MANILA, Oct 27 (Mabuhay) — Marine environmental protection can make a positive impact on the country’s socioeconomic health, a high-ranking official said Wednesday.

Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman (left) with Senate President Migz Zubiri (right) during her senate confirmation hearing. (MNS photo)

Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman made this remark in a speech during the opening of the National Marine Pollution Exercise (MARPOLEX) 2022 at the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Headquarters in South Harbor, Manila.

“We, at the Department of Budget and Management would like to express our full support to the Philippine Coast Guard and the main objective of today’s event — environmental preservation,” she said in her speech.

Pangandaman pointed out that environmental preservation is reflected in the country’s proposed 2023 national budget wherein PHP453.1 billion has been earmarked as climate change expenditures.

She likewise highlighted the increased budgetary allocation for PCG.

To further strengthen PCG’s capability in ensuring the country’s safety and security, she said the DBM allocated a total of PHP21.26 billion to the PCG for 2023, which is higher than this year’s budget of PHP19.31 billion.

Pangandaman also encouraged the PCG and other concerned agencies to proactively engage in expenditure tracking to conduct a proper reflection of climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts in the government.

“We believe that your work in marine environmental protection has valuable contributions to the achievement of a sustainable economy,” she added.

PCG Commandant Artemio Abu, for his part, expressed gratitude to the DBM Secretary for gracing the event.

“We are honored to have Secretary Pangandaman with us today. We know and feel in our hearts that she is indeed an advocate of environmental protection,” he said.

The MARPOLEX Manila 2022 aims to showcase the PCG’s capability in oil spill response, firefighting, search and rescue, and response to various incidents occurring in the country’s maritime jurisdiction.

The activity will likewise test, evaluate and enhance the effectiveness of the working relationship of the PCG with other government agencies and maritime stakeholders. (MNS)