Pasig City, Philippines- Key stakeholders of Pasig City convened on 11 September at the Tanghalang Pasigueño, Pasig City Hall to discuss the status of the city’s various urban sectors from a development and climate perspective. More than 100 participants representing different population segments attended the public consultation.
This activity is part of a series of public consultations conducted under the ICLEI-led Ambitious City Promises (ACP) project where Pasig City serves as the model city in the Philippines. Through this project, Pasig City will enhance its existing Local Climate Change Action Plan by setting a concrete greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target and collecting stakeholders’ commitments and pledges on low emission development.
The cross-cutting issues of climate change
To facilitate a dynamic and grounded interaction, focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted for nine urban sectors including energy, air quality, solid waste management, water management, transportation, ecology, urban agriculture, disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) and health. There was also a discussion which zeroed in on cross-cutting issues such as urban planning, education, policy implementation among others.
Recognizing that climate change calls for integrated and cross-sectoral planning, participants stipulated that Pasig City should ensure that development plans consider the needs of different stakeholders such as persons with disabilities (PWDs), senior citizens, informal settlers, commuters, and others. There is also a need to check if policies and programs in place are inclusive enough to empower and uplift the lives of the marginalized.
For example, since the City is moving to ban two-strokes tricycles, the participants stated that there should be a transition system to assist tricycle drivers and operators in complying with the new regulation and acquiring a four-stroke engine for their units.
Participants also agreed that Pasig City already has a lot of good policies and ordinances in place. However, there is a need to strictly implement these especially for issues concerning service delivery including solid waste management, traffic regulation, pollution control, and others. As one participant put it, adhering to the letter and spirit of the law will also promote discipline and concern for the environment.
Active citizen engagement towards inclusive, cooperative local climate action
While the consultation highlighted the City’s role as duty-bearer, participants also recognized that local climate action is a collaborative effort. Toward this end, they shared lifestyle changes that they are already doing to contribute towards creating a “green city.” Some examples include bringing their own bags when shopping, turning off electric appliances when not in use, walking or biking to their destinations whenever feasible, practicing urban gardening and composting in their own homes, and others.
To close the day with an inspiring note, Ms. Raquel Naciongayo, Pasig City Environment, and Natural Resources Officer said that, “Pasig City is continuously exploring ways on how to better engage with you, its citizens, on its journey towards becoming a sustainable city. We hope for your further cooperation not only during these consultations but in achieving our City Promise as well.”
Bringing it all Together: Formulating the City Promise
The inaugural public consultation was followed by weekly sectoral consultations to further discuss the city’s different urban sectors. The subsequent activities zeroed in on energy efficiency and conservation, solid waste management, water management, ecology, urban agriculture, health and safety, transportation, and air quality.
Apart from identifying the stakeholders’ issues and concerns, these sector-specific discussions also provided practical, easy-to-understand explanations that participants including barangay officials, women, senior citizens, and the youth can readily relate to. The consultations ran from September to October.
A Second Public Consultation took place last 15 November at the Youth Development Center, Maybunga, Pasig City where results and highlights of the entire public consultation series were presented. This also served as a validation activity which enabled the participants to agree on, clarify, or raise questions regarding the results. Outcomes of the public consultation will be used as an input in the formulation of the City Promise, a policy document that embodies the city’s commitment to respond and address climate change.
Main takeaways and cross-cutting themes of the public consultation, as presented during this activity, were as follows:
- Integrate solid waste management practices in other urban sectors of the City.
- Instill a sense of ownership in Pasigueños to encourage them to take care of their surroundings.
- Urban planning should be people-centric.
- Ensure the inclusion and participation of vulnerable sectors of the city such as senior citizens, persons-with-disability, and women and children.
- Intensify information dissemination campaigns to raise awareness on the current programs and projects of the City.
- Explore inter-LGU cooperation to foster smoother implementation of programs particularly in the areas of disaster risk reduction and management, solid waste management, and transport.
- Communicate the significance of the different urban sectors to the daily lives and the kind of lifestyle changes that stakeholders can make in order to support the City’s environmental sustainability goals.
Former Mayor and current Chairperson of Gender and Development Office Maribel Eusebio graced the second public consultation, leaving this message to her fellow Pasigueños:
“Pasig City will not stop in achieving the goals towards our Green City vision by taking the best approaches to sustainable development and environmental management…aiming always to improve the quality of life of its residents.”
The ACP is a 3.5-year international project supporting cities in Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam to formulate local climate action plans directed by concrete targets, enhanced multi-stakeholder engagement, and integrated strategies. It is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU) through the International Climate Initiative (IKI) program. The project draws inspiration from the Promise of Seoul, a comprehensive climate action plan launched by the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) in 2015. SMG also serves as supporting project partner.