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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, 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 Ask now!

Image courtesy of audiovisualjunkie through a Creative Commons license


Submitted by Majella Sophia Luanne K Protacio on

Climate change is not only a serious problem that is affecting our country but is also the current crisis the world is experiencing today.
The Philippines, like many of the world’s poor countries, will be among the most vulnerable
to the impacts of climate change because of its limited resources. With impacts ranging from extreme weather events and periodic inundation to droughts and food scarcity, climate change has been a constant reality that many Filipinos have had to face. Most affected are those living in coastal communities and the lower class urban communities that lack awareness on proper disaster management and proactive preparations to take. We have the rainy season almost all year round, however, due to the uneven distribution of rain and typhoons with respect to time and space and occurrences of fortitious events such as floods and droughts, our water resources have experienced imbalances in supply and demand. Climate change has intensified its impact on our lives and has caused an imbalance in our natural eco-system and every onslaught has become unpredictable. Global warming is expected to occur due to increased
carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere in the next few years. The El-Nino related droughts has affected our economy in terms of agriculture, health and environment. As has been mentioned in this blog as well as on the World Bank Report on Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines, we should give credit on the aggressive steps and measures the Aquino government administration has undertaken to address the pressing problems of climate change. The current administration has created the Climate Change Commission (CCC) that would set policies on programs and projects on climate change. They also has set up a comprehensive and strategic climate reform agenda that will focus on addressing the climate policies and institutions to better plan, execute, and address the climate change problem. These are the National Strategic Framework on Climate Change and the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP).. Not only is the government sector into this issue, we also do read private groups conducting an experts dialogue and awareness projects to enlighten people about climate change in general and to update them on the steps the local and international leaders are doing to prevent damaging effects to people and the environment.

By acting now and by taking an aggressive stand in addressing this climate change issue as a priority, our country can prevent substantial economic and humanitarian costs and losses that could arise from the impacts of climate change in the near future. Climate change is inevitable and therefore we should act now before it is too late.

But then we should not only depend on the government to address this issue or any private group, each of us should be willing to do our own share and be more aware of what is going on around us; we should own the problem, take it as an advocacy and share this with our family and friends.

The big question is…. Are we up to the challenge of climate change ???

Submitted by Christian Winnerin Hilario on

Climate change is a global issue. It is especially challenging for developing nations like ours to deal with climate related problems. The Philippine government has a lot of work to do to improve its current policies on climate change. The laws and agencies that we have in the country right now are insufficient and inefficient, if not one of the least responsive in the world to climate change.
Take the Clean Air Act of 1999 for example. Fourteen years after being signed into law, our urban centers are still filled with smoke belching motor vehicles and there has been no significant improvement in air quality. With oil prices constantly increasing and oil wells quickly drying up, the shift to the use of renewable energy and greener forms of transportation could not be any timelier and practical.
Typhoons regularly pass the Philippines but it seems that we do not learn. In the recent typhoon and flooding disasters in various parts of the country, the lack of coordination between the national and local government units, as well as with the specialized agencies have caused delays (or worse failure) in rescue and relief operations. Add to this the perennial problem of corruption in our government. Stories about officials’ misuse of calamity funds, hoarding relief goods and distributing them only to select groups are certainly not good news. Good thing, there are those from the private sector and NGOs to augment in the efforts to help the affected.
Filipinos are a resilient people. It would certainly help if the government can come up with better policies to manage climate change.

Submitted by lee venice mae loquez on

what we do to nature, nature do to us.
climate change is unstoppable, but there are always ways i think on how we could decrease the occurences of calamities resulting from it. apparently, our government as well other groups and organizations, are doing their best to provide for assistance and help to our fellow citizens who were affected by typhoons, floods and landslides. but these are anot enough, and these are not lasting solutions to this ever evolving problem. education and discipline are important factors in achieving a lasting solution. obviuously, most of us do not learn. we travel and sea our waters flooded with garbage too. this may be a little unrealistic, but if only our government could come up with a plan, a structure on how to equally distribute goods and opportunities, then people would be equally dispersed too and would not have to crowd our cities and add up to the already dense population and serried garbage. there are areas in our provinces that are being left because of limited or no job opportunities.
those of us who are more aware, must set our selves as examples, as well help in educating others on the effects of climate change and what we could do not to add up to the problem because really, the solution starts within ourselves. laws are made to be followed. the laws of nature tell us never to abuse nature. this is the only livable planet for humans, no research has been proven yet that we could evacuate to mars or any planet once the earth is too damaged. this is all we have. so we might as well protect it.

Submitted by MYung Jin Ha on


I am a South Korean studying here in the Philippines. While reading the article, I was thinking to myself that it is good that the country is making an effort to help stop the climate change, or at least, try to slow it down. It was also a pleasant surprise to realize that the country, especially the Aquino government, has taken so many measures of integrating and setting climate change prevention plans into motion. However, when I reached the part where it mentioned PSF, I was quite surprised. Almost two weeks ago, the Typhoon Haiyan hit the country very badly and while so many people from all over the world are trying to help, help was still slow in coming. While so many problems have hit this country lately, such as the war, then typhoon in central luzon uprooting mango trees, destroying rice crops ready for harvest, earthquake in bohol and the Haiyan in Leyte and Samar. But where is the 1 Billion pesos initial fund for the PSF? People's Survival Fund you called it, but where is the fund when it is needed the most for survival? Just asking. Thank you!

Submitted by Jose Christian Rodillas on

Filipinos, how are you adapting to climate change?
I take bath more often. I like air-conditioned places. I always bring umbrella and water. Even if it is very hot I wear long sleeves so that my skin won’t be TOASTED. High consumption of electrical bill with all fans running.
Many Filipinos are "magaling sa Salita pero kulang sa Gawa"
Global warming is the increase in the average measured temperature of the Earth's near surface and oceans.
Increasing global temperature is expected to cause sea levels to raise an increase, an increase in the in intensity of extreme weather events and significant changes to the amount and pattern of precipitation likely leading to an expanse of tropical areas increased pace of desertification. Other expected effects of global warming include changes in agricultural yields, modification of trade routes, glacier retreat, mass species instinct ions and increases in the ranges of disease vectors.
All of these phenomena have been experiences by our fellow kababayan. The one that stroke our heart was last year’s typhoon Yolanda where many lives were properties were lost. I live at Quezon Province and we have experienced it too. That was very frightening and traumatic experience in our city. And the ones who contribute and perform illegal activities to our environments are the ones who do not experience causalities because they have the money to live in safe houses in private subdivions. We are the ones who pay for their wrongdoing
The one ones who should lead to these activities are the ones tolerate and give funds to these company who doesn't care about the environment and only want to be profitable. I have seen news of people who protest so that the people will be aware to and also to hear their voice and heard by the authorities that should the one giving us awareness about climate change.
They boast about the universities and colleges they came from bit I think they only give shame to these top institutions.
They are educated people they know the do's and don'ts about are environment and I know it is taught in school how to take care of it.
"Imbis na pamumulitika ang inaatupag nila at paghahanap ng stratehiya para makilala at iboto ng taumbayan SILA ang manguna. Huwag gumawa ng pangakong napapako"
If you cannot see the change, be the change!
Be the change if others are not, if others cannot, and even if others will not.
Climate Change already began, and there is no way we can stop it.
The good news is there is a solution to slow it down.
Let us care for our children's children the future generation wherein the world they are going to witness is a place even life cannot be sustainable we should ALL act NOW. Let us start from small things. What are those?

