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Filipinos, how are you adapting to climate change? You ask, we answer

Lucille L. Sering's picture

Climate change is definitely upon us.  You don’t need to have a scientific mind to realize this, as recent natural calamities have shown in the Philippines, which also swept through some parts of Southeast Asia causing hundreds of casualties and losses to the economy: Typhoons Ondoy (International name: Ketsana) and Pepeng (Parma) in 2009 that flooded Metro Manila; Sendong (Washi) in 2011 which was recognized as the world’s deadliest storm in 2011; and Pablo (Bopha) in 2012.  Certainly, this is a little discomforting and makes us a little bit apprehensive about our future. To lessen our anxiety about this phenomenon, it helps to ask questions and get answers. It’s also good to know if something is being done to address the problem – and know that it is being done right.

The Aquino government has been very aggressive in its approach to address the problem of climate change.  It staffed the Climate Change Commission  (CCC) and made it functional. The CCC coordinates and provides oversight and policy advice on programs and projects on climate change. It is also tasked to craft the National Strategic Framework on Climate Change and the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP). The latter serves as the country’s roadmap to effectively deal with the problem. The CCC also takes a strong stand in international negotiations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

To give more teeth to the government’s efforts to adapt to climate change, another law was passed creating the People’s Survival Fund (PSF). With an initial fund of P1 billion pesos (equivalent to US25 million), the special fund will be used for climate change adaptation programs and projects at the local level.

To ensure that the government stays on the right path, through the Climate Change Commission and the Department of Budget and Management, it has requested the World Bank to undertake a study to review government expenditures related to climate change and institutions with mandates to address climate change.

The study called the Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review or CPEIR, also provides a general backdrop of projected increases in global temperature and its corresponding effects:

  • Globally, since 1950, ocean temperature increased by about 0.09oC
  • Sea levels have been rising by 15-20 cm from pre-industrial levels with the rate nearly doubling from that of the past century.
  • Industrial activity was non-existent in the Philippines during this period and any GHG emission could only come from agricultural and other normal processes. However, as a small and archipelagic country, the Philippines is highly vulnerable to sea-level rise. The report cited a study (Dasgupta et al. 2009) which listed the cities of San Jose, Manila, Roxas and Cotabato among the top 10 most vulnerable cities in the East Asia and Pacific Region to sea-level rise.

Based on the study, climate change clearly poses a threat to human survival. It foretells of the submergence of coastal communities due to sea-level rise. It also projects the occurrence of frequent and stronger typhoons, and of prolonged, intense heat in the summers and heavy rains and flooding during rainy season. It also tells of the dire consequences of these natural catastrophes to human habitation, food supply, the degradation of ecosystem services and eventual extinction of some species. This clearly shows that climate change is a development issue that threatens the gains and economic development attained in past decades. Agriculture, for instance, which relies on a stable, regular weather pattern will be adversely affected, if such pattern is disrupted by climate change.

While the Philippines is not a major green house gas (GHG) emitter, the report projects that our country’s GHG emission will continue to increase in the years to come. This growth will be due to a growing economy, heightened urbanization, increased demand and use of energy and the expected increase in the number of vehicles, all of which are highly dependent on crude oil for energy.

Given the above, the report recommends several measures along three main lines:

  • strengthening planning, execution, and financing framework for climate change
  • enhancing leadership and accountability through monitoring, evaluation, and review of climate change policies and activities
  • building capacity and managing change

The report, to be launched on June 25, 2013 in Manila, also calls on the government to address several barriers to effective implementation of the climate change agenda.

Meanwhile, a survey commissioned by the World Bank and conducted by the Social Weather Station finds that many Filipinos say they are now experiencing the effects of a changing climate. The survey looked into the level of knowledge of Filipinos about the impacts of climate change as well as their personal experience/s about it. We’ll soon share the results of this survey on www.worldbank.org/ph, but in the meantime, perhaps there are those who are still in the dark about how to adapt to a changing climate, or how the government is working to mitigate its effects.

If you have questions about this topic or would like to share some observations about your environment, please post them in the comments section of this blog. Join the conversation on Twitter by sending your feedback to @worldbankasia and to @CCCommissionPh with hashtag #askCCC and we'll make sure to respond to them. We hope to address all your concerns and will be selecting five of the most pressing questions and answer them in a short video called   5 Questions, 5 Minutes to be posted on www.worldbank.org/ph. Ask now!

Image courtesy of audiovisualjunkie through a Creative Commons license

Comments

Submitted by jose dennis mancia on

there's a need for us to strengthen DRRM and capacitate communities to respond to and mitigate the impact of climate change.. since floods and other natural calamities are now becoming predictable, it is high time that governments and communities will work hand in hand in risk reduction especially in areas susceptible to hazards.. paradigm shift is now important in local policy planning to include climate change...

Submitted by Andrew Williams on

Having visited the Philippines several times I find it hard to not think of its major city Manila as a green house emitter - the dirty diesel buses, open burning, and just the uncontrolled pollution would be a perfect look at what can happen if we don't get our hands around this problem.

Submitted by MC on

What about development? They say a lot about it in my country. Here is what I think about it. Trees are cut down for development. Birds and animals migrate or die when their natural habitats are disturbed by development. When volcanoes/mountains become tourists spots, it is development. When mountains are converted into subdivisions and leisure parks, it is development. When our seas are on the list of the most beautiful beaches of the world, it is development (nevertheless the garbage and pollution to our waters). We always think of having the best amenities, the best tourist spots, the best leisure parks, the best buildings, the best hotels, the best condominiums, the best beaches (public and those owned by few through club membership), the best in everything.
Bottom is- why are we thinking and acting on climate change just now? What are we gonna do with the extreme temperatures that is already a product of our past decisions? Can we still go back when my countries forest covers consists 70% of our total land area and animals were many, not extinct? Can we still go to our waters and enjoy fishing because it's abundant of sea creatures?
We may strengthen our policies, make laws again and again but if implementation is weak, it's still the same. Lesser evil is still evil as they say.
I always hear this from my mother when my father would cut even a small tree and not replace it, "you are selfish! what about our children?"

Submitted by Ramon Garcia on

Put it simply: we aren't. The government and indeed, the Filipinos themselves are only aggravating the problem.

Funds get misused, projects abandoned, leaders are oftentimes self-serving and corrupt, and Juan dela Cruz oftentimes just doesn't give a damn and goes along merrily.

Statistics can say that rates are down, but I won't say the situation is improving when I still hear of barangays that keep getting blindsided and devastated by floods and typhoons, despite the exact same thing happening last year and the year before that and the year before that...

You think they'd learn by now, but no.

Submitted by L.E. Fernandez on

“Does our government do anything about it? ” This could be one of the questions of a clueless, uninformed Juan Dela Cruz unless he has a pack of relief goods in his hands. Our government has implemented several laws or acts but are those actions enough to meet our goals for the benefit of our state?

I think we should not just blame our government for their slow action/response to a natural calamity. We should also blame ourselves. Let’s not clean our hands people. It is just sad to say that we know about these phenomena, this climate change, but we don’t do a thing about it. Maybe we just do it at first but in the long run we tend to forget it. We are all responsible for the disasters we experience, even though we are used to it and we Filipinos still have time to smile. But are we not getting tired to experience floods every time a typhoon visits our city?

Just like some of the comments here, I am also bothered that some of us are not that very well informed by our government on how to effectively prevent it, not all of us have access to these kinds of information. And much more that our LGUs have insufficient number of knowledgeable and skilled staffs to reach out for those people even though we have funds.

I think we should raise the level of awareness about it, I mean to the highest level! I know that we can’t totally stop it in just a snap but I believe we can PREVENT the increase of temperature every year by starting from a small step, from ourselves by having discipline. And by doing all together we can make a much effective change. And we should keep in mind that we are not doing this for our own but for our nature and other harmed species also.

Submitted by Pamela Roco on

APATHY

Apathy is the disease that our country is beset and plagued with.

When we think that we can not do anything, it’s “bahala na,” or thingking we can not make a difference, being indifferent and lacking in concern to the matters of politics, that is our problem.

But this apathy is also brought about by little information to the masses. The government has to think of more creative ways to reach the people – the ones who think they do not matter. Radio and tv soaps with plots related to current events – like climate change, or the pork barrel. Ask a commoner, a regular person on the street what the pork barrel is – if anything, they will only know that again, the government has stolen millions from the people.

Education and information is a primary concern.

In Baguio City, every single typhoon that batters the city floods the City Camp Lagoon. This area is a natural basin, where there should be no residents in the first place, because of its’ natural geographical location. The very same residents are also causing this flooding – by carelessly disposing sachets of used shampoos, toothpastes, detergents, etc. Everytime the flood gates are monitored or cleaned up, it is the same materials we see every single time - sachets for shampoos, toothpastes, detergents, etc.

Why is it so difficult to make these residents understand that they have to do something about this sachet practice which is flooding them every time?

At the same time, there is progressive building, and cutting of trees, even in watersheds., then they wonder – why erosion? Why the landslide?

Apathy. My question is: How do you solve apathy?

