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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 MAAN MARUZO on

I think that pollution greatly affects climate change and it was brought about by highly evolving technologies which were supported by the government for effective transportation and mass production of goods. Say for example, machines in the factory produce oil leaks and other harmful chemicals which pollute not just the body of water surrounding it but the whole global ocean system.
Trees were cut down to widen roads for smoother land transportation and also to give way to increasing number of vehicles produce every year. What am I pointing out? We are the main contributor of pollutants and there’s no way to stop pollution since the great inventions of humans had become a way of life.
The only solution I can see is to lessen the damage by promoting balance. Say for example, if we can’t get rid of the machines that produces plastics and other garbage, then practice and promote recycling plastics and other recyclable supplies that would lessen the need for production of these non biodegradable materials. The lesser demand, the lesser need for supply which will also avoid these harmful machines from multiplying.
If there is a need for the government to cut down trees for enhancing our roads, then the government should also invest on planting trees that would absorb carbon dioxide produced by the vehicles also to avoid floods within the area. Therefore, I conclude that promoting balance is the key to a healthier environment.

Submitted by Julius Jayvin Ilagan on

Rising Threat of Climate Change
"The Philippines is one of the wealthiest countries around the world when it comes to ecological resources and diversity. However, it is also facing rapid destruction, degradation, and decline."

We are now facing a big challenge of climate change due to our own doing. This may affect the entire world and may vary from one country another. Third world countries are more vulnerable to the consequences of climate change (one of this is Philippines). Though Philippines contributes a miniscule 0.24% to the total global emissions, it ranks among the top countries which is vulnerable to climate change. Our Country faces difficulties and problems in the following socio - economic areas such as food security, fisheries production, water supplies and availability and climate sensitive diseases. I've been seeing the that women and children will have the most difficulty in coping to the effects of climate change due to their social and economic vulnerability. Though we have laws and policies that has been created concerning to climate change and disaster risk reduction, these still proves inadequate in addressing the larger issues of development and climate change. Laws such as Republic Act 9729 (Climate Change Act of 2009) and RA 10121 (Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010) pave way for unsustainable extraction of natural resources, deregulation and liberalization of resource-based industries, and privatization of common goods and resource policies. Bad governance adds to the problem as the budget allotted for climate change proves insufficient and is often misallocated. As grave as the situation is, many Filipinos have stood up to confront the crisis, protect the environment,  and  defend  the  people’s   welfare. However, in the pursuit of what is right, our advocates face the threats of being harassed, sued, and even killed. As grave as the situation is, many Filipinos have stood up to confront the crisis, protect the environment,  and  defend  the  people’s   welfare. However, in the pursuit of what is right, our advocates face the threats of being harassed, sued, and even killed. The presence of military and paramilitary forces to secure large-scale mining operations has indicated the rise of human rights violations. Militarization to suppress oppositions from communities especially among Indigenous People has worsened.

Reference: Center for Environmental Concerns Philippines. (2012). Confronting the ecological crisis: A situationer on Philippine environmental issues and struggles. A CEC-Philippines Publication. Quezon City, Philippines.

Submitted by Jemalyn Labaco on

The Philippines is one of the most disaster prone country in the world, experiencing an average of 20 typhoons per year. Philippines is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. In fact, The Philippines is Rank No. 3 in the World Index Report 2013. With these, the government has been active throughout the year, educating personnel of various government agencies like Office of Civil Defense, DILG, PAG-ASA, and PHIVOLCS to name a few. Maybe these is the answer to the World Bank review with regard to "Insufficient institutional capacity, including limited access to knowledge, and the complexity of planning tools have hindered efficient execution of the climate reforms and Climate Action".
Various seminars and trainings were given by the national government with the participation of LGU's, being the objective is the formulation of LCCAP. Along to that seminars and trainings, they were ask to incorporate their Comprehensive Development Plans and Comprehensive Land Use Plan. All participants were given a certain period of time to discuss the hazards and vulnerability of each municipalities and cities and the implementation of their own LCCAP. They also came up with a Mitigation Plan. Which includes,
 Hazard Mapping
 Land use planning and legislation (flood-prone areas can be designated as parks and non-residential)
 Early warning system
 Flood Management
 Evacuation planning
 Reducing Vulnerability of Structures and Infrastructure (e.g. building resilient infrastructure)
 Public awareness