1. Proper disposing of garbage
2. Lessen the use of plastic
3. Conserve water
4. Minimize the use of transportation that greatly contributes to the pollution (carbon emission) and global warming.
5. If you have time to walk, walk!
6. And others (you can add)
I know that these people who do anomaly will be hard to fight and takes a lot of time to put them behind bars because of their money but the simplest we can do is not to be like them, let us be the addition to the burden of our environment and fellow kababayans.

Submitted by Salvador G. Fresado, Jr. on

Climate change is real and inevitable. It has been in our world since the beginning of time. The solution is not stopping it but adapting though it. Live with it! But live with it safely and alive. How do we do that? Adaptation is the best solution that a man can do to counteract forces of nature like typhoon, floods, earthquakes and many more. You don’t wear winter clothing in a tropical country.

I agree that people are tampering the earth’s natural face through clearing forests, draining swamps, irrigating deserts and many others that may result in abnormal climate changes. I also agree that these so called earth alteration is necessary because of growing needs of the people for them to survive. We are all aware that the people are the first and foremost to be affected whenever a natural calamity strikes. We are also in agreement that these natural calamities, by the term itself natural will happen no matter what, but its’ frequency and strength can be associated with climate change which people are partly responsible through the wide use of greenhouse gases and improper use of forests land and water.

Of course the best solution to really counteract the effect of climate change is to control it by means of conservation, reforestation, proper and intelligent water and land use and many others. While it will take several years to see its’ effect we could therefore make man made counteractions. For example, in a typhoon and flood prone communities, we could consider the houses that we are building. We saw the type of houses that are most like easily destructed by an average typhoon so why build those types? We saw the effect of “daluyong” then why are we still allow houses to be built in places where we know water surges may happen. We built dams to counteract floods and saw its’ effectiveness, did we consider building an underground dam? We already saw the effect of mining. Why then uncontrolled and unregulated mining still exist? There are so many why’s that can be answered by a simple common sense. As Mahatma Gandhi said”be the change you wish to see in the world”. Our government can just do too much. No matter how effective and expensive a program that any government will create if there will no participation from us as an individual then there will be no changes.

While I do not disagree with the creation of CCA however I believe that the solutions to climate change has been in placed already. Creating another agency will just result in another budget allocation. Instead why don’t just revisit, revalidate, reinforced and modify ongoing and existing programs that are already in place. These programs may be in place for different purposes but when properly implemented and followed will also result to combating climate change. For example, population control is in place to slow down birth for several reason including food security, maternal health however when population control is successful it will create a domino effect to the point that it will also resolve climate change problem.

As a future educator, I believe that DepEd plays a very important role in making sure that the future generations, today’s students, are made conscientious as to what are the effects of climate change in our country. In this manner they will be able to realize and discontinue practices that contribute to this foregoing and start to live their life differently.

Submitted by Jonas Dimaculangan on

-I think that one of the best ways to attenuate the GHG emissions from the energy sector is by installing solar panels and or wind power plants to produce energy without pollution. The cost of investment on this kind of energy producer may be high but in the long run it will greatly reduce the pollution that contributes in destroying our planet. In Metro Manila alone, there are a lot of vehicles that produces greenhouse gas. Buses, trucks and cars with worn-out engines are some examples of GHG pollutants in the transport sector that is causing too much pollution. I think that one of the strategies to control this problem is by passing and strictly implementing a law that will require an annual car inspection starting from big cities where the volume of traffic is high. It will prevent people from using vehicles with worn-out engines and lessen its pollution rate.

- these programs that were created are signs of progress in the country but corruption slows its growth. The Department of Education should add courses that focuses heavily on climate change or climate control to produce citizens with high knowledge on this matter. It is true that our country is lacking in advanced technology but it doesn't mean that we don't have the capability of preventing casualties whenever a typhoon or natural disaster hits our country. Focusing on the education of the people about the cause and effect of our actions is one of the many ways that can help the citizens deal with the changing climate effects to us. The government lacks in excellence when it comes to governing and its citizens in attitude, knowledge and discipline. While there is still time, we should act now before it is too late for us to make room for improvements regarding our environment.

Submitted by Anna on

Al Gore visited the Philippines in 2010 and talked about the dangers of Global changes, sadly its very evident nowadays that only few heeded his warning.

We are all for development, advancement of our country however some methods and/or means have detrimental effects to nature which contributes to the worsening of climate change.

Trees were cut to make way for shopping malls, mountains flattened for high rise condominiums, the beach shores swarmed with restaurants and hotels. It doesnt take a genius to figure out why we are experiencing natural disasters, such as flood, landslide and drought.

The government should partner with an organization that is expert in rehabilatating nature, and have real concern about the environment.

Citizens should also take part in helping make the place they live a healthier one. We could start simply by not throwing trash, spitting, pissing anywhere. Let us cut down our carbon footprint, by being aware of how much we emit daily and how to reduce it.

It takes a country to fight climate change.

Submitted by April Miranda on

Our environment has truly change through the years and it's not surprising how difficult it is for our generation to adapt to climate change. The effect of our actions is the main cause as to why we are experiencing the changes in our environment. I think that with proper attitude in taking care of our mother earth and contributing to making small changes would truly have an impact in our society. Small changes such as changing to paper bags instead of using plastic,keeping small trash instead of throwing it publicly and separating biodegradable to non-biodegradable garbage. We need to keep in mind that the cleanliness of our environment depends on how we would take care of our mother earth.

Submitted by Klaudette Zarah Leisibach on

“Filipinos, how are you adapting to climate change?” you ask, and my answer is that we aren't adapting well.

The Philippines had been blessed naturally: abundant seas, soil rich in nutrients, huge amounts of mineral deposit, a huge diversity of flora and fauna. I should use has been instead of had been, but we no longer enjoy the same amount of those natural resources.

I believe that Filipinos (in general) have never been properly educated about how natural resources are finite, and how we should preserve our meager resources left. We have unknowingly taken for granted: how everything, no matter how abundant, can become scarce one day.

Climate change is a sad fact, and it has been happening for quite a while. Our current lifestyle doesn't allow us to worry so much about climate change as we have other more pressing matters to worry about. We are so concerned with our day-to-day living, that saving the environment isn't even thought about: the temperature rises, we take showers more frequently and use air cooling devices; there is flooding, we barricade our houses the best we can and pray that it wouldn't get inside; there is food shortage, we start hoarding, making the prices of commodities even more expensive. Our main concern is everyday survival, adapting to climate change is probably not even at the bottom of our list.

There could be organizations that are researching and promoting ways of how we can lessen the impact of climate change, but we (the ordinary Juans) are probably not even aware that they exist and what their roles are. There could also be organizations that have the budget and/or financial aid that are trying to educate, to inform the public on how to decrease their carbon footprint, whom we don't have the faintest idea about. The final action lies not on the hands of those organizations, but ultimately on our hands—no matter how informed or educated we are about climate change, if we refuse to act upon it, nothing will happen.

Currently, I don't think we (the common folk) are doing much about this [climate change] issue. We wouldn't even notice environmental issues unless it actually starts to affect us or our locality (flash floods, land slides, drought, etc.) The best that we could do now is to to educate and teach the next generation,while they are still young and impressionable, how they can do their share of promoting sustainable development amidst climate change.