Submitted by Nikki Coleen Garcia on

“Be the change that you want to see in this world.” This is a famous line from the great Mahatma Gandhi, considered as the father of Indian independence. For me, this simply means that if we would like to see change, we should be a model of that change.

Climate change is considered as one of the most pressing concerns not only in our country but in the world. This is not a new issue but until now, it seems that we are not taking it seriously, not until we can drastically see the long term effects of our actions against Mother Nature.

I would just like to share my observation. I’ve been out of the country, in South Korea and Malaysia and I can say that compared to the Philippines, those two countries value their nature. Their environment is very clean. One thing they have that we lack is simply discipline. Let’s admit it. Most Filipinos have no discipline. Even if the sign says “Bawal magtapon ng basura dito,” you can still see the garbage beside.

How many “Ondoy” do we still need for us to be awake and to take action in this climate change? Have we forgotten how many innocent lives were sacrificed because of the tragedy that we had in 2009? I can still remember that this tragedy is one of the most unforgettable part of the Philippines’ history. It seems that nature made its way in making us realize what we have done. I hope that our government will also put fighting climate change in one of its priorities. The best time in caring for our nature was 10 years ago. The second best time is now.

Submitted by ma. angelica bl... on

For one, if the primary cause of climate change is the destruction of our forest land then the answer is very simple.Complete prohibition of the cutting of trees and replanting all cogonal lands in the entire country. The cost production for a single plant to grow for three to five years is just minimal, maybe one peso per year and the government has a lot of money. Channel the pork barrel money for three planting and we will solve the problem before the end of Pnoy's term. Likewise, require all filipinos to plant five trees per year and that would be around billion trees in three years time. It just need good leadership and motivation from our leaders.

Submitted by Anthonette Cimacio on

THE JUNE 25, 2013 WORLD BANK REPORT

I have read the World Bank report on Philippine Climate Change, namely “Getting A Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines: A World Bank Report”(1). I must say that our government deserves a pat on the back for developing programs and action plans such as the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP). After reading the whole report, there are some questions that popped into my mind.

It was mentioned there that departments focusing on climate change lack manpower, or as quoted from the report itself, “Departments have an insufficient number of knowledgeable and skilled staff on climate policy, financing, and institutions.” This insufficiency contributes to the “knowledge gap and the lack of a knowledge management system”. What are the specific ways to address these concerns, most especially on the lack of human resources part?

Do these ways need financing knowing that we are also short of the financial means? As stated on the said report, “knowledge and capacity development is largely underfunded despite its importance and prominence in the NCCAP.”

Also, according to the final results of the Employment Situation in January 2013 by the National Statistics Office (NSO), 33.7% of the total unemployed were high school graduates, 5.6% were post-secondary graduates, 13.1% were college undergraduates, and 16.9% were college graduates (2). That is a total of 69.3%, or roughly 2 009 700 Filipinos. This means that there are around 2 million Filipinos who could be trained, considering their literacy skills secondary to their educational attainment. Could this ‘lack of manpower’ issue settle the ‘underemployment and unemployment issue’ our country is also experiencing? Does allocating unemployed Filipinos to climate change projects help iron out these issues, thus hitting two birds with one stone? This will need some financing for the trainings, but at least we know where we will get the human resource.

References:
(1) “Getting A Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines: A World Bank Report”. Retrieved September 30, 2013 from http://reliefweb.int/report/philippines/getting-grip-climate-change-phil...
(2) Employment Situation in January 2013 (Final Results). Retrieved September 30, 2013 from http://census.gov.ph/content/employment-situation-january-2013-final-res...

Submitted by Fritzie B. Enfectana on

If I may point out, this is not the time to work on climate issues. Some of the current administration’s detractors opposed the 1B Peso People’s Survival Fund (PSF) because of the suspicion that the fund would be pocketed directly to some politicians’ instead to the implementing agencies which are entrusted for consolidating these funds. Instead of unsolicited information, why not help directly on the program so they would be able to monitor the proceeds. Our president himself, personally looking-out on this program, had said that the PSF fund is expected to receive funding by 2014. The aim of these funding is to implement Local Climate Change Action Plan to make local communities be resilient to climate-induce disaster. This is to improve the capacity of local government to address climate change. However, according to World Bank report, there are knowledge gaps and knowledge management system that hinders the execution of the Climate Reforms and Action. But happy to know, some recommendations of some agencies are already done to centralize these programs.
We as locals should help our government at least to lessen the burden. Even the Action Plan is not wrapped-up yet, let us do our duty and be responsible to our environment. By Reducing, Reusing and Recycling.
The effects of Global Warming thus changing our climate is not waiting for some far-flung future. It is already happening and we are already experiencing the backwash now. According to Renato Redentor Constantino, Executive Director of the Institute of Climate and Sustainable Cities. “Government should not have to carry out this agenda on its own. Partnership is everything”.

References:
WB Report on Climate Change in the Philippines

Submitted by Oneil Ferrer on

Being in a tropical country, it is inevitable that climate change is the best definition of what concerns people today. Although implications of solutions may be subtle, attention to environmental health is still intact. Rather than focusing on using financial models to organize cooperation, why not develop community programs with no money traded? Such is seen on groups that prevent floods through planting of trees. Hence, we can see that the problem is not the climate change itself, but the possible problem it might contribute to the society. The government of the Philippines are unable to cope with the overpopulation of the poor. Five or more children are common; it’s as if they think having more offspring would do more good than bad. Afterwards, they would often blame the corruption of the government because of their position in the economy. The best probable solution is to inject non-harmful natural substances that provide impotency so that the population will still be manageable. This shall be done with their consent through proper education and teaching of the consequences that may arouse if they add another person to feed on.

Climate change has been around since the earth’s early times. To prevent it is not the problem, as to cope with it is the solution. Floods, earthquakes and other natural calamities are subjected to proper care of the environment and migration to other areas when a probable calamity may occur. In a manageable population, there wouldn’t be unemployment if the impotency solution occurs and zero-inflation of agricultural products shall be made unto the rule of law.

I think it's time to stop thinking of every object as a form of commodity and acknowledge the value of life rather than enjoying it with materialistic means. Your dreams become sugar-coated with home theatre, swimming pools and mansions. The illusion of closing your eyes in a dream is false, you never stop seeing. Grasp the beauty of ocean, mountains, trees and relationship with other humans. Desire nothing, as to perceive nothing is to accept everything as your own. Money ends up in nothingness, and only leads to isolation.

Teenagers flood their thoughts with celebrities’ life crisis, rather than opening their eye on what real-life problems arouse in the world of today. Does curiosity always lead to happiness?
If a person named Gina was active at social networks, saw all tweets of her favourite celebrities, compare her to another person who did not, does that really make her happier?
Is this what makes life worth living?

Submitted by Marionne Faye Adique on

Upstreaming rather than solving issues at the tail-end.

In order to solve this issue, the government should take a careful look on the primary cause of climate change. The establishment of Climate Change Commission (CCC) may be the first step of the society's aim to lessen, if not totally eliminate, pollution, green house gases and other factors contributing to climate change.

Now that an agency has been commissioned, the next step is to keep the nation informed. Efforts could yield higher outcomes if mainstreaming is implemented. In fact, climate change is a serious problem that does serious damage. Therefore, the urgency of this issue should be given enough attention not just by the national government but also by the commoners who have also been contributors to this issue.

However, urbanization shouldn't be impeded. Actions that promote development should also render responsible citizenship. Maybe the Department of Energy (DOE) should also exert additional efforts to promote the use of renewable energy which will not compromise the environmental aspect of the society. Together with CCC, they are to work hand-on-hand in finding ways to solve climate change without hampering the country's growth.

The best way is still to educate the Filipinos and to make them realize that their actions will influence the future. Now that its effects are being felt nationwide, I believe that everyone will take this issue more seriously. Nevertheless, everyone else will suffer.

Submitted by Franz Nikos on

While I'm glad that the government has begun taking these steps, it leaves a lot to be desired. For one, awareness about climate change needs to be raised much more than the current state.

The effects of climate change are obvious from all the natural disasters that recently came bringing about flooding and such, but these concepts are not connected to each other by everyone. The WB Report also states that Knowledge and Capacity Development has always been on a lower budget. How could the people do their part if they don't know what's happening? All I've heard recently is a lot of flooding and lost work hours and revenue.

While a fund for damages is good, I'm hoping the focus would be on development plans (for mitigation) that reflects foresight into the potential effects of climate change. We cannot stop development, but we can make it appropriate.

The Philippines has many facets where it could start these steps, and I'm hoping the government will take the right steps with the right objectives.

Submitted by Hannah Kim on

It is true that the world is experiencing global crisis, specifically the Philippines. Nowadays, we experience natural calamities like typhoons, earthquake, flash floods, landslide or even climate change that we need to be alert and ready not only us but also the government. We Filipinos are born to be wise, grew with a better education, achieved high discipline, patriotism and nationalism. However, these values seems to disappear because of the selfishness and immoral doing. There are people who tend to be good in the eyes of everyone but in reality they are not while some if not all have the worst malevolence attitude towards man and environment.

