3rd Philippine Climate Change Commissioner appointed

Pia Ranada
Emmanuel de Guzman is a disaster risk reduction expert who has worked with the United Nations. His term as commissioner will end in February 2016.
NEW COMMISSIONER. Emmanuel M. de Guzman, the country's new Climate Change Commissioner, has 20 years of experience in disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation. Photo from LinkedIn

MANILA, Philippines – A disaster risk reduction expert is now among the ranks of Philippine Climate Change Commissioners.

Climate Change Commissioner and Secretary Lucille Sering confirmed to Rappler on Thursday, August 27, that Emmanuel “Manny” M. de Guzman has been appointed as the third Climate Change Commissioner by President Benigno Aquino III.

His appointment has been signed by the President but De Guzman is yet to be sworn in, said Sering. 

The appointment letter sent to Rappler shows that it was signed by Aquino last August 20.

“We welcome his expertise to the Commission. He will be a great addition especially on our effort to mainstream climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction,” Sering told Rappler.

  https://www.scribd.com/doc/276453367/Appointment-of-Emmanuel-Deguzman-as-Climate-Change-Commissioner”  style=”text-decoration: underline;” >Appointment of Emmanuel Deguzman as Climate Change Commissioner

De Guzman is backed by 20 years of experience working in the fields of disaster management and climate change adaptation.

He currently serves as the the country’s consultant for disaster risk reduction with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). He was previously senior advisor on disaster risk reduction with the World Meteorological Organization, the UN’s agency for weather and climate monitoring.

As UNISDR consultant, he provides technical advise to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, an international standard for disaster management best practices.

He was also a senior regional expert on Disaster Management Program Development for the Association of Southeast asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat. 

De Guzman is no stranger to working for the Philippine government. He served as a deputy administrator at the Office of Civil Defense from 1998 to 2001, according to his LinkedIn profile. 

De Guzman is the replacement of former Climate Change Commissioner Naderev “Yeb” Saño, and thus will serve only until February 15, 2016, the original term-end of Saño. 

Saño resigned in April following his controversial absence from a UN climate change conference in Lima, Peru.

Since Saño resigned, there had been talks among climate activists, civil society groups, and government officials about who President Aquino would appoint to replace him.

Some even wondered if there would be another appointment since only a few more months remained of Saño’s term.

Certain groups and government officials offered names to the president for consideration. 

Asked if De Guzman will be actively joining international climate conferences like Saño, Sering said, “He will be part of the delegation but [I’m] not sure how much he is familiar with the process.” – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.