Submitted by Maryam Omar Caliwag on

I am happy to know that the Philippine government is finally raising funds, initiating good leadership and gathering information on how to prevent and lower the damage of climate change. However I hope that our government will also focus on implementing simple house rules like keeping our community clean, our resources bountiful and lastly trying to influence different societies to be more environmental concern and supporting. This is my opinion because Earth at this very moment is in need of special and extra care from us, her inhabitants. We should be able to take care of her and make sure that we are not causing more stress by exhausting our resources and we should learn how to control our waste pollutions. Furthermore, we must be considerate with the species around us who also happens to share this world with us.

Our government has made good plans for our country since we already experienced the violent consequence of climate change. However, we cannot save our country by just raising funds, learning the gathered information and dominating on it. It is a must for us to practice and actually work on saving nature in our country. We should not rely on just technological ways for there are ways that are simple and effective and all types of people can do it. These ways or technique were used by our ancestors. Like how the Ifugaos cultivated and preserved the ever majestic rice terraces. How other indigenous Filipino people planted and took care of the native trees that were responsive to the climate of the Philippines. These techniques were useful and helpful to them therefore it will be useful and helpful for our generation. If there are other people who argues that the nature or environment of our country was different before then I suggest that we combine our ancestors’ ancient knowledge to our modern knowledge so that we can for sure save our environment. With this way we also instill the bond, culture and tradition between us and nature. We must also educate the young Filipino citizens on how to take care of nature because it is for their future and benefit. We should oblige and expose them to focus on learning the native animals and plants that only exists in the Philippines so that they will be proud and they will learn to value their existence. Our government and the non-governmental organizations must stop deforestation in our country to have more commercial areas and focus on encouraging everyone in the Philippines to see the beautiful nature our country offers. We must do our share in keeping our nature naturally beautiful and alive. We must practice clean and conserving lifestyle. We should be aware in conserving the water, food and natural resources because one of the keys in preventing climate change is finding a way to make our environment come back to its un-exhausted form.

Submitted by Qeren Bartido on

Glad to know that our government is planning this project to prevent future casualties and damage in our country. I hope that they will plan it very carefully to prevent financial problems and other things that will be causing the government's project to fail. I also hope that they will take action sooner.

Submitted by Diselin Kawabuchi on

To those who are aware about the climate change, I think much better if you will do more actions to encourage those who are weak, or not aware of it, or maybe just don't care about it. Not only government officials, but I encourage every Filipino that, if you already knew the right things that you should do, put them into actions so that you can be an example to others. For example sharing this news and planting trees, etc., are better than gossiping...

Submitted by Mark Andrew Cunanan on

“Filipinos, how are you adapting to climate change?”

I try my best to make this answer related to the subject.

I will answer this question by explaining how this event comes from start to end in action.

First is the will or goal to do the desired action.

Second is the making of the action plan.

Last is the execution of the action.

1 Person or No Social Interaction interacting with the Physical

Suppose that it suddenly got hot or rainy this day. What do we do? We do actions related to the goal of many actions. We turn on the radio to listen to the news, we shut the windows, turn on the fans, etc. and actions go up to the extent depending on what state and environment we are on. Whether we are poor, rich, unaware, shallow, and all that makes a change on what we do and how we react. We ourselves are physical, and that makes other physical measures affect us. In turn, in all the times humanity have gathered and existed, all of us have adapted to the environment because for us to live, need the ability to survive and maintain our stand. Evolution is one that exists for humans to live long.
Multi-person Interaction/Social Interaction interacting with the Physical

I will supply a different example.
Suppose we are in a catastrophic situation. Intense climate change, mix of other factors due and not due to climate change, etc. The more intense, the more it kicks in. That is why people tend to resolve things when it is too late because the hardship is already happening. In this situation, there will be a lot of positivity, with equal negativity. Sources:'s_laws_of_motion
(“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
If you believe the universe stands fair, then you might think there is balance in this universe.)
Back to the topic, there will be a lot of risks and benefits.
One risk is there might be losses due to the efforts of the others also wanting to survive.
One benefit is that more might gain because of harmony between people.
One other behaviour observable from this point is that people always will end up selfish when there are no choices left. It is also an essential. There is time for harmony when we are all fine and time for chaos when we are all self-prioritized.


As a summary I would like to conclude that with all these laws and wills, we will try to always find a way to adapt to the universe. Our thirst for superiority would not be quenched. All of these happening are just consequences of what’s existing beneath us. For we rely just on the past.

Further sources:
Wiki Free_will#Free_will_as_an_illusion
Wiki Will_to_power
Wikipedia will to live
Wikipedia Causality

P.S. The reason why I mention those links is because they are some of the universal laws the universe beholds and cannot exist without.

Submitted by Paulo Conrado Puyat on

It is very endearing to know that not just our government, but other countries also care about helping our global warming crisis as well. Hopefully the funds that we are receiving is being used to truly help in research for global warming and to help in future calamities that may happen. Because there have been problems with how the government uses the funds for our country before.

Even though the government is trying their very best to solve the problem, a lot can be done by us, the people of the Philippines. Something as simple as everyone making recycling and not littering a habit can make a huge difference. We cannot rely on the government alone. We must do our part. Another problem is during the actual typhoon. There has been news in the past about people stealing during the typhoon. Since everyone is seeking shelter, they leave their homes with no one guarding them. When the storm calms there are people who go into those homes and take things that aren't theirs even if they don't need them. They even steal from supermarkets and shops that were also abandoned due to the typhoon. We seem helpless during these situations because rather than being one unit as people helping each other, we are weak and separated. We should be trying to help everyone and not just ourselves and those who are close to us. Once we realise this we will be able to solve more of our country's problems.

Our government can try their very best to fix our global warming crisis, even with the help of other countries, but unless we do our part this crisis may never be fixed.

Submitted by Danilo Cruz on

I think the big and small question about climate change in our country, is what we can do to engage the public?

Submitted by Diselin Kawabuchi on

We must start act today...

Adaptation is a learning process. We all need to continuously improve our adaptation strategies, and making climate adaptation a topic at all levels is important.

Together, involve decision-makers, increase understanding about climate change, create awareness about the need for society to adapt. Preparing for possible things to come is much better than bearing the impact of climate change without any protection.

Submitted by Gavin Gamayo on

Climate change was active long ago before expose to every people. We often heard it in the news, but we are not actually aware of it, it just suddenly people adapted to it. This maybe the most unsolvable problem for us. However, as a human being, we live in this impossible world to make possible things.

Philippines had experienced most of the rapid changes happen in the world. Encountering floods, typhoon, drought, and etc. had made every Filipinos to adapt against their natural calamities. Gladly, Philippine government raise their funds towards climate change prevention. However, can raising funds can possibly prevent climate change? How about consider yourself involve though? Then probably that’s the most possible solution for climate change right?

Our lifestyle had been wasteful for couple of years. Isn’t it wonderful to start making our lives be more productive yet climate friendly for the sake of our children’s future?
But how can a normal Filipino can help lessen the impact of climate change? This has do to with the way we live. Unaware of it, we are helping climate change in the way we do our activities. One of the good example is taking advantage to technology. Considering Philippines is not a major GHG emitter, but what if we are? The selfie capital of the world and one of the most active technology user in the world can eventually be one of the most contributor of greenhouse gasses? I hope not.