Also, Man versus Environment has a great impact to each and everyone of us because in this case Man is helpless. We cannot predict what the environment will do to us in return of what we did in our roughly endeavor towards to our mother earth - which is a place for us to nourish our potentials and character to be good and serves as a role model to the youth and to our future generations.

Today we live in a world of technology but still waste is still one of the problems that our country and the whole world are facing. Hence, disaster happened like the floods and serious illness which are some of the causes of the inappropriate attitude that we do in our environment. Because of the many improvements (like infrastructures) in our country we did not look beyond what are the positive and negative effect of these improvements that would affect our existence and environment.

At this time, even the government is establishing and improving different laws that will secure the well being of the Filipinos, still many of us are not following the set rules and guidelines pertaining to a law. The politicians did an excellent law which entails everything in the Republic Act No. 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000). It is a law securing all the terms and concept regarding non-toxic and toxic waste for the benefit of the people and the environment. The law focuses to the development of the country in dealing with 3Rs namely Reduce, Reuse and Recycling which is the main purpose of the law.

Unfortunately, we Filipino always denotes this saying “In every rule, there is at least one exemption” Yes, we follow but much of the time we disobey the law. The result was a great fall to us and even to our motherland. The sad part is, if our countrymen go abroad they strictly abide the laws of other country but in their own country they are not subsequent.

What I want to say is, I think we lack the value of discipline. Discipline is the highest form of trait that the people must have. A concerted, focused effort, involving personal sacrifice, dedication of resources, and risk, which is directed toward the accomplishment of a particular goal. Simple rule we cannot follow, if we will only abide the law governing the environment and act by heart we can preserve our mother earth and this action will allow the future generation live happily and peacefully.

Furthermore, we as concern people must see beyond what it is. We should know what is really happening here, because other people hide what is true to defend their personal interest. We can contribute/share the knowledge that we have acquired in loving, caring and preserving our mother land. If every individual will do positive in every aspect of their lives especially toward our environment, we will definitely solve the problem of natural calamities and we must do it by “heart”. Sharing and imparting what we know for the benefit of the others will promote harmonious and peaceful existence to the environment and to all mankind. Also, news media serves a great factor to inform people of what is the current situation of our planet and what can we do to resolve and help for a lifetime benefits. Lastly, I would like to share this quotation from John F. Kennedy the 35th President of United States of America saying “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”.

I remember one time that after a devastating flood here in my hometown in southern Philippines, one of our officials stated that much of what is causing climate change are the bigger industrialized nations which put out more greenhouse gases. And the consequences of that is smaller island countries such as the Philippines are gravely affected by it due to rising sea levels and typhoons.

I know that what’s done is done and we can’t turn on the blame game anymore. Everyone has to consciously do their part in mitigating the effects of climate change. I support the other comments here which state that information about the government’s projects on climate change should be disseminated very well to the public so that the people would know what part they can do on this. If the government has really been aggressive in solving this problem, then it’s time to strengthen its efforts. And not just think locally, but globally. We need to work with other countries because this is a global problem – a problem caused globally and can be solved globally. We could go on and on about this until radical changes have been done and we can sense a better environment all throughout the years.

And just a thought, I mentioned this state of climate change to my Chemistry teacher before and she said climate change is just a phase that the world goes through and everything will go back to normal after a period of time. And how about typhoons which are a nature’s way of cleaning up the atmosphere? Is this true? What are your thoughts about this “nature’s way of spring cleaning?”

Submitted by Myra O. Papica on

Climate change is apparently a major concern that the world should focus much attention on. Not only does it play a major role in the lives of the present generation, but it also plays a great role in the lives of the future generation.
There are shifts in the climate condition in the Philippines and this is because of the greenhouse effect that is happening nowadays. This situation makes the standard not functional since it cannot ratify the fast changing condition of the climate. These days, we encounter extreme heat every summer, even during normal day and during rainy season, we experience strong typhoons that make the whole city or even the province drenched into flood. Climate change is likely to cause natural disasters. The faster the climate changes, the greater will be the risk of damage to the environment. Many ecosystems may decline or fragment and individual species might become extinct.
However, as much as we want to hate disasters, we also have to realize that we are the ones who gave way to climate change. Humans and their activities are the main causes of it. These changes also are all because of the alteration made by humans on the environment, many developments were made and the natural terrain of the land also changes. The effect of climate change is quite worrying. What made sad about it was, we, our human activities were the biggest contributing factor of this climate changes. Due to the various effects of climate changes, I will consider this issue a problem and it is not just an ordinary problem, I personally considered it the biggest problem of this generation that needs immediate attention and solution.
There were nothing to worry about the changes if it not leads to global warming, than in a span of time it will slowly destroy our ecosystem and kill hundreds, thousands and even millions of living creature on the crust of our planet.
Caring for the environment has always been a major concern of nations around the world. As much as possible, we want to make sure that we earn minimal environmental damages as we pursue commercial and industrial development. This is apparently in light of the fact that whatever happens to the environment necessarily affects individuals on the ground, not just in terms of individual health but in terms of sustaining the entire earth’s life as well.
Prevention, adaptation and alleviation of the worse scenario of global warming lies in our hand, if we join the global campaign of lessening the greenhouse gas emission and will help protecting our forest. Let’s act now, tomorrow might be late.

Filipinos preparedness against Climate Change.

I have observed that most of us Filipinos are not prepared in Climate Change although we see the news on TV about climate change and government’s action plan, many of us are not really preparing against it. We see advertisement on TV promoting how to survive or escape these natural disasters but not how to be ready and calm once it’s there. During these natural calamities especially during rainy season, it is normal to see people flooding evacuation areas, crying and asking for help on TV like it is the end of the world. I can say this observation because we’ve been through this. Me and my family experienced it. I lived in Pampanga, specifically in Sto. Tomas which is a normal site for typhoon and flood from June to December. Prices of food and commodities get higher whenever flood affects our town. Life became so difficult and struggle whenever this calamity happens. We rely mostly in the relief goods coming from the government and praying that flood will subside so that we could back to our normal lives and small balot egg bussiness where each day income is enough to feed us daily.

These recent years, it is no doubt that we felt the most destructive impact of climate change. Metro Manila which was seldom seen affected by typhoon before is now impacted heavily by flood though rain is just within 6 hours.

Implement citizen’s awareness and action plan program.

I believe that although we can’t stop climate change, we can at least adapt to it or slow its impact. It is now ideal to go back to ancient wisdom and nature’s way of solving its own issue.

Modification in houses. I suggest (only if someone can afford and accept this) Houses should change its architecture, an architecture that can stand storm and survive flood – the typical Nippa hut. Yes , we can strengthen and modify it if we like. Provided that the concept of having a refreshing or cool air during hot climate and an elevated floor for the rainy days must be there. Nippa hut of our ancestors is known to survive the hot and rainy season of this country, the wisdom of its architecture is tested to surpass earthquakes, typhoons, floods and hot climate.

Vertical Farming and Food storage. I also suggest the concept of how ants store their food for the wet season. I have seen an idea from youtube of maximizing a small space through vertical vegetable farming which they call “ Risers in container gardening” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7o_5UKIKTo). It is also good to teach people how to do Food canning. This is to avoid panic buying during typhoon season and also massive budget for relief goods from the government which also came from its taxpayers.

Tree Planting. I also hope that government will have a strong campaign of planting forest trees that will help prevent landslides and flashfloods. I believe that government should mandate tree planting from its citizens and conduct a strong campaign for it which should also be seen on all analog TVs. There must be a dedicated place to which its citizen must plant trees. Government must command its citizen because I know that Filipinos will follow their leader if communication is specific and for the good and safety of all.

Media’s involvement. I believe that media must also play a big part promoting this campaign and innovation to battle climate change. It is a must to raise awareness and mobilize this kind of program (those ideas mentioned above) We should not only rely on government’s actions and complain if they overlooked us. I am thankful with what this administration is doing to ensure the safety of its people however teamwork together with its people is also necessary to adapt in climate change.

I hope that the suggestions mentioned above will add additional ideas or innovations to the call of the government. I don’t want to ask what this administration is doing or throw negative comments. I also do not want to criticize my surrounding like adding insult to injury. I’ve seen what this administration is doing and I believe that. It is not easy to lead a country full of doubting and skeptic citizens. I had experienced the worst and will experience more because I live in this country . Like what PNOY asked before “What can I contribute to help this nation?” For now this is my share. Tomorrow I know I can do better.

Submitted by Jaime Emil Thom... on

Our country is currently at a phase in its existence wherein turmoil seems to be a prevalent word. We are continually hounded by a variety of issues that involve corruption, poverty, bad governance, faulty education, natural disasters, disaster management, climate change, criminal activity, and the list goes on and on. It wouldn't even be too outrageous to proclaim that these issues somehow intertwine.

With that in mind, I'd like to focus on these particular issues: Bad Governance, Corruption, and Disaster Management. It's no secret that the Philippines is a hotbed for all kinds of natural phenomena. With the destruction brought about by volcanic eruptions, tropical storms like Ondoy and Pablo, massive heat waves, you'd think that there would actually our government would actually be heavily invested in political reforms that aim to address these issues. Lo and behold, our government is futile in its attempt to govern.