I will have to agree on the report that sourcing of funds is one hindrance on the implementation of NCCAP or even more the formulation of LCCAP. Which I believe will greatly contribute to minimize the effects of these hazards brought by Climate Change and aside from developing NCCAP, based on the past events, like Super typhoon Yolonda, I think it is a “must” to review/update the building codes and retrofit structures not conforming with the design standards. Strict implementation of land-use zoning to restrict development in identified high risk areas will also a big help and let us not limit educating ourselves and other individuals about climate change."Right information at the right time – so people can take the right action"

Submitted by Patrick Valdez on

As kids, we learned as facts that trees sap out floods whenever heavy rain falls down. We considered this true. And as a kid growing up in the province we I noticed that floods were almost not a thing in our area. But going to the metro area, floods are almost non-stop and are at high levels. Maybe the development that the government had prepared for us may not be the most suitable ones for our country. Not because they're bad, but because they don't have proper back up. Most of the structures, roads, and buildings, that are signs of development, commonly have great appearance only. If you look at metro Manila, we couldn't help but notice that there are all sorts of towers, gorgeous malls, buildings of all sizes, but almost no trees or nature present. This is what I think that's lacking in progress, the nature that trully can help our situation. Sure we can take scientific actions, or conduct experiments, or even predict the weather, but without the actual answers to the problem, we can all just lean back on what had saved us from before.

Submitted by Katherine Joy Sardia Cruz on

The Philippines can be considered as one of the countries that experices high pollution. Not only in terms of air pollution, light pollution and etc. Our country is polluted with too much population as well as with its needs for daily living. We know for ourselves that we cannot avoid such circumstances. But, as an individual, we must be the ones who make way in making our environment fresh and clean. Funds and a lot of materials are really needed in making such action. However, through our simple ways, this can be possibe. To give an example of this, an individual that make use of the 3 Rs; namely: Reuse, reduce, recycle and it can help our environment in our own simple ways. We can do this in our households and even in our daily routines. However, some people are really stubborn in doing so. Most people have the tendency to ignore these small things that can affect you big time in the future. Our government have done actions concerning climate change. It has been funded and started way back. However, limited changes have happened over the period of time given by the government. So, where did all the funds went? But these question will be discussed in a different matter. Even though limited changes have happened over time, I am still hoping for a much bigger change when a new elected president will handle the government for his/her term starting this 2016.

It is true that we cannot avoid climate change. In time to time, we can experience massive floods, intense heat during the summer and rise in temperature during cold seasons. From my experience during the typhoon Ondoy, flood came running to our garage and it was unusual because our house is inclined high enough not to be reached by water if ever there will be flood. According to my father, our street never experienced flood until the typhoon Ondoy. He grew up in that place and witnessed what it has been since then. He even told me that when he was younger, ber-months (September to December) will have cold winds even in day time. But in our time today, ber-months usually experiences hot winds even at night. A lot of changes happened over time. Soon, the Philippines may experience snow just like what other tropical countries have experience recently. Climate change is inevitable.

Submitted by Ivy Chanelle Dadios on

Let's face it, problems won't arise in the middle of a well-disciplined society. Yes, some are, but not as crucial as we what encounter nowadays. Problems, I believe, are supposed to strengthen the bonds between people and their intellectual abilities to live a peaceful, easier and beneficial life. Not as one which destroys lives. If people could have just considered in the first place all the natural entities provided by our world very essential to all beings, proper care and preservation to nature could have been done. We people are the main responsible for this world, for we are the ones gifted with enough intellectual capacity to rule over it. We hold the keys about various aspects in lives. It’s in our hands where all things may develop, such that once in the past, we once hold the possibilities that may happen in the future. But, the “future” we have considered in the past, is now what we call the “present.” This explains why we have the kind of “present” we encounter today. As we see it, many disasters visit us every year. These are caused mostly by our ignorance about the significance each thing in the world possesses. We are provided by the blue print of the future we are constructing by the way we have lived before and live today. As simple as it is, we are makers of our future. Although there are still problems that come our way, which we are totally out of control, we can still do preventions. We can be wary and careful by the way we live and by the way we decide on things so that possible problems which may confront us in the future will be lessened. By this, we are helping the generations to come, thus, giving them still the chance to experience and to benefit from the naturality and freshness of our world. The solution is to have discipline, be discipline and responsible about the beauty of everything we have in the world. I believe that the government should be disciplined enough to mold its citizens into becoming disciplined, appreciative and responsible individuals about every action each do -for these actions contribute to the future. Discipline leads to having conscientious acts. It is also where organized things come from. Therefore, the government officials, who have the authority, should continue the efforts they have made for the climate change issues. They should also make laws teaching and molding the citizens to be responsible and to practice being preventive -as the saying goes, “Prevention is better than a cure.” But must ensure also that the citizens are aware of it and will abide by the laws leading to proper treatment to the natural entities of the world.