Furthermore, we Filipinos had accustomed living in a naive lifestyle. We tend to use too much water, electricity, gasoline, etc. Unconsciously, we haven’t notice that these too much can contribute another greenhouse gas that worsen global warming. So let’s try to practice not to waste those things and keep in mind that your simple doing can have an enormous responsibility towards Mother Nature.

Adapting to climate change is possibly one of the hardest challenge for us living in a tropical country, but we should learn how to live because it’s our fault and it’s our duty to pay the product of our own.

Submitted by Froilan Medina on

The Future is Now

I. Ideas regarding the WB Report

I thought the report was very thorough and comprehensive. It covers information on the impacts of climate change on our country, the sectors most affected and how, legislation, budget appropriation, and planning-execution of programs, activities and projects (PAPs).

Projects, activities and programs need funding. This means public funds. In the past, public funds have been diverted and plundered by corrupt officials and criminal individuals and groups. We need public funds that could go to climate action projects, activities and programs, rehabilitation and restoration of basic needs and services. So in strengthening the planning, execution and financing framework, it would be important to have checking and control measures in place against corruption.

I think this would also require having good people in government, in leadership and management positions, held accountable to the people, transparent and impartial.

On a global level, we might say that the real culprits are the developed countries engaged in harmful mass production, exploitation and destruction of natural resources, and large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. But we suffer the consequences. We need to become aware of the problem, then adapt accordingly – how to help mitigate climate change and prepare for disasters.

II. Go Green, Go Veg

Personally, I just try to save energy, and help lessen pollution by maintaining my vehicle well so it burns less fuel and effectively, without harmful levels of emission.

And I’m a vegetarian. ☺

The dynamics between man and his/her physical environment, local and global, requires natural laws that we abide by and that maintain ecological balance and sustainability in order to survive.

“If we really want to reduce the human impact on the environment, the simplest and cheapest thing anyone can do is to eat less meat. Behind most of the joints of beef or chicken on our plates is a phenomenally wasteful, land- and energy-hungry system of farming that devastates forests, pollutes oceans, rivers, seas and air, depends on oil and coal, and is significantly responsible for climate change. The way we breed animals is now recognised by the UN, scientists, economists and politicians as giving rise to many interlinked human and ecological problems, but with 1 billion people already not having enough to eat and 3 billion more mouths to feed within 50 years, the urgency to rethink our relationship with animals is extreme.”
“…For this, say the vegetarians, the meat eaters get increased chances of obesity, cancers, heart diseases and other illnesses as well as a hole in the pocket. A meat diet is generally considered twice as expensive as a vegetarian one.”
Source: Vidal, J. (2010) “10 Ways Vegetarianism Can Help Save the Planet”. The Guardian.
Retrieved from:

Submitted by Bianca Lam on

Climate change is inescapable. It’s all across of everywhere. Anything and everything under the sun experiences its effects. Unfortunately, this isn’t a thing to cheer on and be happy about.
Over the years, the earth’s been going through changes. These may seem but miniscule effects of the world’s aging, but if one were to look closely, these changes were our doing. From our carelessness, our own home has been suffering, if only quietly. Now though, it is clear that if action is not to be taken upon this matter, things will get worse.
It doesn’t seem to be a question of adapting if we are already born to this—this, meaning the state which the world is already in. It’s been changing constantly, for as long as anybody has ever known. Otherwise, adapting to climate change seems relatively easy. The state of things has become the world’s normal, in my opinion, and so the same goes for me. I just think it’s a shame that this is so.
People talk of things that will help to fix this problem—programs, people, organizations, even the government—but so far, no visible changes have been made. Fixing a worldwide problem will obviously take time. It has been said though, that if change is to happen, it should always begin with oneself. This goes with everyone else who wishes to make a change in the world. “If you want something done, do it yourself” is a common phrase for this idea. Perhaps being one to start would be a good example to others—if nobody won’t, then who will?

Submitted by Melanie Quinto on

Let the polluters pay and let each one contribute

Pollution which is the major cause of climate change is a very serious problem in the Philippines, particularly in Metro Manila. Although, better and more data is needed to assess the severity of the problem, it is apparent that the impacts are already being seen as communities damaged by huge typhoons are still struggling to rebuild their lives. Every year, Filipinos are learning the effects of inaction towards climate change in a very hard way. We may be slightly more prepared and resilient but at the same time, meetings on climate change do not result to meaningful actions. Government programs and policies are not responding to the urgency of the problem and not holding accountable the big polluters.
There is no doubt that the air in Metro Manila is seriously degraded with the obvious presence of air particles that reduce visibility on most days. There are some research on using emission fees to manage big sources of pollution in Manila. Emissions fees in particular have political support in the government, since they can both improve incentives regarding pollution and raise revenue for the relevant agencies for monitoring and enforcement. Furthermore, the Philippines already has experience with emissions fees.
An emissions fee can create financial incentives to reduce pollution and at the same time generate revenue. The incentive effect occurs because the fee makes emissions costly to the firm, and thus if the firm can use less in its production process, it saves money. The maximum incentive effect is achieved when the fee levied on incremental emissions reflects the costs of those emissions to society. The costs can be either measured in terms of the increased damages to the health of the population, or valued by the costs to the economy of further reducing emissions upon reaching a target level, depending on the policy goal. An emissions fee allows firms maximum flexibility to choose the control option that best suits their situation. Even if a company chooses to make no reductions in the near term and pay the fees on all its emissions, the mere existence of the fee can be a factor in future decisions to expand or modify its facilities.
Although much can be learned to implement the program, we can begin immediately with a straightforward fee program targeted initially at the most important emitters.
However, combatting the effects of climate change is not the sole responsibility of businesses and firms or the government. Every individual is responsible for his environment. Each of us can reduce emissions through simple actions like changing a light bulb, powering down electronics, using less water, and recycling. We can start these actions at home with our family and use energy-saving light bulbs. It takes a lot of energy to pump and treat water so saving water reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Composting your food waste reduces the garbage that you send to landfills which leads to less gas emissions. Idle electronics still use electricity and so we should power down our electronics and equipment at home and in the office when not in use. Then, spread the word by telling family and friends that energy efficiency is good for the environment because it reduces greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

Submitted by Marie Crystal Ruiz on

When I hear of climate Change,the first word that comes in my mind is the "EL NINO".Well,for many of us in the Philippines we know that "EL NINO" is a worst drought season.That many of our farmers really don't like this.And there is this "LA NINA" that according to is a counterpart of "EL NINO".
So in other word "EL NINO" and "LA NINA" is just one effect of climate change.As I read the World Bank Report on Getting Grip on Climate Change,it's about how the government are making plans to fight this changes. There are a lot of plans,they even established different kind of institutions that are assigned to help the people on this changes.They even put some budget to make those plans possible.
But,Why we don't see any progress on these plans?The different institutions are established a few years back then.Budgets are being distributed at the same time.What are they waiting for to implement those plans? Where are the CCC (Climate Change Commision),the CCCC (Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change), and the PSFB (Peoples Survival Fund Board)?
As the years go by the effect of the climate change are getting seen and felt by the people.The floods,typhoons,and earthquakes.Just thinking of these calamities happening to the world.What else will be the worst scenario of this changes? We may not change everything in one day,But when will the people will start to learn how to protect the environment.When there is nothing left.
Even the government has all the plans, the budget needed,if the people of the country don't support nor don't have concern we cannot fight this changes.
Climate is caused by humans.As an individual we all have our share of responsibility on what is happening to our world.Just by doing your own way of protecting the environment is a big help. We may not feel nor see the effect in one day or two.But we can slowly influenced other to do the same thing.Let us not give all the responsibility to the government.Let us also help them in our own little way,that little thing you do may give a big difference to the world.