We, as a Filipino people, however, are gifted with opportunities to gather and attempt to appease the destruction brought about by natural disasters. There are numerous initiatives like the Go Green Philippines! movement or the Philippine Red Cross wherein we can actually lend a hand. I, myself, was blessed enough to participate in the One Million Trees project during my time in De La Salle University. It's as simple as finding the motivation and initiative to actually participate in societal transformation.

However, we must not be complacent. The presence of these initiatives and movements are swell, but there is a substantial amount of influence that real political reform in government can bring. We must continue to pressure our legislators and national leaders to continually ensure the safety of our people by drafting and establishing systems of disaster management and response initiatives.

The responsibility always lies with us.

Submitted by Daryl Abina on

Climate change has been a long-standing issue not just in the Philippines or Southeast Asia but all over the world. Heat waves during summer, worst possible flooding during the rainy season and for some countries, destructive hurricanes and several feet of snow during winter. Encroaching sea threatening low lying coastal areas including great cities like New York, Venice and Bangkok. As citizens, we must work hand-in-hand with the government in implementing these adaptive measures. Everyone should be well informed about the possible and further effects of climate change. Precautions must be undertaken to prevent massive lost of lives and other risks whenever a natural disaster strikes. Proper information is the key not just for adapting to these changes but also to educate the people on how to minimize the effects of climate change. Also, citizens should keep a watchful eye on the government's usage of funds for programs relating to climate change. This will ensure that the budget for these programs will be used properly and effectively. And since calamities are to be anticipated every year, proper distribution of disaster funds should be overseen.

Submitted by joj agpangan on

There is no single answer to climate change...

As Filipinos we should be aware of what's happening to our Mother Earth. We are responsible for it. There is climate change because of us. We tend to ask question how and why this is happening but we are not doing anything.

There is a widespread view that the increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs) is a contributor to climate change, with adverse effects on the environment. Climate change is also because of illegal logging. We Filipinos should do our part to stop climate change. As simple as planting of trees can help stop climate change.

We should start now in helping to stop climate for the future...

Submitted by Ser Isidro San Pedro on

There are many causes why there are floods caused by climate change here in the country. Garbage from slum settlers residing beside the rivers of the metro. Poor site construction of houses and buildings that clog water pathways going towards the ocean. There’s just too many buildings constructed throughout the city that rainwater is having a hard time to subside when it’s pouring hard. Another cause of climate change is air pollution. The lack of action towards vehicle smoke belchers in the streets. Factories that emit harmful gases to the atmosphere and harmful chemicals in the waterways of Metro Manila.

There are some ways that we as individuals can do to prevent calamities and contribute to the conservation of our natural resources. Like in saving electricity, turn off the lights and appliances that are not in use. In saving water, simply closing of the faucet when not needed, water recycling, fix leaking pipes and prevent children from playing with water. Oil consumption reduction can also help save our environment. When going somewhere near, use alternative environment friendly mode of transportation like bicycles. Support environment friendly cars or hybrid cars. There is a big impact to our environment on proper garbage disposal. We should all adhere to the waste segregation policy where our households separate biodegradables from non-biodegradables. These simple ways can help in the combat against calamities caused by climate change.

Submitted by Mellanie Santos on

I'm from Malabon and nobody knows about flooding the way that we Malabonians do. Flooding has been a part of our culture since time out of mind. My worst experience would be during 2012 Habagat when some barangays were completely underwater. Here in our house the water was knee-deep, outside was waist-deep and on the roads, neck-deep (based on the height of a 5'7" person). And now I am in terror upon hearing the news about storms getting stronger and sea levels getting higher due to global warming. As of the moment, our barangay experiences flood on a regular basis even during the absence of rain and high tide. The water levels on rivers are noticeably higher,too. But what does the government do? Nothing.

I think that the government should make the people aware of this matter. I have been following @CCCommissionPh on twitter for quite some time now, and that's where I usually get my info about climate change, but how many poor Filipinos have access to computers?How many people would understand the geohazard maps on the project noah website by DOST?

If the government is having a hard time figuring out the solution to this problem, why don't they just start by informing the Filipinos about climate change? I haven't heard or seen the government do an infomercial about global warming. Also, I suggest that the Department of Education include climate change in the curriculum. Students should be made aware of this matter at an early age so that the practices that they should do to help the environment would be ingrained in them. It should be made as a subject and not just a topic in passing so that information would be consistently available and it would be an opportunity for the students to engage in different activities that could help save the environment. A 10-15 minute topic a day wouldn't hurt. Information/awareness is the best tool that we have.

Submitted by Greg Yoingco on

Climate change is a huge factor in the developmental aspects of every community, they need to adapt to these changes and be prepared for it. The urban poor or the informal settlers should be the targeted priority of the government since they have the highest risk of getting severe impact from these climate changes. The government should at least educate the society about the climate change policies and activities that can occur. The government should ensure that we are capable or at least have programs to make us ready or be prepared in the coming years from these climate changes. The saying “better late than never” is a good example that it is not too late to make a difference to these climate changes, every action have consequences and that’s what we are dealing right now. And we as individuals can somehow change it, by starting with ourselves.

But what should or what can we do as individuals?
Follow simple rules, like throwing away your garbage in the proper disposal area, conserving energy, re use things, or whatever little or small ways you can that you know can contribute to the environment. What better way to start by than starting small, as they say “baby steps”.

Submitted by Fatima Ren on

I didn’t wonder why calamities occur for unexpected time and place. We ‘people’ who make everything around us, everything happens in our environment is the product of our labor. Let’s think about it, why there are floods especially in Metro Manila and landslides in province even though the rain is not too heavy? Whatever laws, how much budget spent to overcome these problems, if people don’t participate and don’t know how to discipline, we can’t go over from these. Everything is wasted. We will still continue to suffer and probably lose more lives with these human induced calamities over and over again.
In my own perspective we should know how to discipline ourselves in protecting our mother earth, our provider of food, shelter, clothes and daily needs.
The big problem to us is we are taking advantage of what our nature has. How about our future children? We make some predictions what would happen after 20 years and so on. What we must think first is to how we could make ourselves be contented. We are selfish, we want more and more, everything we see that is good in our eyes we go for it to grab opportunities for our personal needs. We didn’t notice that our environment is calling our attention to change, to do actions and to bring back the natural resources lost and fill these more.
Government must take this seriously, it’s nice to hear their solutions they want to be imposed, but the absence of actions is the incompleteness of resolution. Climate change is the big problem facing our society where the main caused is pollution, lack of ability to make improvised materials instead of using modern technology that destroy our natural resources. Philippines is one of the undisciplined countries when it comes to protecting the environment. What we sow is what we harvest. Don’t go beyond this point, we have enough time to fix the difficulties around us in our environment and it would start with ourselves. Don’t let the climate change lost ac thousands lives more, don’t let our lives live on undesirable society. Let’s help each other, protect our mother earth and let’s do actions instead of making talks.

Submitted by Allison Mair Ignacio on

Having read the World Bank report, it didn’t surprise me that climate change has been a big factor in the disasters (typhoons, floods, landslides) that have been affecting the Philippines. It is good that the government has been taking steps in trying to prevent the negative effects of climate change, but, as stated in the article, it lacks the funds and the manpower to be as effective as it is proposed to be.

As budget is scarce, I can see why manpower is also an issue. I think that aside from managing these things, the government should also look into promoting public knowledge about climate change. The only way to invite more individuals into working in this type of sector is to inform the public and instill in people a sense of importance regarding their environment and their motherland.

Already we are experiencing the negative effects of this phenomenon, and individuals are taking action in disasters and floods in order to save lives. But this is not enough. We need to remedy this problem by finding the root of the problem and putting a stop to it.

Submitted by Daisy G. Pindang on

DEBT TO MOTHER NATURE

It is sad to know that the Philippines is never spared of all kinds of fortuitous events or should I say natural calamities. At first, I wanted to blame the people for being so careless in terms of garbage disposal especially in the crowded areas in Metro Manila. Way back then and up until now, I honestly do not like to go to Manila (since I am not a city type girl) because I hate to see garbage in every corner of the street and I hate to experience heavy downpour of rain yet no proper drainage is good enough to let the water flow. In fairness to the clean districts though, they did good!. But what about the rest of the area? The government should impose a strict rule on garbage disposal and should keep on educating people about it and remind them of the beauty it would give us had we known proper garbage disposal. My first step in Manila last May was a disaster. I left the house noon time and came back by 7 pm but sad to say I was stocked in the corner of the street looking for a roof to keep myself from being wet. What's worse was I could not bare walking in the street with a knee high water. Imagine the dirt and microbes within this knee high water! And aside from that, there's this unfortunate people who lives beside the street and pees everywhere! It was like I wanted to cry because I could not get to my best friend's house so easily and so quickly. Another thing the government must see is the illegal mining in some areas of the Philippines that causes landslides. Had the government was so strict on the paper works of issuing the right permit to the mining moguls there should not be a landslide. Climate change is not only of a person or two. Cutting trees is also very rampant. But I am happy to share that in my local community people are now aware of the result of cutting even a single trunk of tree. Now that's being responsible, isn't it? Very often we see news on national TV of a depression coming to our PAR. We have not yet recovered from previous disaster yet another one is yet to come.
An unending lesson we have to carry for the rest of our lives. I should say that the government should focus on the implementation of rules that would help deter yet another event that would cost lives of the people in the society and people must be very cooperative so that we can have a nation that is livable for the next generation to come.