Submitted by clarita tubongbanua on

As Filipinos we can do our share! Let’s do it!!!!

Our government - to ensure that it stays on the right path as far as solving the climate change problem, the Climate Change Commission and the Department of Budget and Management, 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. Individual awareness as to the effect of this climate change we Filipinos are encouraged to take active part in order for us to contribute something in the realization of the proposed recommendation of the WB to address and avert the ill effects of Climate Change .While this recommendation will greatly affect the populace in general, individually we can also set our own goal to contribute in our own little way some measures to take active part in the realization of those projects at hand. In our own small way we can address issues like population control and greening our environment. We can make it a habit to plant trees to replace those being cut due to urbanization project. One area which our government should look into is how our agricultural land are being converted into subdivision without taking into consideration that those agricultural lands are equipped with irrigation canal to properly water agricultural products, but because those in the government sector are also those businessmen who have access to power and control these lands were converted to residential land. Businessmen in their pursuit to gain so much wealth became twisted being (according to Steve Jobs).The land that feed millions of our populace are now replaced with residential buildings which at times left unoccupied because owners are not around due to migration and only caretakers are left behind to take care of it. If only our government has the capacity to look into and has the teeth to properly imposed proper use of our resources then probably the issue about shortage in our food will be minimized and importation be reduced. On the other hand, since our Nation is considered the only Christian Nation in Asia, we should dig deeper the study and influence of the famous sociologist in his time- Thomas Aquinas whose writing states that the author of 2 books-Book of Nature and Book of Scripture should not contradict each other-The Philippines being the only Christian Nation in Asia should adapt to this belief –That man should have dominion over all his environment and all living and non- living creatures. So this give him no option but to be good stewards over all those things in his dominion and that includes his environment . If only we are true to the saying- Cleanliness is next to Godliness and Respect others as to ourselves then even our very own environment is respected. If only we are conscious and aware that whatever we sow, we reap, then we have to think many times before we do evil in the sight of God and our fellow men. Character or value is defined as being who we are with or without somebody looking at us. Doing what is proper in the use of any disposable items will lead to cleanliness and without avarice and pride, one should think that one cannot drive as many vehicles in one setting as there are rich small member-families with vast array of vehicles and as many shoes and dresses which cannot be used simultaneously. According to World bank report, While the Philippines has been a minor contributor to global warming, GHG emissions are projected to quadruple in the energy sector and double in the transport sector by 2030 due to its growing economy, urbanization, and motorization. Another thing that contributes a lot in the degradation of our environment is we are being dump with so many trashes from industrialized countries-like second hand and worst one case that was brought in the media is the thrash from Canada ( sorry I can’t recall how many containers )which were purely trash and not recyclable, motor vehicles, second hand dresses and appliances that is being modified and sold in our local markets. Although One question that came into my mind are the relief goods like dresses being sold in the market which to me are given for free in the height of calamities but are not given to the supposed recipient but ultimately sold in the market (the government should look into these things) In the end..If only we take our role being the stewards of our environment by taking good of our temporary homes in this planet earth then we will not be into this kind of trouble..The trouble of and panicky results of Climate Change.