Submitted by Roberto M. Eamilao on

Act Now

According to World Bank, Philippines had established government offices holding special projects (e.g., NCCAP, LLCAPS, DRRM, CCC, etc.) designed to properly deal with the issues brought by climate change. To lessen climate risks, it argues that the country should emphasize environmental protection prior to possibly conducting infrastructure development, land use changes, and urbanization processes. Here, I believe, sustainable development should be achieved even without sacrificing the environment, thus, we can determine what it can give us in return.

The term change had long been interconnected to the term climate. It is because in the past, people’s experiences on natural calamities are bearable. Unlike nowadays that calamities are beyond people’s expectations and capabilities to cope. As climate manifest worsening changes, people should also approach it with excellent change management. There must be changes in the social system as well as the behaviors and attitude of the social actors. Change can be easily accepted and adopted if its benefits are known to the affected stakeholders (Cao et al., 2004).

As former resident of Marikina City (1994-2010), my family is a living testimony of surviving from floods brought by typhoons’ (e.g., Ondoy, etc.) rains. Many times we experienced going to evacuation center to escape from the danger of a water-swelling river. Many times, after the flood, we go back to zero every now and then…we don't have a choice but to recover as fast as we could. Our properties were destroyed…until we decided to leave Marikina and move to Montalban, to reside on a higher place.

Marikina is a basin to its surrounding areas: Quezon City and Rizal municipalities. Thus, all waste waters with trashes and other debris coming from these places flow through the Marikina River, with a full blast during rainy seasons.

I was too young in 1994 that I can't voice out my complaint why did they allow my parents to build our house in Minahan Libis, Malanday, Marikina City, since the land rights' stewards along with the barangay officials are aware of the dangers that the river can create. Or should I blame my parents for not thinking of the possible consequences prior to deciding to settle into such place?

Now, I am old enough to offer my propositions which must be known to all Filipinos: government officials and fellow citizens. I boldly say, talks and plans are too much from the government officials; enough of the pointless debates, enough of politicizing, enough of deceitful propaganda! As a Filipino citizen, I would love to see immediate actions from our leaders. I want them to be proactive…to be responsible…to be real servants of their own people…that they should lead with pure intentions, that is, to lead towards national progress and sustainability…for balanced interest of all.

World Bank mentioned that Philippines should have comprehensive and strategic climate reform resolutions which aim to address, overcome or even avoid the negative impact of climate change. I agree to such recommendation because I desire eliminations of casualties during weather disturbances – for country’s progress is hampered if people are dying due to non-implementations of effective resolutions.

Would like to add some of my suggestions to be included in climate change resolutions:
1. The resolution itself should include revival of moral values among the Filipino people, either government official or plain citizen. Integrity, honesty, quality service, self-discipline, contentment, impartiality, social responsibility, concern, etc. should be practiced by all. These values when exercised will end up corruption, greediness, bribery, unscrupulous or under-the-table transactions, conflicts, power-centered politicians, etc.
2. Strict implementation of environmental policies (forest cares, control mining and logging activities, etc.). The violators should be penalized accordingly.
3. Continue planting more trees, except bolivian mahogany (and other self-serving trees) which destroys the natural forest.
4. Find ways to minimize, or if possible, stop quarrying activities.
5. Remove people from dangerous zones. Provide them decent house relocations. Dangerous zones should remain vacant spaces. Do not transform agricultural lands into real estates. People first, and no ill interests.
6. Deepen the rivers and other sewerage systems.
7. Citizens should ensure that their houses are resistant against powerful storms and other catastrophes; houses away from dangerous zones.
8. Ensure consistent availability of manpower, equipment and tools for rescue operations.
9. The country should purchase ‘Class A’ diesel, gasoline, and the likes…to stop severe air pollution.
10. And others.

Unfortunately, humans are part of worsening climate conditions, for example, by aggravating pollutions which destroy the ozone layer or digging the deepest seas to sip crude oil…do you think it has no negative effect in the environment? I believe there is.

I believe in the quotation “Prevention is Better than Cure.” Applying it on dealing with climate change, Philippines should not wait for succeeding strong typhoons, storm surges, deadly floods, fatal landslides, strong earthquakes, la niña, el niña, forest fires, and others. The government, with citizens’ support, should act now. And while conducting preparations, resolutions, and implementations – the venom corruption and other anomalies should not hamper the topmost objective, that is, for Filipinos to survive and enjoy secured and longer lives. We can’t prevent or control the arrival of natural calamities, but we can ensure that above all, people are safe no matter what happen.

Lastly, I believe while people continue to exist, there is still hope to resolve all environmental issues. We should become good stewards of the originally beautiful world entrusted to us, children of God.


CAO, G., CLARKE, S. & LEHANEY, B. 2004. The Need for a Systemic Approach to Change Management - A Case Study Systemic Practice and Action Research, 17, 103-126.

Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines. Available at:

Submitted by Sharry Mae Salanio on

Climate change can be directly related to human’s activities. We keep on changing our natural environment. In the Philippines, we used to live in houses called “nipa hut” which was made mainly of bamboos, wood, and pawid (palm leaves) but now, most people, especially in urban areas, prefer houses made of hollow blocks, cements and iron. The materials used in building our traditional “bahay-kubo” are easy to grow and available locally. Aside from that, it can also help us avoid using air conditioners and electric fans because the interior is cool and do not overheat with extreme temperature, which can lead to less consumptions of electricity.

Before, our ancestors used boat, carabaos and horses for transportation purpose so there’s no need to use fuel. But now, even in small provinces, people are using cars to go from one place to another. The growing number of vehicles being used especially in urban areas contributes to air pollution. Industrialization and development on new technologies have caused convenience to our lives, but we could not deny the negative impacts that it caused our environment and its health risks to all living things. I am not suggesting that we should go back to what we were many years ago, that we should avoid the use of new technologies. I just want everyone spare some time to think if we really need all these changes despite of its harmful effects both to us and our environment.

Submitted by Paulo Reyes on

Climate change is everyone's concern. If we are not going to change the way we treat our planet, we will soon be gone. Our population keeps on increasing while just a portion of it cares about the future. There will come a time when our specie will be wiped off the face of Earth due to our own negligence if this continues.

I think those people who do not help stop climate change do so because they think they will not be affected. Maybe what we experience now is not yet enough to scare some people. But what about the future generations? If this continues, our extinction may be inevitable.

So what can a normal Filipino do to help? We can start by reducing our carbon footprint:

• Instead of using cars to travel short distances, why don't we walk for a change? We can save gas and exercise at the same time. It is like hitting two birds with one stone.
• We can replace the light bulbs that we use at home. LED lights are much cheaper now compared to its cost during its early days. It consumes less energy which in return reduces our carbon footprint. It may be more expensive than other light bulbs available but it will eventually pay for itself because of its low electric consumption and durability.
• Proper waste segregation can also help slow down global warming. There are organizations which collect plastics and turn it to another material such as chairs. One good example is Eat Bulaga. There are also NGOs and LGUs that have a project like this.
• Do not waste energy. The major cause of global warming, as what the article mentioned, is the emission of carbon dioxide caused by burning fossil fuels. The majority of the power we use is generated through this process. If we can minimize our electricity usage, we are indirectly helping reduce carbon dioxide emission.
• Participate in activities that promote climate change awareness. Education is the key to success. If more people will become aware of the problem, more people will act on it.