Submitted by Rosendy B. Palattao on

Climate Change is inevitable especially in today’s age, yet we can reduce its massive threat to extinction of species and humanities. Ideally, it was said on this article that one of the great causes of Climate Change is the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This is identified as the human-induced alteration of the natural world. The use of oil crude as energy highly aggravates this phenomena that affects everyone living on earth.
Natural disasters are sometimes cause of failure of preparation of the communities or even an individual, insufficient knowledge of weather forecast or alert, instruments used to forecast weather condition and individual awareness and understanding about this destructive occurrences.
We can start with what we have. Our main problem in the Philippines is not the flood, per sae, but as a whole is the Climate Change. This is just an effect of what really is the big deal.
In the Philippines alone, I observed that few numbers of places utilizes natural resource-converting energy. This doesn’t need an emission of harm gasses that triggers Climate Change. We have one in Bangui, Ilocos Norte which is the Wind Mill Farm that enables to sustain electricity in the upper region. Other natural-generated energies or what we call Renewable energies are solar energy, Hydro-electric energy, geothermal energy and wind energy. What I think, this is the best projects our government can start implementing since we cannot do anything with what we call “Natural Changes” in our ecosystem.
The best place to start a project is on what we already have and these are renewable resources that are pretty much available especially on our nation. Wise utilization of funds and our resources deals more directly to what we really need in our society. May I ask if our government has thought of such thing to effectively provide the cause of emitting harmful gasses?

Submitted by Enrico Fernando on

First of all, this is the first time I've heard about these programs (including the 1b peso budget) existing in the government. People here are more concerned about current issues concerning the government, civil unrest, disasters and unfortunately celebrities. Media hasn’t done anything to educate the public either. It seems that climate change is a bit boring for their viewers and frankly do not get the rating they want. After all, ratings mean money in their pocket. So I guess that’s one problem on my list concerning this program. People need to be educated. They need to know (and while at it, believe) the details that concern climate change. They need to know why typhoons are getting stronger, why their house is now susceptible to flooding and why it suddenly gets pretty hot right after the monsoons. Once they know (and believe, don’t forget believe) they just might be interested enough so that the government will be more focused and vigilant on climate change.

Let’s now go to the People Survival Fund. It does sound pretty amazing being worth 1 billion pesos but try mentioning it now to a citizen and you’ll find that 9/10 maybe even 10/10 will find it insulting. With the issues now about PDAF and NGOs, how can we trust that this fund will not get lost in paperwork and go straight to the pocket of officials? This fund must be carefully allocated to deserving projects. It doesn't have to be big, but be effective enough to start awareness and change. And again, some of it have to go to educating the public.

Development doesn't have to stop. On the contrary, it is actually a good place to put some of those funds. Public transport is a nightmare in the Philippines. It’s always crowded, hot and there’s always a slight chance you get pick-pocketed. No wonder Filipinos now are buying more cars than before. And cars are a huge contributor to GHG emissions. If we at least try to develop public transport, then perhaps people will start to entertain the idea of using public transport therefore decreasing the amount of automobiles on the road and lower GHG emissions.

People need to care. The public need to know how dire our situation is. Being an archipelago, we are most susceptible and vulnerable to tropical storms and typhoons. And we need to care more about the environment. It’s not about dropping everything you have going in your life right now and go fight for the cause but simply doing what you can to prevent further damage is a must. The simple way of throwing trash on bins or keeping them in your pocket when none is around can have a huge effect on statistics if everyone is religiously doing it. Conserving energy can also mean that less electricity is needed to be produced decreasing the amount of fuel needed to be burned every day.

Submitted by Rochelle Sibal on

Filipinos can manage

How we Filipinos are adapting to climate change? Well I can say that Filipinos are now a days used to flooding especially in the metro area. Even if it's just a normal rain that last for a couple of minutes the streets will be flooded that easily. People are so used to flood that they will listen to weather and traffic reports every time it rains and house buyers always ask if the area is flood free so flood and calamities is part of every Filipinos lives.

Knowing the government is allotting funds for calamities and for adaptation programs and projects, makes you wonder if it's really be going in that said projects, so even though the government is doing something or not we as a human being should be responsible and get involved in making mother earth last longer, for we can no longer stop the climate change cause the damage has been done the only thing that we can do is to lessen the damage by discipline , the simple proper garbage disposal, planting seedlings every time a tree is cut down. We cannot blame anyone even the government for this we should act and contribute individually in possible way we can.

In a tropical country like the ‘Philippines’ indeed climate change is doubtlessly imminent. The mere fact that we should be by now used to such fast weather changing events as long-term or legal residents in this country, yet the impact unfortunately is consistently unpredictable.
Residing in Marikina brought me to a so much more challenging encounter to daily humungous traffic and consistent flooding due to garbage’s clogging the drainages in the city. I wonder why it still occurs despite the maintenance of the city’s cleanliness and its strict prohibition of proper waste management.
The filthy river of Marikina is noticeably containing too much junks and are surely did not originate in the city alone. I staunchly believed that the weather condition is totally uncontrollable but the major predicament is the populations ‘discipline’. People throw their trashes everywhere, too much illegal logging, and irresponsiveness of our own safety. I understand that there are numbers of informal settlers. It made me felt so frustrated watching news about relocation to ensure their safety, and it’s quite saddening that majority of them preferred to stay in such dangerous places rather than migrating in a new unfamiliar yet a safer shelter for them. Too much complain about the accessibility and stuffs, well I will be surely shock-to-death if the government will prioritize to put them in the middle of the business district. It’s like this; prior on planning to teach the world how to dance, you yourself need to ensure your dancing capability first. Bottom line is, we all play a huge role in this world.
If it’s only possible to have done no more on illegal logging, flooding will positively be eliminated. If there are no more informal settlers, the government will no longer have to spend too much for temporary relief goods, less death threats, and a lesser alarming tragedies. If only people all over the Philippines take ownership of their social responsibilities, get ourselves familiarize with the do’s and don’ts and embrace the reality that we are all bound to certain limitations, then this country will be a better place to live in the entire universe!
As per the ‘World Bank’s report’, the CCA (Climate Change Act) requires technical and financial assistance to LGU (Local Government Unit) to perform a local change action plans and unfortunately the needed support is inadequate. Also, one of the major problem as reiterated in the report the appointed department have; insufficient number of knowledgeable and skilled staff‘s, lack of management system, tools are too complex to use and more… Our country seemed to be facing such arduous challenge. Climate change is something that we can’t change, but we can adjust to ensure our safety on the upcoming implication of climate change.

Submitted by Melody Habla on

The diligent efforts of the current administration to address the issue of climate change is highly commendable. Foresight tells us that we must act on this issue as immediately as possible since it’s the lives of our children who are at stake here.

I have read the WB report, and what alarms me is seeing a graph of climate appropriations allotting the least of the funds for knowledge and capacity development.Although it may be justifiable that water sufficiency and environmental stability is dealt with a sense of urgency right now, but in the long run I think that it is more beneficial to capitalize on information dissemination and making sure that the public participates in the government’s action plan. This can only be achieved when the climate policies are integrated in the lives of the people across the nation.

We might need to start with a communication go out delivered by the media to the public about the nitty-gritties of this reform agenda, making it clear to them their role in saving the environment. Next in priority is that the government should build reinforcement strategies that will ensure policies are properly executed. That the practical details are absorbed by the population into their way of life. There is so much emphasis on the implementation here because the heart of the matter is, if the people do not respond to this climate action plan the way they should, it would render the whole “stuff” useless. Saving the environment is not only the responsibility of a few sectors of the society. It is something every individual has an important contribution for. So the government should seek the full cooperation of the people. I can say that the qualifying factor to determine the government’s efficiency in this reform plan is always the question of how well it is able to implement its goals.

A priority for the Aquino government

I remember when PNoy became president, this was one of his priorities. Hence, the evolution and updating of Pag-Asa and other government agencies that was involved with it.

They were really giving it the attention it needed.

We did see the effect of it but it was in its preliminaries
still and other major issues came to fore.

We as a country do have a lot of problems to address but we need to see more the care & follow thru not just from the government but from the whole nation as well.

It cannot be handled just by our government especially now that it's literally crumbling before our eyes.

We need to work hand in hand and have the private sector have a say on the solutions we can do.

There is a need for a more centralized and concentrated effort for climate change governance.

A board that is identifiable and known that can pass on policies and rules on every aspect of climate change.

