A professor of the Catanduanes State University has been appointed as a member of the 16-person National Panel of Technical Experts by the Philippine Climate Change Commission (PCCC).
Dr. Jimmy T. Masagca, a Professor III at the university, is also a member of the President’s Initiative for the Popularization of Environmental Research & Services, a Commission Member of IUCN-CEC in Switzerland, and Scientific Advisor of the PACIFICTECH RTIC CESSE, Inc, an environmental NGO.
In a media briefing conducted by the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Climate Change Commission last Dec. 9, 2021 via Zoom to increase transparency and intensify awareness of the country’s climate action initiatives, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, who also chairs the Commission, introduced Dr. Masagca as an expert in fisheries and mangroves.
“He has done studies on how fisheries and mangrove resource management can aid in disaster risk reduction in the typhoon-prone island of Catanduanes,” he added. “He has immersed himself in coastal communities vulnerable to climate change to explain to people why they need to be concerned about rising sea levels and ocean warming.”
Masagca is among a group of scientists, engineers, economists, doctors and disaster risk reduction professionals from across the Philippines who compose the newly reconstituted panel of experts.
The 16 members will advise the commission on climate science, green technologies, and recommend best practices for vulnerable communities in adapting to natural disasters.
The commission, which is the lead policy-making body of the government tasked to coordinate programmes to ensure the country’s climate resilience, installed the new panel in a bid to provide more sectors and regions in the country with equal access to opportunities and resources to stem climate change impacts.
“They represent various regions of the country and are doing practical work on the ground, and thus aware of what is going on at the grassroots level,” Chairperson Dominguez said.
“We are now in the business of implementing concrete projects and programmes to build the resilience of our community, reverse the degradation and protect our vital food sources. For what is global now must be addressed at the local level. What is theoretical now demands practical applications on the ground,” he said.
Aside from Dr. Masagca, the other panel members who will serve until 2023 are: Dr. Jian Adil, an environmental planning and engineering expert; Dr. Nathaniel Alibuyog, an agricultural engineer specialising in land and water management; Dr. Zenaida Andrade, a chemical engineer and a specialist in the fields of chemical engineering, pollution control and waste management; Dr. Wilfredo Campos, an expert in biological oceanography, coastal ecology and ecosystems, coral reef ecology and fisheries; Dr. Gay Defiesta, who specialises in agricultural economics and environmental accounting; Dr. Ramon Lorenzo Luis Guinto, an expert in climate change and public health; Dr. Eduardo Mangaoang, an expert in upland, lowland and coastal forest landscape restoration and conservation; Dr. Susan Mercado, a public health and food security expert; Dr. Richard Muallil, a marine scientist and a recognized expert in coastal resource management and marine protected areas; Dr. Emma Porio, a specialist in climate and disaster resilience; Dr. Patricia Ann Sanchez, a specialist in disaster risk management and water resource assessment; Engr. Merriam Santillan, a geodetic engineer; Dr. Encarnacion Emilia Yap, a post-harvest fisheries specialist and fisheries professional; and, Dr. Maria Angela Zafra, an expert in inclusive business models, sustainable tourism and gender inclusivity.