These are the things that a Filipino like me can do to help slow down, if not stop, climate change. It is good to know that the government is trying to do something about it but that will be nonsense if most of the people act like they do not care. Everyone should care about the future. We should all act on it.

Submitted by Ida Jimeno on

I am glad to know that our government is doing something to prevent climate change. There are finally some people and organizations that are stepping up to the challenge of saving Mother Earth. I think that more effort and funds should be put into these projects though.

We can also help to prevent climate change in our own little ways. One way is by being energy-efficient. We should reduce our use of oil and gasoline as much as we can. We should reduce our electricity consumption at home by switching to energy-efficient lighting, reducing energy for cooling and heating, and buying energy-efficient appliances. We should use our cars less and use public transportation more. We should try to eat more locally produced food. We should recycle whenever possible. Making energy conservation a part of our daily lives is important to combat global warming.

I think that Filipinos should be made more aware of climate change and what they can do to help prevent it.

Submitted by Susan Orias on

My question for the Blogsite and hope to get an answer: "Why are environmental issues like climate change so hard to resolve despite research, media and international attention and related public awareness being done about it?" tahnk you.

My Blog: Pillar 2: Skills build up andKnowledge base-climate change
According to the World Bank Report (WBR), “the way forward is to follow the WBR recommendations and together with the Strategic Action Plan, should be anchored to the Philippine Government’s climate reform agenda through a framework that includes three pillars such as: Pillar 1: Strengthening the Planning, Execution, and Financing Framework for Climate Change; Pillar 2: Enhancing Leadership and Accountability through Monitoring, Evaluation, and Review of Climate Change Policies and Activities; Pillar 3: Building Capacity and Managing Change. Each of these pillars includes a set of objectives and underlying activities:”
In the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda, there is so much to be done in terms of rebuilding the lives and land devastated by the wrath of this super typhoon .Reports state that Yolanda had destroyed around P13.1B worth of infrastructure and had affected immensely the lives of more or less 9.9M people living in the Visayas Region. In this regard, there is a need from the national government to continue the flow of resources to response, recovery and rehabilitation efforts. Moreover, strengthening Pillar 3 of the abovementioned Philippine Government’s climate reform agenda should be done. In this regard, the need “to build skills and a Knowledge-base on climate change” should be highly considered and supported. This knowledge about climate change will open up the minds of individuals particularly those affected by the super typhoon to connect with the larger society and through cooperation get back on their feet to do things the right way. This means being able to learn from the lessons brought about by Yolanda. It is having the knowledge to adapt to their environment and be better prepared to handle natural calamities through knowledge management and sociological imagination.
Knowledge management is the deliberate and systematic coordination of an organization ’ s people, technology, processes, and organizational structure in order to add value through reuse and innovation. This is achieved through the promotion of creating, sharing, and applying knowledge as well as through the feeding of valuable lessons learned and best practices into corporate memory in order to foster continued organizational learning.
The aftermath of Yolanda should be documented along with the devastation brought about by the Bohol earthquake in 2013. These would serve as database/invaluable information “to build skills and a Knowledge-base on climate change.” This will be for public dissemination through sharing and multimedia and other means of communication. In particular, definition and terms about weather and climate change, should be clearly stated in the native language of every Region in the Philippines. For instance, the buzzword, “storm surge” was used when super typhoon Yolanda hit the Visayas, yet people could not understand it’s nature better if the word “tsunami” was used then. The relationship between man and his environment should be well explained ( different attitudes toward valuing the environment and other “cultural filters” which can affect the way people perceive the environment and “scientific evidence about it.”). More importantly, lessons learned and best practices from such catastrophes, would make people feel the urgency/involvement, awareness of being prepared before and after natural calamities.
With knowledge management coupled with sociological imagination which is the ability of an individual to see the relationship between his personal experiences with his immediate community and the larger society, the problem of climate change can be better understood to make them forewarned and forearmed and well prepared for any natural calamities.
Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines…Philippines/Final ExReport.pdf
Ventura, E., Lopez Wui, MG., Rolda, R. (2003). UPOU SOCSCI 1 Foundation in Behavioral Science
Ventura, et al “ Unit1, Module 2”

Gomez, Raquel. The Yolanda Challenge: Rebuilding the land, rebuilding lives. Phil Daily Inquirer dated November 30, 2013.
Global Environmental Issues. Edited by Frances Harris. John Wiley and Sons, Ltd. 2004. P 10.

Submitted by J. Magno on

I do commend this administration for jumpstarting the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and setting the wheels in motion. However as we speak, shortfalls in financing for knowledge and capacity development hinder the progress of implementation. This in effect makes the National Strategic Framework on Climate Change and the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) futile since as I have observed in the last three years or so, most of the funds are directed towards rehabilitation, response, and recovery efforts.

Despite the creation of the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) which was given a seed money of P1 billion pesos, funds are obviously not properly allocated since this special fund is only aimed towards climate change adaptation programs. Since the effects of climate change grow more resounding each year, I personally believe that the government and the concomitant agencies in the Climate Change Commission (CCC) should start implementing more proactive measures instead of focusing on reactive solutions. As stated on the World Bank report, the Climate Change Act is twofold as it aims to address "adaptability" as well as "mitigation" opportunities to help optimize our country's resilience to climate change-related disturbances/issues.

Of the three 3 major areas of recommendations cited in the WB report, my personal take would be that the government put premium on the 3rd pillar (Building Capacity and Managing Change) so as to ensure that the two objectives will be met which is (1) to build skills and a Knowledge-base on Climate Change, and (2) to raise public awareness on Climate Change.

Submitted by ERWIN R. ZULUETA on

Filipinos, how are you adapting climate changes?
Climate changes have been an issue to us Filipinos. It is already been known worldwide how Filipinos are determined in facing calamities due to climate change. Our government have set many programs and forums regarding this topic. For like an instance, in the field of Education, government has been disseminating ideas or steps on how to adapt to sudden climate change. Officials of education are conducting seminars for people to educate them the proper ways to handle such problems. Higher ups of Education have also made a shifting in academic calendar and more subjects regarding climate change.
Aside from Education, there are also other factors that the climate change has affected. Some of these are the livelihood, the Environment, the geographic location or the habitat, culture, the attitude, health and even the Government. In livelihood, this is also one of the main problems that the Philippines are facing today. Having a stable Job, that is the most difficult issue that the Filipinos are facing and still keep on finding ways on how to solve it until now. Since Philippines is not fully developed country and without denying the fact that our country is prone to corruption, it is hard for the government to provide enough jobs for all the Filipinos. And since climate change has been occurring this present time, we need to look for stable jobs to prepare ourselves from the future effect of the climate change. And on the other hand, regarding the environmental issues that mainly affect the crop production and other agricultural fields. As we all know, Philippines is an Agri-industrial country that means we are one of the countries in Asia that focuses in the field of Agriculture. And with that, people have think the problem in vegetation due to climate change giving us the idea of planting crops suitable in climate change. And also, putting up protection and breeding of livestock animals. But of course, not only the agricultural commodities but we must also protect our own selves. We must construct for a more secure places as home and even as work places.
In addition, we must also consider our safety regarding our location. Because by considering our geographic location we can act correctly or give the proper response when a calamity is coming. For example, if our location is prone of storms like in the case of Samar and Leyte that recently been damaged severely by the “Typhoon Yolanda”. And with us knowing that, it is just a proper response that we must evacuate and transfer to a safer place far from catastrophic events like that. As a result, our culture will also be affected. Since we transfer from one place to another, there will be a variation of dialects and diminishing of tribal/ethnic races for it is necessary for us to adapt the ways of the people of the place that we transferred to. Changing our geographic location will also result in minimization of exhibit of the “Maya Na” habit of the Filipinos. It is because we must change our attitudes to start a new and survive. We must be more vigilant, more aggressive and more responsible.
With these effects of the climate change, the government construct a concrete plan to give solutions to this kind of issues. Just like in the Health condition of the people, wherein DOH implements countermeasures or preventive actions concerning health risks due to climate change. And teaching people how to live a healthy lifestyle. And lastly, the Government implements or enact laws and programs to protect people from the effect of climate change for example giving support to people through the government agencies such as DOH, DSWD, CCC, NDRRMC, DPWH and other government agencies related or concern to climate changes.. And finally, in order to face calamities due to climate change, people must strive hard and help each other because supporting one another is the best relationship we can have in these kinds of situations.