The DILG is the action guy but we need a think tank go-to group that will pull it all together and DILG can implement it to the grass roots.

A guide, a system, a blueprint ...that is jn place and everyone can follow for every calamity or disaster that we encounter.

Then i'll be more confident that we will manage as a country.

As for me, i just feel that i am groping with the issue of climate change, a little bit misguided still. Not knowing where it starts & ends.

Yes, we stop using plastics, we avoid littering, we sort the garbage etc etc

What more?

it's bits and pieces here & there. Yes, we do need TRUE guidance on what to do wholistically.

Submitted by Danilo Toquero ... on

Climate Change : Result of Human's Activity

Upon reading the WB Report in relation to the Climate Change, and the preparedness of the Filipino people confronting this issue of the day, queries ad concerns run into my mind.

The Philippines have been witnessed to the ill effects of the climate change phenomenon. I witness the massive destruction brought by the typhoon "ONDOY" in September of 2009 in Marikina City where am residing. Millions of pesos accounted for the damage to properties and lives of the people. Then year in follows the torrential rains brought by the "HABAGAT'S", that really affected not only our city but various places of the country, resulting to loss of lives and properties.

The weather systems have indeed shifted from the normal into the extremes. Why is so? Human activities I think were to be accounted to the aggravation of the situations. Humans by nature has insatiable desire for the pursuit of achievements and greatness, exploiting all natural resource, thus creating domino effects.

The climate change phenomena is not the only concern of the Philippines but of the global community. Countries of the world must and should think and act accordingly with nature. Nature is speaking to humankind, and it was manifesting through the shifting conditions of the weather system from the normal into he extremes.

I believe that nature is doing a massive purging to restore balance of nature. It's for human to adapt to the current cycle of change and to really understand the language of nature for humans to co-exist with it.

References:
(1) “Getting A Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines: A World Bank Report”. Retrieved September 30, 2013 from http://reliefweb.int/report/philippines/getting-grip-climate-change-phi

Submitted by Danilo Toquero ... on

Climate Change : Point of Concern

Since climate change is alreay with us, and creating damage to lives and propeties to the people. I understand that the Climate Change Commision (CCC ), have a one billion peso fund which is to be utilized to address concerns related to climate change.

My point of concern is, how the CCC, will in any way help those people directly affected by the onslaught of the extreme weather conditions. To whom should they seek compensation to damages to their lives and properties? And how to quantify the compensation if there’s any? Do the victims of nature’s wrath be classified as collateral damage?

Submitted by James Harvey Maceda on

Nowadays, we are experiencing climate change and it seems that it is getting worse. First of all, who is really the one who causes this problem? It is us, all of us. There is no one else to be blame and not even the government. It is because of the people in this world that’s why this problem arises. We are the ones who cause this problem and now we are experiencing its effect. As written in the article, it is said that our government is making project in concern to this problem. Now it is our turn to do something. We can’t rely everything on our government. Given that many people are complaining to the administration, why not make a move on themselves. I mean we as individuals of this world should also move for the betterment not only for their country but also for the whole world because this climate change affects everybody. We should start a change on ourselves. Self discipline in every individual will be a great help in the world.
The world is experiencing different calamities such as: floods, typhoon, earthquakes and the like. Maybe these disasters are only one of the ways of our mother earth to give back what we deserve for polluting and destroying its beauty. Of course we don’t want for the world to end but base on our actions, we are really the one who speeds or make the world faster to end. Slowly by slowly we are devouring our own living place. Just compare the Earth before and now. Before, our Earth is full of life but now we can see pollutions everywhere. Many people are aware of what’s happening on the world but not even taking an action. It seems many people don’t care on what is happening on its surroundings. Through this opportunity, let me encourage you to take an action for our world. Change will start on us!

Submitted by Glenn Richard O... on

I think that one day..

It is truly heart-breaking that our world suddenly suffered because of Climate Change. I could say that it is our fault as to why we are experiencing this big problem. It should start with DISCIPLINE and RESPECT to MOTHER NATURE.

After reading World Bank's Report about their findings and suggestions on how the Philippines will survive from the drastic climate change, there are really a lot of things to learn to implement the action plans they have. I strongly believe that the awareness should start from ourselves so whatever conclusion they come up with after carefully studying our situation will easily get our participation.

The Economic Status of our people also contributed to this challenge most especially those who live in over-populated areas. Garbage are seen all over the place even floating on rivers and seas. The worst part is they even burn plastics which totally affects our health and ozone layer. We were taught how to segregate wastes by identifying which is biodegradable and non-biodegradable.

For those who live near the mountains and rain forests, they didn't even think twice cutting down trees to come up with materials made out of wood. Which is why whenever it rains or worst, a typhoon pays us a visit, most areas in our country are flooded. Our drainage system cannot also control the water level because of our trashes.

The typhoons that visited our country for the past few years greatly impacted our lives. Not only our economic status but us physically. A lot of people lost their properties and the sad part is, lost their loved ones.

The Philippine Government is required to allot a budget amounting to ONE BILLION PESOS to help us survive climate change. The key to survival is relies on our Private Sectors whose expertise is to make our country environment friendly.

My only question is, with all the action plans discussed, how can we ensure that we get the cooperation of the Filipinos to make it work?

What will be the repercussion if nothing happens after consuming One Billion Pesos to save our country from natural disasters?

Submitted by Vincent Paul Vi... on

While urbanization creates some of the greatest impacts in climate change, urbanization can not be avoided due to the growing population and increasing demands in the economy.

A few years ago, I did a library research paper on climate change and air pollution in the Philippines and found out that one of the greatest contributors of greenhouse gas is the burning of fossil fuels (petroleum, coal, etc.).

Here are some of the answers of the government to increasing GHG emissions and their flaws:

1. Promoting the use of public transportation to reduce vehicles on the road
- While it would indeed succeed in reducing the number of vehicles on the road, poorly maintained vehicles (PUJs, buses, etc) burn more fuel and produce more emissions, therefore only reducing air pollution by a small portion.

2. The promotion and use of electric vehicles (E-jeepneys)
- Most people agree that electric vehicles are indeed a solution to the increasing air pollution since they emit no byproducts. Electric cars indeed do not have emissions, however, it still contributes to GHG emissions indirectly through electricity since major electric companies in the Philippines produce electricity through fossil fuels.

3. Importation of hybrid vehicles
- Although the importation of the said vehicles was made by car companies to help reduce air pollution, these cars did not catch on simply because the cars were more expensive due to additional taxes (caused by importation of the car) and the government did not give any incentive for future car owners to purchase hybrid vehicles.
***As of now, there is currently a bill pending for approval to boost demand on hybrid vehicles

In my opinion, although investing in renewable energy sources may need a higher capital compared to non-renewable energy sources, renewable energy would be able to provide better in the long run.

Submitted by Pamela Anne Robles on

It is a truth universally acknowledged that climate change is a big deal. Bad floods, heat waves, prolonged typhoon seasons, and rising of the sea level are just some of the effects. While it doesn't seem like much now, what we're doing (or not doing seems more appropriate) to slow down the inevitable is going to affect us horribly in the long run.
Yes, fine, great, we're using the appropriations given to us for rehabilitation after floods and typhoons, but these disasters probably wouldn't have affected us as badly as they did if enough time, energy, and knowledge was devoted to slowing down climate change in the first place.
As the WB Report has said, "Climate Action can contribute to inclusive growth and poverty reduction". Taking the necessary steps to improve our climate condition could give more job opportunities, improve public health, and reduce energy costs. We are so intent on boosting our economy in more "conventional" ways that we overlook the fact that nature can give as much as she can take away.
We need to educate the people not only on the consequences of harming the environment, but also on the benefits of trying to save it.

Submitted by Vincent Paul Vi... on

While urbanization is indeed a great contributor to climate change, it is unavoidable due to the increasing population and demands of the country and its people.

A few semesters ago, I did a library research paper on climate change and air pollution in the Philippines. With the data gathered from various sources for the said topic, I was able to find that the greatest cause of greenhouse gas emissions in the country come from the burning of fossil fuels such as petroleum and coal. Although the government has proposed several solutions to resolve the problem, most of these solutions had flaws in them.

Here are some of the solutions proposed by the government and their flaws:

1. Promotion of the use of public transportation vehicles to reduce the number of cars on the road

- While indeed it would be successful in reducing the number of vehicles on the road, the government has failed to analyse which vehicles were contributing more to the pollution. Poorly maintained vehicles (mostly PUJs and buses) burn more fuel and produce more emissions as compared to a well-maintained vehicle of the same type.

2. The use of electric vehicles such as E-jeepney

- Most people fail to see that electric vehicles also contribute to air pollution. Although the said vehicles may not have emissions/by-products, they contribute to greenhouse gas emissions indirectly when they charge. This is because major producers of electricity in the country produce electricity through the burning of fossil fuels.

3. Importation of hybrid vehicles

- Although the importation of the said vehicles was made by car companies here in the Philippines to help reduce air pollution, these hybrids did not sell well in the country simply because they cost much more because of the additional taxes from importation. The government failed to give incentives for future car owners to consider purchasing the car.
*** As of now, there has now been a proposed bill for the promotion of these hybrids waiting for approval.

