains a continuing challenge for policymakers; program managers; and the citizens.
Lastly, in a paper entitled Integrating Climate Policy Into Forestry Policy: A Study on Policy Making Within Ministry of Forestry of Indonesia, Mr. Suwarno highlighted the agencification* of policies on climate change in Indonesia and possibilities for policy integration. In his review of the national laws, policies, and organizational responsibilities of various agencies involved in mainstreaming climate change into forestry policies, Mr. Surwanto found that, under former President Yudyohono’s leadership, massive agencification was done in an attempt to clarify tasks and responsibilities of agencies involved in climate change mitigation and adaptation. However, with the change of leadership in 2012 under Widodo, policymakers promoted policy integration to facilitate coordination of climate change and forestry-related initiatives across different organizations and sectors. While both approaches to policy implementation allowed some level of disaggregation and coordination, they both failed to address policy fragmentation and political interference. That being said, Mr. Surwanto suggested that, whatever the organizational arrangement and approaches adopted by the Indonesian government, political commitment ultimately drives the success of climate change mainstreaming in forestry policy. However, in conclusion, Mr. Surwanto emphasized that both climate change and forestry are multisectoral fields, indicating the need to focus more on policy integration than agencification.
*As defined in Mr. Surwanto’s study, agencification entails creating supposedly politically-insulated frontline agencies that adopt less hierarchical approaches to carry out specific functions or tasks related to climate change mainstreaming, while policy integration involves addressing climate change across various sectors and within levels of organizations, going beyond the specific tasks or functions of each agency or organization.