Submitted by Ain Geuel Escober on

I am pleased that the officials are helping on doing something about our country’s state rather than spending all the people's taxes for their own good.

As a victim of the Typoon Ondoy, I would like to say that it was traumatic and crucial. Many of our neighbors got lost, some lived, and some were found dead. We were in agony because we thought that no one would rescue us.
Sorrow, grief, darkness, hunger, and lost hopes… we all felt these at that time. No one knew if we would be able to live. No one knew if we would be saved.

But someone rescued us. We were grateful, and felt the warmth of having a home again. After a week, the flood subsided and we went back to our old lives. It was hard because everything we've had was lost. Years later, we managed ourselves to get back on track again.

Unfortunately, as a result of our painful past, we had traumas and it occurs whenever there is a heavy rainfall or if there is a typhoon.

As of now, we’re still hoping that big floods would be (if not stopped) then prevented. We just have to be ready for the consequences of the climate change (ex. the Greenhouse effect, pollutions and many more…)

We just have to remember that we are not the only ones experiencing these things. It’s just the result of our wrongdoings towards the environment. We are all at fault and if we want to fix these, the government won’t be able to do it alone. They need our help.
And yes, we could! I wish that there would come a day when we all learn how to discipline ourselves.

If we learn how to love Mother Nature then we could live a better life!

Submitted by Joel Gomez Reyes on

Climate change is one of the biggest problem that our country is facing today. With the recent calamities that is happenning in our countries nowadays we can say that climate change had taken its toll to the Filipinos. Year after year we were battered with different natural calamities, from typhoons, floods, landslides, sudden drop of the temperatures and rising up of the temperatures as well.

We, Filipinos were known for being resilient. Disasters after disasters made them strong enough. Its
Filup to know that the government had stepped up its effort to combat climate change. It had launched a campaign for people to be aware of the impending results and effects of the climate change. Filipinos were aware and informed clearly of the cause and effects of climatw change.

In order to combat change, Filipinos must have a discipline on his/her ownself. Change starts from our own self. We must be able to bring change especially on how we treat our environment. We must be "gentle to the Earth". Our government had developed different programs in order to combat climate change like planting more trees. Filipinos were very adaptable and very resilient and most of all Filipinos always have a positive outlook in life.

Submitted by Angelica Macaranas on

We have to awaken our hearts, minds and will power to do everything to make a difference to this world. We have been dead inside and chained by our circumstances. We keep on blaming a lot of things. Questions like, why is this happening to us? Why God allows these things to happen? Why the government is like this or like that? Too many questions, too many blaming games. Aren’t we tired?

Climate change is indeed already upon us. We have to accept that. Our Mother Nature has been clearly and loudly voicing out her concern to us and yet, we humans are deaf from her concerns and enjoying the evil ways we do to her. We have all the rights to blame our government on this situation but I tell you, blaming will never do any good to us. It will surely end up destroying more of ourselves and the people we are surrounded with. Our government and other organizations that are working in making solutions to end this climate change are trying their best to contribute and make a change. So, let’s also help them by supporting them because not all of them are corrupt and selfish. There are few who crave for a change to happen to our country.

Every year we hear a lot of news regarding what the storms have brought to our country, how many people died, how much have lost in a particular place and how much will be spent to reconstruct it. Me, personally I’m already tired of hearing those news, it gives me so much pain and grieve to the people who have lost their loved ones and nowhere to go to. If I were in their shoes, surely it would be painful. So, how can we end this? What can we do to make a difference? How can we contribute selflessly to our Mother Nature? Let’s begin to ask ourselves with those questions by not blaming people, the government and other organizations. Just be with yourself, on your own and ponder with these questions. Surely, there would be solutions that can be formulated by being open and transparent to ourselves. Let’s start now by changing first our attitudes and act as if today would be the last day of our lives. Our Mother Nature needs help, she needs us, every one of us.

Submitted by Patricia Esteban on

Climate change is within our country and neither of us can foresee what may happen in the near future. Climate change is being felt everywhere. The floods, strong typhoons, long periods of drought are the new normal. And all these are brought about by global warming. Thus, we can choose to either adapt to it or help prevent it. If we look to a brighter side, there are a lot of things that we can do to prevent climate change.

We can recycle, use renewable energy and ride public transportation instead of using our cars to go to our destination. These are examples of what we can do for us to save Mother Earth. These little things can be a huge help if only each individual to their roles.

It is true that Filipinos do not have enough knowledge about climate change and how to adapt to it. We often blame the government for not educating us and for not doing what they should do--supply funds to prevent climate change, implementing strict rules and regulations, etc. But when you would come to think of it, it is also our fault, as individuals, why our country is experiencing climate change rapidly. I think, if we really want to make and see change, then we should start to discipline ourselves. We can do this by simply thinking twice before doing an action that we know is wrong and can destroy our environment. I say WE because if we really want change then ALL of us should participate to it. Yes, an individual’s action can make a change but would it not be better if each and everyone of us work together as one community?

Submitted by Vilma Awa-ao on

Yes, you are true that climate change definitely happens. No one can avoid it. But for me one can be part of the solution to cure it.

In fairness the government officials for their untiring work to address the issue of climate around the world. But for me, this problem is not only the problem of the government but this concern for all of us. And each one is require to be part of the solution. Therefore one need to participate in the advocacy initiatives to address the global problem like this. And as every one participates, one should also be part of the solution. How? In our own little and simplest way, let us be disciplined. For climate change is a global issue. Funny to say that even fetus, (as if) who are still in their mother’s wombs have to start participating (if possible) on addressing the climate issue so to speak part of the solution. Because policy making body of our government, advocates, researches, and scholars of this issues would gone a useless solution and strategies if the single member of the society will not cooperate.
Now my question is that: “What do you think, the simplest way that you can do, right away - to cure or address the “climate change” issue? Please think. “May pakialam ka!”