Although renewable energy sources may need a higher capital as compared to non-renewable energy sources, renewable energy would be able to provide a much more affordable electricity and cleaner environment as compared to non-renewable energy.

Submitted by Neressa P. Biton on

I live in the Philippines specifically in the province of Iloilo. We were a victim of Bagyong Frank way back in 2008. Very devastating and shocking event for we were not used to this unlike the people there in Luzon. But thru the help of our local government and of course, the community, we recovered fast. Flood way was opened, Brgy.'s put up a warning alarm to alert people, and put up a team for information dissemination in every brgy.
Point here is, no matter how much effort the government exerts to address the problem of climate change, it will not be a successful one if the community will not conform to the plan of the government.

Together we can do this

I live in the Philippines specifically in the province of Iloilo. We were a victim of Bagyong Frank way back in 2008. Very devastating and shocking event for we were not used to this unlike the people there in Luzon. But thru the help of our local government and of course, the community, we recovered fast. Flood way was opened, Brgy.'s put up a warning alarm to alert people, and put up a team for information dissemination in every brgy.
Point here is, no matter how much effort the government exerts to address the problem of climate change, it will not be a successful one if the community will not conform to the plan of the government.

Submitted by Deniel Sean V. ... on

This may be just an idea, but I think we're all looking at this the wrong way. Yes, I do agree that climate change is a "biggie" when it comes to problems - not only of the Philippines - but also of the world. But that does not mean that there will be one giant solution to fix everything up.

With all of the news articles of flash floods, typhoons, and other storms hitting the country, it does seem that we Filipinos are unprepared for climate change. But I'm starting to wonder why that is. As most Filipinos know - and should know, for that matter - the Philippines is no stranger to storms and all these other natural disasters especially during the rainy seasons. It has been this way for a very, very, very long time now and it didn't seem to bother us much back then. Why the sudden outbursts of panic?

The government has done a lot of improvement when it comes to preparedness for these calamities. I believe there are a lot of programs and projects that are concerned with this matter; for this, we must be thankful. But apparently, it's not quite enough. There are dozens - if not hundreds - of casualties with each passing storm. And it seems as though these fatalities will never cease. Have we learned nothing from the past typhoons?

You can put in a whole lot of new gadgets and knick-knacks that may help us adapt to climate change, but like it or not, climate change will still be here. Like they said, change is inevitable. Programs and projects won't work if the Filipinos still want to remain blissfully ignorant. All these ordinances and fines won't help if we don't cooperate. I think this is the real problem.

Climate change is not a problem; it's a side-effect. Like it or not, every decision we make affects something somewhere else. People are aware of what their actions create, but like I said earlier, we choose to turn a blind eye over the matter. Which is why programs don't work effectively, storms that keep hitting us keep getting harsher and harsher, and every year, every time a typhoon comes our way, people still die.

I don't think we need programs and projects right now. They help, yes, but what we really need is someone or something to ignite the fire in us. We have become careless over the years. We need someone to re-open everyone's eyes for us to get up our couch and start doing something. For us to fix this chaos we led ourselves into, we need each and every one of us. The Filipinos are worth dying for but we have to prove to ourselves that we are worth living for, too.

These next few years will be crucial for the improvement of our security against weather calamities and global climate change.

The planning aspect of the answer we give to the problem of global warming is finished. The government has put its best plans forward, its best minds to work. The phase that we must now act upon with the utmost care is the execution of said plans. The quality and degree of our action will decide the outcome of our situation in the next decade or so. It can start with the people. It sounds cliché, but it's true. The cumulative efforts as a nation could make or break our climate preparedness.

The Philippine's action on the problem of global warming will contribute to the global solution. It's not one nation's efforts, but a global effort. In this problem we face, the collective effort and cooperation as global citizens will improve our situation.

Submitted by KAREN ADRIENNE ... on

The population in the NCR in the year 2010 according to NSO is 11, 855,975. Now for example NCR is where the eye of the strongest storm yet to come this year (2013) hits. The People’s Survival Fund only has an initial fund of P 1 billion. Let’s say a lot of people in the NCR got badly hit and now 80% of that population (9,484,780 citizens) have no homes left nor do they have the resources to buy food or to produce food. The important thing to address right now is to feed these people. To be able to accommodate everyone, the government allots P25 each for a single person’s meal. That would be P 237,119,500 but they can’t just let these people eat 1 meal a day. There will be children in that population so they’ll have to push through with the basic 3 meals per day. That is summed up to P 711,358,500. Now since they have no homes and it is impossible to rehabilitate all of them all at once, this population stays as the government’s problem for at least a week at the least. There 3 meals a day for the whole week will cost the government P 4,979,509,500. The government is P 3,979,509,500 short from their initial fund of P1 billion.
What happens then? The people starve? Let’s not forget, that is only 80% of the population in the NCR region for 2010. It’s 2013 now, for sure the population has grown at least 1.5% over the last 3 years. Also, NCR will not be the only region hit by that storm. It will still hit the at least the whole part of Luzon. That measly P1 billion is no match for this tragedy. It may be an initial fund but with how corrupt our government is, what with the pork barrel scandal, how can we be sure that the initial fund they set up actually grew? It might’ve been included in the scandal for all we know and there isn’t actually a full P1 billion.
Now my question is, how will the government address this problem now? Freak storms are not the only ones that causes the government’s problems with the evolving climate change issue. Droughts are also very problematic especially to those farmers involved in the Philippines’ rice production. Add to that problem is that the institutions and reformations that the government established are overlapping in their responsibilities and so not every “step to betterment” is addressed in the climate change issue.
References:
The World Bank. (n.d.). Getting a Grip…on Climate Change in the Philippines. Retrieved on October 2, 2013 from http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/document/EAP/Philippines/....
NSO Statistical News: NCR in Figures. Retrieved on October 2, 2013 from http://nso-ncr.ph/.

The Philippines is already feeling the consequences of climate change.For example ,the landslide in Ormoc killed a lot of people and about a thousand of people effective related to landslide and flash flood.Widespread o mining and deforestation were blamed for flash flood .If our Goverment will not push harder to it's different climate institutions to do their job properly ,this climate program will not be effective.
I think the CCC which is solely responsible for for a number of key functions such as leading climate policy making and coordinating,monitoring and evaluating climate programs and action plans,and because of it's wide array of responsibilities ,the CCC has not been able to divert enough resources to advocate effectively for immediate action on climate change.In my opinion,this department have an insufficient member of knowledgeable and skilled staff.They should hire skilled staff,lack of knowledge management system have been key barriers for scaling up climate action in Department and LGUs.
Although there are different institutions who are initially responsible for the climate change phenomena like typhoon,flood,flash flood that have been affecting the Philippines,however,each Filipino individual must do his/her share to at least slow down if not prevented the drastic climate change.For example,we should be more discipline by not using plastic,use air-condition appropriately or conserve energy.

Question:Do you think we and the Goverment are doing enough to protect our Mother Earth?

http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/document/EAP/Philippines/...

Submitted by Plinky Limpingco on

The most devastating and highly profiled effect of Climate Change in the country now is the flooding of urban areas. With the density of people living in these regions and as the capital for the economic vein of the country, immediate solutions are necessary. Though residents have been considerably become prepared these past seasons since the deluge of Ondoy, the rapidly rising floods have only become a common occurence and even if underground canals have been replaced with bigger ones, it is not enough. I have seen flood patrols on a main avenue but these are obviously not in proportion to the population size and probability of a disaster. Efficient urban planning is key to a better urban landscape. Aside from the lack of regulation and infrastructures to alleviate the problem, the budget for disaster relief programs and the PAGASA, are either mishandled or just not enough. The minimal wage for the scientists and PAGASA workers is not the only thing that affects the institution's performance, but also because of the outdated equipment essential for the monitoring of weather risks. As natural disasters seem to become more frequent and unpredictable, organizations concerning emergency and disaster relief should always be amply funded but also properly accounted for, to cater to those who will be in need. From the researchers to the LGUs, the reporters, the hospitals, and the social workers, everyone should be properly equipped and coordinated.

Relief efforts and assistance to the farmers and fishermen should be looked into as well. These producers do not only lose profits during disasters, but also their capital investments when their harvest fall victim to either El nino and La Nina.

The path to cleaner energy should be encouraged by the state. Not only the use of fossil fuel is harmful to the environment, such as the fuel-burning vehicles that clog the Metro's street and the oil slick left behind by boats, big or small, but also of its storage and transportation, which should be properly regulated, so as to prevent devastating oil leaks that will affect not only the communities near these coasts, but also the marine environment below.

Public Awareness should be cultivated to mobilize mass initiative and to be part of the solution, even in the simplest of ways.

Submitted by Christian Berna... on

First of all I am glad to know that the Philippine government is doing something to cope with climate change. I just hope that the funds released will be utilized properly to be able to come up with a solution or preventive measures when calamities strikes us.