Submitted by Franklin John on

Philippine is an archipelago which consists of an estimated 7,107 islands. As a small country geographically located along the pacific region near the Equator, it is highly susceptible to rising sea levels and tropical cyclones and storms.
As climate change slowly takes place, the country experience such extreme weathers and disasters. With these, the country launched “2009 Climate Change Act” which led to the development of NCCAP, CCC, CCCC, PSFB and etc. which strengthens the planning, execution, and budgeting for climate change wherein they also analyze and prepare their country for the worst climate condition. Many rely on these various government agency group but it would not be efficient if they do not cooperate. Most of them do not care about these climate changes even when they know it will do great harm in the future. Their ignorance will be soon be the cause of everyone’s misery. So why don’t they start with the 4r’s: Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, Replace and how about segregating biodegradable and non-biodegradable? These simple steps can help save our environment. They too must make it a habit forecasting weather in their own. They may help nature in a small scale but every little bit helps. Doing these things makes every person build skills and knowledge-base on climate change, habitable and clean environment. But with the lack of public awareness, there is a chance that they could have never survive such harsh weathers like La Niña and El Niño.
A lot of time has passed since the Climate Change Act has been made and so far little changes has been done. People often blames the agencies for this kind of failure to do their job. These climate agencies still lacks the leadership and accountability through monitoring, evaluation and review of their climate change and policies. Unfortunately, that was not the only problem because the budget funded to these agencies was being manipulated by corrupted leaders of the country. In other words, the money that was meant for climate change ended up in the wrong hands. Filipinos can really fight climate change if they work together, but they cannot do it when the one who's ruining the plan are their leaders.

Submitted by Kenneth Varilla on

Well, the survey conducted by the Social Weather Station is indeed true. Why? Every Filipino that is aware of his/her surroundings can see the effects of Climate change. From more devastating typhoons, longer droughts to rising sea levels, we can see the consequences of our own actions. Our ignorance on our wrongdoings led to this worldwide problem that is slowly destroying the world that we reside in.

Luckily, some people in the world are interested in solving this problem. They knew that there is still hope in changing our ways, that there is still a chance to achieve a brighter and greener future. Let us take the Climate change commission for example. The said government committee is responsible in providing concrete plans which addresses the problem of climate change. In line of this, they are also tasked to create and maintain the National Climate Change Action Plan which consists of effective strategies to lessen if not completely eradicate the problem. In addition to this, the said commission also requested the help of the World Bank to conduct a study which aims to review government spending related to climate change and survey the country’s environmental welfare to promote awareness of its status.

One of the products of this is the WB exclusive report which gives a brief overview on the effects of climate change in the Philippines, possible solutions to the problem and intervening factors that hinder us from doing such solutions, as well as updates on government and non-government units that are concerned on climate change. The report mentioned several threats on the country’s economic, social and environmental development because of the radical effects of climate change. It also presented the flaws of certain organizations such as the Climate change commission on its ineffectiveness in fulfilling its climate agenda caused by the lack of lucidity in its tasked roles and responsibilities. To resolve the problem, the review cited solutions such as to “Formulate, enact, and support complementary sector and local-level policy and institutional reforms”. It also presented a concise and concrete framework towards a greener future.

In the end, what does this tell us? This only shows that as inhabitants of this planet, we are also responsible for the destruction of our planet. Thus, we share the same responsibility to uphold, protect and sustain the environmental welfare of our planet. As such, as ordinary citizens, we should have the initiative to do our part in promoting this. We don’t have to be in an environmental organization to save mother earth. We should act on the problem now before it’s too late.

Submitted by Sabrina Michelle Arroyo on

As filipinos, we know for a fact that typhoons enter our area every year and there is always news about floods and local areas left in ruin left by the calamities. During the dry seasons, we experience the overwhelming heat of El Niño. So to put it simply, climate change is not an unusual phenomenon in our country. We are hit with many strong calamities therefore we are expected to be capable of handling such situations when they come to us. We are able to adapt to its changes with the help of programs and projects provided by the government. For us to be able to ensure survival in an environment with ever changing climate, we prepare survival procedures for calamities in advance.

Submitted by Paulyn Louise San Pedro on

If the usage of crude oil is one of the primary reasons why we have global warming, then will there be any alternatives that can provide the same function of crude oil but more environmentally friendly? If there is, how come our country haven't phase-out the use of crude oil and stick to the alternatives since we are one of the countries who doesn't have our own crude oil anyway? If there isn’t, then why not conduct a project of creating alternatives? I’m sure there are a lot of talented Filipinos out there who have a solution only that, they lack support. And crude oil resources is limited so why not use alternatives at the present so that when the time comes that it is no longer available, we can still continue on our life without being too affected because we were able to make our country adapt in a coming generation without crude oil in advance, right? And we will be able to lessen pollution!
Honestly, I'm not actually sure of what are/will be the specific climate change adaptation programs and projects but prioritizing in providing an alternative for crude oil is definitely a good project not only for our environment but also to our health and wallets because the prices of goods and services also depend to the price of the crude oil.

