Join CLIMBS’ Climate-Action Summit This November 23

This November 23, CLIMBS Life and General Insurance Cooperative will be conducting Coop Climate Summit 2022: Cooperatives for Climate Action & Education, hosted by Cindy Obeñita (Miss Intercontinental 2021) and moderated by Donna C. Dizon, the group’s Vice President for Admin & Corporate Planning, and Co-operative College of the Philippines’ Principal and CEO. The event will be held at the Philippine International Convention Center, beginning at 9:00am, and will center around how government and private organizations contributing or implementing programs in the country can contribute to the mitigation of climate change and further the cause of climate justice, specifically in terms of supporting our essential but most vulnerable sectors.

The summit will be divided into two plenary sessions, with the following speakers:
  • Climate Change in the Philippines: Challenges and Responses
    • Robert E.A. Borje (Vice President and Executive Director, Climate Change Commission)
    • Michael J. Cortina, Officer In-charge Business Development & Marketing, Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC)
    • Thelma A. Cinco (Chief of the Climatology and Agrometeorology Division of PAGASA)
    • Virgilio R. Lazaga, MD (Asst. Secretary - Agriculture, Agrarian, Aquaculture, Farmers, Dairy, and Fisherfolk Cooperatives Cluster, Cooperative Development Authority)
    • James Elwyn D. Leyte (Sr. Research Associate - Agriculture System Alliance of Bioversity International, International Center for Tropical Agriculture)
  •  Partners for Resilience and Sustainability Goals: Climate Action Now!
    • Cheung Wai Man Raymond (Managing Director - Alpha Consultancy; CEO - Alpha Millennia Technology)
    • Noel D. Raboy (President & CEO, CLIMBS Life and General Insurance Cooperative; Founding Trustee, Co-operative College of the Philippines)
    • Canceled
    • Michael Rellosa (Executive Director, Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association, Inc.)
    • Emil Francis de Quiros (Economic Growth Specialist) US Agency for International Development
Although the motivations behind this event seem obvious, the topic must be further contextualized for the Philippines to move forward with care. As of 2019, the estimated average age of the Filipino farmer is 60 years old, while the median age of the overall Philippine labor force is 25.7—numbers that imply that very few of our rural youth are expected to join the agricultural industry. By and large, and over many administrations, little help has been available to our farmers, our fishermen, and the thousands of essential but overlooked workers who constitute the backbone of our way of life. What assistance has been extended, such as the free irrigation systems mentioned in Republic Act No. 10969 last 2017, tends to be temporary for lack of maintenance.

While bigger industries like tech, banking, and retail have the time, expertise, and resources not only to preserve themselves in a volatile market, but also to be able to address societal ills such as gender inequality and climate change, our farmers have little to no access to credit, insurance, or any sort of financial asset outside of physical money. In fact, about half of Filipinos overall (44% as of 2021) report that they are not in possession of a bank account.
This is where cooperatives come in - grassroots organizations that collectively care for the low-income but high-impact sectors such as farming, fishing, and other service-oriented categories. Here in the Philippines, these groups give workers the power and opportunities to build financial stability, and even to secure higher income; so much so that members of cooperatives find themselves closer to or even surpassing lower-middle class status. And with the help of microinsurance providers such as CLIMBS - itself a fundamental mutual-protection group - these workers can also begin to build their families’ futures.
Still, there are many issues that require attention before we can speak of the security of those futures. It is this same cluster of industries who suffer the most from the effects of climate change, and the lack of action towards climate justice. With messaging and, indeed, social responsibility efforts largely aimed towards the individual rather than the collective—specifically, the corporate sector - larger entities continue to aggravate the situation, while expecting the grassroots to bear the brunt. Organizations like CLIMBS say, “No more.” In line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, CLIMBS continues to urge private and government institutions to learn and implement concrete steps to tackle climate change, as well as fully incorporate climate action into business practices.
To register your organization or representative for the Coop Climate Summit, you may find the forms here.

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