Climate change is not the problem of the government alone, it is our problem too. Most of the Filipinos like to blame the government in almost any problem we encounter like floods, air pollution and even traffic jams. It is hurting to say that most of us cannot follow even the simple rules like proper garbage disposal and obeying traffic rules. We need to have a personal level of understanding that this country is ours and we are the one who need to take care of it. Public participation and awareness is needed to address the issues along with strong political will to resolve the problem.

As we have seen in the news I believe most Filipinos are more prepared now whenever floods hits us. However there are still others that remain unaware or maybe don’t care.

As an ordinary citizen I need to be more aware what is happening in our environment and participate in environmental projects. This is issue will not be solved by the government alone; we need to be part of the solution.

Institute the Corporate Fund Facility (CFF) and create a mechanism to curve corporate greed!

It has been an established fact in various studies that the biggest contributors to the production of green house gas (GHG) which causes global warming, and eventually, climate change- are not individuals but the big corporations which are engaged in industrial production, mechanized agriculture, mining and other commercial ventures. In general, all development initiatives, waste and consumerism do contribute to GHG emission on a global scale.
Industrial production’s wanton consumption of fossil fuel which emits enormous amount of carbon is aggravated by unparalleled and unplanned exploitation of natural resources, deforestation, corporate agriculture, pollution and degradation of the essential ecological life. The massive industrial production for commerce under the capitalist system is unparalleled in the history of the planet. Since the outset of the capitalist system in the 1700s going to the industrial revolution- the world has seen massive wastage of natural resources and gigantic waste and pollution production.

Now who shall be blamed for climate change?

Both the media and the church would from time to time appear to issue challenges which seemingly put blames on individuals and households. Yet the fact remains that the capitalist system through giant multinational and transnational corporations- which are engaged in industrial production and distribution- are the biggest culprits in CHG emission and tremendous waste production.
Facts may attest that no time in history had the peril of climate change been felt, except today during the epoch of massive industrial production, its subsequent waste resultants and the reckless degradation of environment to fuel up the massive and uninterrupted capitalist production for profit.

Thus, to avert the humanity’s march to doom and to arrest climate change, mitigation initiatives shall require government regulation to curb corporate greed and sustainable green environment. Radical shift in government role and policies are needed if optimism shall remain for saving the planet from cataclysmic disaster.

But can capitalism’s drive for profit be regulated?

We doubt it can be, but a powerful mass initiatives- a mass movement of sorts under the tutelage of environmentalists, mass activists, academicians, the church workers and ordinary people may change the course of history. Little has to be expected with government which are controlled by big capitalists themselves.
A powerful international movement for saving the planet may be more powerful than governments which regularly beg alms and are at the behest of giant corporate organizations.

This is the reason why we find the prescriptions set by the UN on the Philippines, in relation to the campaign against climate change as a bit weak, as outlined herein, to wit:

>strengthening planning, execution, and financing framework for climate change;
>enhancing leadership and accountability through monitoring, evaluation, and review of climate change policies and activities;
>building capacity and managing chang.;

With this framework, the Filipino people can push their government to institute what can be done and what are the most doable things for the campaign to climate change. We would thus think that the below cited 2 initiatives can be done almost effortlessly by the Philippine government-

-Institute a Corporate Fund Facility (CFF);
-Initiate measures to curve corporate greed on environmental degradation.

How the government may do this?

A congress or a summit by corporate organizations in the Philippines can be called-up / organized wherein each corporate organization shall pledge a seeding amount for the continuing and moving fund. Such fund shall be used for whatever planned action, e.g. reforestation, cleaning of waterways, etc. etc. to avert the effects of climate change and GHG.

Similarly, the government through the Climate Change Commission CCC) shall seek partnership with the private sector forge the broadest alliance which shall monitor compliance by corporate organizations on the standards, laws and regulations pertaining to initiatives and plants which have something to do with the environment, emission of gasses and other environment degrading activities.

Anticipating government ineptness and corruption, the private-public partnership form of organization can be sustained by the fund created from the CFF. Organizations with integrity and good track records like the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), the Makati Business Club (MBC) and many more must be mobilized towards the cause.

The people may not rely on the government soly. Thus advocates and environmental activists must push the government, forge unity among the greatest number of people and organizations, corporate or mass-based, alike to build a common front against the continuing erosion of climate and environment stability and balanced which is clearly caused by capitalist reckless and massive drive for profit.

Cause oriented groups and veteran street parliamentarians may take up the cudgels for the cause. They may provide the core programmatic trajectory of the movement as well as the muscle of organizations for the initiative to be self-sustaining in attracting a wide number of supporters as well as in compelling the government to act on the issue.

A mass movement of sort with an agenda and direction to save mother earth may simply do the difference.

Submitted by James Harvey Maceda on

Nowadays, we are experiencing climate change and it seems that it is getting worse. First of all, who is really the one who causes this problem? It is us, all of us. There is no one else to be blame and not even the government. It is because of the people in this world that’s why this problem arises. We are the ones who cause this problem and now we are experiencing its effect. As written in the article, it is said that our government is making project in concern to this problem. Are the projects of the government is enough in this matter? Why do the people can’t feel even just the slightest change or improvement? We can’t rely everything on our government. Given that many people are complaining to the administration, why not make a move on themselves. I mean we as individuals of this world should also move for the betterment not only for their country but also for the whole world because this climate change affects everybody. We should start a change on ourselves. Self discipline in every individual will be a great help in the world.
The world is experiencing different calamities such as: floods, typhoon, earthquakes and the like. Maybe these disasters are only one of the ways of our mother earth to give back what we deserve for polluting and destroying its beauty. Of course we don’t want for the world to end but base on our actions, we are really the one who speeds or make the world faster to end. Slowly by slowly we are devouring our own living place. Just compare the Earth before and now. Before, our Earth is full of life but now we can see pollutions everywhere. Many people are aware of what’s happening on the world but not even taking an action. It seems many people don’t care on what is happening on its surroundings. Through this opportunity, let me encourage you to take an action for our world. Change will start on us!

Submitted by Neriza Almirol on

There are two approaches in answering this query: One is the macro while the other is the micro approach.
The Macro Approach: Republic Act 9729 otherwise known as the Climate Change Act of 2009 introduced terms that would address issues and provide impetus to enforcement of policies stated therein. Terms include the following:

-“Global Warming” refers to the increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s near-surface air and oceans that is associated with the increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

-“Greenhouse effect” refers to the process by which the absorption of infrared radiation by the atmosphere warms the Earth.

-“Greenhouse gases (GHG)” refers to constituents of the atmosphere that contribute to the greenhouse effect including, but not limited to, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydro fluorocarbons, per fluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride.

-“Mainstreaming” refers to the integration of policies and measures that address climate change into development planning and sectorial decision-making.

-“Mitigation” in the context of climate change, refers to human intervention to address anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of all GHG, including ozone- depleting substances and their substitutes.

-“Mitigation potential” shall refer to the scale of GHG reductions that could be made, relative to emission baselines, for a given level of carbon price (expressed in cost per unit of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions avoided or reduced).

-“Sea level rise” refers to an increase in sea level which may be influenced by factors like global warming through expansion of sea water as the oceans warm and melting of ice over land and local factors such as land subsidence.

This RA also provided for the creation of the Climate Change Commission. We, in the macro level approach, cannot be found lacking in effort in terms of policies and lawmaking. Our policies cover a wide range of the climate range issue:

-RA 9275 - also known as the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 – an act providing a comprehensive water quality management and for other purposes.

-R.A. 9003 – The Solid Waste Management Act of 2001- an act providing for an ecological solid waste management program, creating the necessary institutional mechanisms and incentives, declaring certain acts prohibited and providing penalties, appropriating funds therefore, and for other purposes.

From the standpoint of laws and policies, we, as a nation cover land, sea and the atmosphere. We, as a state of policy makers, can state categorically that we are at the forefront in addressing the Climate Change item. We are neither lacking in experience when it comes to lawmaking and templates since we follow international policies since the Commonwealth.

The micro level approach is not lacking as well. Just recently in line with the recent events of Ondoy, Sept 26, 2009 and the Habagat of the same year and 2012 and August of this year, 2013. Ordinances banning plastic bags have been in place. Anti-smoking campaigns and ordinances have been in place since the early 1990’s. Barangay level movements such as the Solid Material Recovery Facility provide for recycling and upcycling of solid waste. UP and Ateneo have programs for composting and alternative sources of energy in order to reduce carbon emission from traditional energy sources. Just recently La Salle launched Sikat II, a solar powered car which will join an international race for inventions as such in Australia. La Salle will represent our country.

With all these components in place, we are addressing the issue of Climate Change. Are we doing enough? Yes, in terms of policies. We need to do two things as a nation: (1) Enforce and (2) Support.

Enforcement needs political and unbiased will. Partisan politics is a hindrance to this. Enough said. Supporting grassroots movement will do a lot to entice innovators and activists to initiate projects that will surpass the “ningas cogon” stage.

Lastly, solid Implementing Rules and Regulation can assist local government unit enforcers in clamping down on violators of ordinances. Execution of policies is the key.

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