Submitted by Jeremy on

The question is, how concerned are we about Climate Change? We are alarmed, yes, by all the shocking happenings that are taking place such as stronger typhoons, more violent earthquakes, tougher droughts, and the worsening climate. But how do we respond to these?

The Earth and its people experience these noticeable changes. Many for sure are concerned about the future of our planet and of course, the future of their kids too. Will they still see a green future? Or will they only see dead seas and dying forests?

They say that change is inevitable. It's part of nature. But if we can't stop it, maybe we can slow it down. And I still believe that for us to make a bold step towards a greener tomorrow, one should initiate change. Change should start with you. By doing so, we are inspiring others to do the same. By simply bringing reusable bags with you when you go shopping is a great way of saving Mother Earth. At the same time, you are minimizing somehow the need for production of paper bags and plastic bags as well as inspiring others to do the same until it inspires more people to follow. And eventually, the need for production of paper and plastic bags will lessen greatly. In addition, we are actually saving energy! Because is takes a lot of energy to create paper. That is why the use of reusable bags is a smarter way of saving the environment than using paper bags.

Our concern for the environment should be put in action. What we need here is real change. And real change requires action and will. The government has been making steps towards saving the environment as well as adaptive measures to the worsening climate. We should also, as part of the community, do our part and work side by side to preserve our delicate planet. We should stop complaining about typhoons and all these natural phenomenons happening in our country. And realize that for us to somehow lessen and slow down climate change is to act on it positively.

There are a number of ways to do that. Here are some examples:
- Start planting trees and plants in your backyard.
- Keep your surroundings clean.
- Conserve electricity and water.
- Reduce carbon footprint by walking or by riding a bike to get to places.
- Avoid the use of CFC emitting products that destroys the ozone layer.
- Do the 3 R's (reuse, reduce, recycle).
- Burn fats not fuel.
- Practice eating vegetables to minimize the demand for meat

With the ever increasing number of people on earth, food supply can be scarce and might not be enough to sustain everyone. The source of potable water will dry up in the next number of years. And there will be a mad search for new energy resources. The increasing population and human activities that speed up Earth's destruction greatly affects and disrupts ecological balance. With more and more species pushed in the edge of extinction, if such abuse to natural resources and wrong way of living continues, man's future will slowly be like a desert land as year passes by and all these global phenomenon will get even stronger and worse in the next few years. All that will be left is nothing but wasteland.

Submitted by Catherine T Tuaño on

The climate is rapidly changing globally with disruptive impacts; hence, the responsibility of managing it is upon every one of us. However, one must be educated what is going on. Notably, the interaction of human beings with their physical environment is a constantly changing one. The physical environment places limitations on human beings, but it also presents us with challenges to overcome those limitations. (Valerio)

What is climate change? Climate change, also known as global warming, refers to the rise in average surface temperatures on Earth which is primarily due to the high emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the air. The gases trap heat within the atmosphere, which can have a range of effects on ecosystems, including rising sea levels, severe weather events, and droughts that render landscapes more susceptible to wildfires. (TakePart:What is Climate Change?)

The Philippines is an archipelagic state with a topical and maritime climate which is characterized by relatively high temperature, high humidity and abundant rainfall. Manila has very-low to low-lying areas. As such, the country will be severely affected as the sea-level continue to rise because of the climate change.

But we can do something about it by promoting eco-balance and preservation. While the government educate and continuously creating bills and laws on the matter, the schools and in our homes should start implementing ways to help by organizing garbage and planting of trees. This may not be as easy as it seems but if no one will start today, nothing can be expected in the future.

Submitted by Rhyan Cacanindin on

Philippines needs a massive overhaul in our Government system first, by electing the right leaders so that when we are ready to setup an agency (Single agency that focuses on educating people and observing our nature and make laws for it and have the ultimate power to implement its rules and no one will be exempted), then we can appoint people into these functions to create sensitive laws for our nature and handle Climate change more effectively, I believe that Nature and changes of its climate must be taken more seriously as there were major impacts in our society and environment and we are just sitting and often times whining about, "what ifs, or we should have done this" when its already affected many people and even killed thousands of us, and destroyed millions of millions of infrastructures and livelihood.
We need a real solid plan to not just reduce climate change and not just create a perfect law to follow, more importantly we need to really care about our mother nature and genuinely participate, like everyone must understand first what's going on with our surroundings and what going to happens next in years to come, if don't act with urgency and with care.

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 Dianne Venegas on

I agree. Our leaders can make laws again and again but if implementation is weak, we can't expect our situation to change. I also believe that as Filipinos, our culture is to blame for why we are not as proactively participating in the global campaign against climate change. Filipinos rank 5th as the happiest people on earth - while it seems like something to celebrate about, it unfortunately reflects our misguided positivity and bahala-na, okay-lang-yan attitude towards disasters and tragedies.

Being 5th happiest would have been an honor, if it meant that all the happiness and energy are geared toward rebuilding a nation after billions of losses due to natural calamity. Unfortunately, all that happiness is focused on self-delusions and belief in good luck that things are going to get better 'someday'. No single effort is exerted to prevent another calamity nor minimize losses when the next one unavoidably happens. And this all goes back to lack of political will in our government in implementing laws, and the lack of the average Filipino's discipline and sense of responsibility.

As a Filipino, I know I can only do so much in contributing my share in minimizing and recycling wastes, and making purchase decisions that when done by enough number of people can compel manufacturers to change their product design, manufacturing practices, etc. that result to climate change. It can be depressing sometimes when my own (Filipino) husband throws a piece of candy wrapper from his car window and he could not be convinced of how an act so small can affect climate change so much. His depressing argument being, "So what? Everyone does it. Parang di ka Pilipino." My point exactly, if everyone STOPS doing it, and STOPS thinking that it's okay because ALL Filipinos do it, then maybe the future won't look so bad for our children. I think we, as a nation, are going to get the future we deserve, and I feel sorry for the next generations of Filipinos.

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 Gabrielle Angeline Arejola on

Let’s face it, us Filipinos can be helpful with our environment. Honestly, we can help the environment with just the simplest thing such as planting trees or just slightly changing something with our lifestyle, like throwing trash whenever and wherever we like to throw it. Being able to do this simple thing can help the environment in the slightest way. It can start small but once you start and let it grow in time. You will be able to have a habit doing it.
Filipinos are used to adapt to climate change because we tend to be in the middle of the happenings in the world. Such as having floods, or having droughts. But honestly this is cause because of us human beings. Examples are; floods that are caused because of the trash that we through whenever we want to and we tend to cut down trees and not replace them. This causes the water not being absorb by the roots of the tree; drought is specially cause here in the Philippines because we are a tropical country, especially when summer passes by, the temperature increases and makes heat. If we had more trees, there would be more air passing by.
Filipinos farmers, especially now, are experiencing climate change. Because of the crops are having extreme drought. This causes their crops to dry up. There are some instances that there is too much water when the heavy rain pours out. This causes they crops to drown. These are some instances that happen in the Philippines and the climate change.
Here in Laguna, they started to stop using plastic bags. Base on my research, burning plastics can cause cancer or increase the rate of getting cancer. Before, floods don’t tend to happen here, but when they started to cut down trees and floods occurrence increases every time a very strong storm or heavy rain happens

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 blancaver 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-philippines
(2) Employment Situation in January 2013 (Final Results). Retrieved September 30, 2013 from http://census.gov.ph/content/employment-situation-january-2013-final-results

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”.

Submitted by Zygie M on

In a few months, this topic will have been up for almost three years. Leading up to this point, it is interesting to note that I have not noticed any major public programs dealing with climate change, whether they be to educate more people about it, to fortify and modify vulnerable structures, or even to lessen the environmental impact our country contributes. Which is a shame, since the national elections are coming up.

Regarding adaptation to climate change itself, I've been seeing families (mine included) having to deal with damages that the increasingly strong typhoons are inflicting (part of climate change). The awareness is commendable, people having emergency supplies and plans to get them out of a spot, but what can a few people do if the government does not enact these steps widely and publicly?

As far as observations go, it has been a very slow and disappointing (almost) three years. There was(is?) an initiative to improve public transportation as to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, but hearing conflicting statements about it from authorities (Manila experiences heavy traffic because Filipinos are getting wealthier and buying more private vehicles) make these initiatives feel like a joke. The government has been improving communication towards areas that are typhoon-prone, but it's essentially just evacuating people and leaving all the properties to get destroyed. This is akin to just abandoning the lives and livelihoods of our countrymen. Here's to hoping that the national government apply themselves to the smaller, local units and in turn, these LGUs will help those even at the bottom.

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 Thomas Luga 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 Tierra 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

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