Submitted by Patricia Autor on

While reading the World Bank report, I realized how we, Filipinos, always complain on how difficult our lives are. We usually blame the government or sometimes the private companies in the country. However, we rarely blame ourselves. I am not saying that we should but I think that we need to find the real root on why we really can't live up to the other countries that are much improved and successful than us aside from pointing our fingers to others. In the report, I remembered the fact that because of our unstable weathers it is challenging for farmers to get an all year round profit because of the storms and floods we have almost half the year. Imagine if they get to harvest their farmlands without being distracted by a week or two of storm in a month for half a year, I believe that we would not starve anymore. Maybe, we would even have enough to export to our neighbouring countries. All of that means positive profit.
As for the CCC and the PSF, I think that it is very engaging to know that we have programs like these. It proves that the government does know how to manage such calamities experienced in the country. Though imperfect, I think that we should be happy that the government is doing something to avoid the future damages that can happen. According to GMA news, in 2013 President PNoy’s ratings grew from +48 to +50 in Visayas, where the past storms have roamed. This only means that, in a way, the Filipino people are actually happy with his performance calamity-wise. However, we are still not sure if such programs are effective enough to produce remarkable improvements that can truly help us. Aside from that, there is always this case of mismanagements and budget irregularities. Even though, the government provide the best possible solution, if not properly executed, it will still fail.
As for us, I think should try to help the government and make ourselves informed regarding the ways that we can do to contribute to their efforts. Also, I think that I just need to mention how climate change is a global problem not only that of the lower class in the country but also of the rich population. We should work hand in hand to slow down the melting of our planet. So far, I've noticed greater efforts than before. It is easy to find and buy eco-friendly products now than before. Even children are also aware if the term global warming nowadays. It only means that people are much knowledgeable of what is happening in the world. Though the improvement is gradual, at least it's not stagnant. I think that we should try to help solve the problem starting from ourselves. We should not wait for someone to instruct us what to do. If we really want to help, we need to do it in our own little way.
I think that that is the question we should contemplate here: can we be capable enough to do sacrifices or just step out of the norm in order to save the environment?

Submitted by Natalia Halagpas on

Why We Are Here?
Why we are suffering the killer strike of nature, recently Filipinos was devastated by typhoons Ondoy, Habagat, Ruby and the newest Yolanda, this is what we called the effect of climate change. But why this happen? The answer is because of what we did, no one to be blamed but ourself. First, is the global warming has a great impact in our agricultural sectors especially in farming, wherein many of our farmers suffering drought during summer and lack of water irrigation as a result, a shortage in agricultural products and price hike in central markets. Second, severe impact of seasonal weather like typhoons, most of the areas in Metro Manila during typhoons are flooded because of the scattered garbage in the streets, drainage are clogged, and other public areas. Third, are the landslides and soil erosion in mountain provinces and some rural areas, the effect of undying illegal logging of our “kababayans” And now, our country is facing the challenges in connection with this climate change, the rapidly increase of green house gas that causes global warming. These gases are produced by human and economic activity due to public demands and population growth. The green house gasses contributes higher temperature to the atmosphere and increases the sea level on the other part, that will causes of storm surges like what happen during typhoons. Absolutely, those are the effects not only of climate change, but human activity as well, and it is nothing to be blame for it , not the government it but our self. As we all know, this is a chain reactions of what we did in our mother nature, yes, we are all the victims of this climate change, but we are also responsible how to make our environment better. The biggest challenge for us how to adapt this changes as well as to change to discipline ourself not to harm our mother nature. The first thing to do is discipline ourself, avoid illegal action that will harm to our environment, avoid throwing garbage anywhere, help and coordinate with the governments planning in climate change to reduce pollutant gasses from the industries due to economic demands that produce goods and services. Next, is to help and teach our next generation how to adapt this changes and to prevent severe damage of our ecosystem as our primary source of life. Without our nature we are all nothing.
The government also must accomplished was has been planned, enhance leadership and coordinate in every agency involved in planning and secure enough funds for this. We are here to be responsible in every actions that we made to our environment.

Submitted by Dennis Vergara on

Public Finance Management is the key to improvement of the planning, prioritization, execution, and monitoring of the action plans. Its goals are: to strengthen the processes and proper appropriations of the budget; to improve reporting and auditing systems for integration of all the departments and agencies included; and to enhance outcomes and avoid duplication. The policies of NCCAP and the whole reform agenda of the Climate Change Act will be continued to be formulated and executed. More programs, projects, and activities will be enhanced. Higher levels of financing will be implemented, and efficiency of resources will be increased.
When budget appropriation is done properly, there’s sufficient knowledgeable and skilled staff, action plans are aligned, department and agencies coordinate well, monitoring and evaluation are strengthened, and public awareness is raised, then the Philippines is surely on its way forward.
The government definitely has a big role in preventing the worsening of climate change, but each person also has a role and contribution. Our activities are significant and have big impacts that destructed the environment, so we must also execute actions to make the environment better. We people have the ability to modify the Earth. It is not only the departments and agencies that must coordinate, but the people must also coordinate with each other and with the said units. It is very important to be aware of Climate Change. The knowledge about it will help us to formulate and execute our own actions, though still aligned with the government policies. Even small things we do at home, school, office, or surroundings have big impact on the environment. We are known for being resilient after experiencing tragedies, hardships, and disaster, but it must not end there. We have to step forward by thinking of the consequences of our current actions.

Submitted by Kathleen de Guia on

The primary goal would be to raise awareness to the public of the detrimental effects of climate change among all people in the Philippines, especially so that it is most vulnerable to weather related extremes. It should encourage singular action in each citizen for change to happen and for preventive measures to take place.
Also, the institutions created for this purpose alone should be given importance and should be facilitated and given due budget for its projects to be implemented. It should also emphasize what particular roles each institution has to take responsibility on, in order for each to concentrate on each of their respective roles. Each employee of these institutions should attend seminars given by the most knowledgeable on climate change and be provided with the most sophisticated tools available.
Most importantly, they should be joint in their purpose with each sector and level of government. There should be coordination amongst each level so that they may be united in one purpose in the prevention of hazardous measures and implementation of rules that go against destructive habits of private individuals and corporations. Everyone should be conscious as to the repercussions held by climate change from the threat of personal health and life to widespread degradation of economic wealth due of the destruction of agricultural lands.
There are too much people concerned with their radical ideas, capitalization and industrialization. We should have leaders who are conservatives and nature lovers. We as voters, should be responsible enough to put the right people in the office because a lot of the people who want to have public seats in the office have ill intentions for personal wealth and the destruction of the environment by building ostentatious houses in wide expanse of lands which destroy the natural terrain of the environment and destroy ground water resources. I have firsthand experience of these disappointing occurrences because I live in Baguio where the land of my childhood where pine trees abounded and clean air was ubiquitous has been transformed into a hell hole of carbon dioxide emitting vehicles; mountains dotted by houses and buildings instead of trees; houses built in creeks where they dump land making the natural, concrete; trash infested sidewalks; logging of trees for the construction of new establishments making the city heated due to depleted oxygen sources and erosions caused by “raindrop splash” and other such disruptions to the natural make-up of this once environmental fortress.

Rapid population growth in a city which has a supposed limited sustainability increasingly perplexes me because some residents who have not experienced the natural wonders attached to living in the mountains may not feel responsible for the preservation of its natural resources and because some just remain oblivious to this cause.

Submitted by Anna Castaneda on

A more of systematic planning and proper education can help set the wheels in motion of Philippines' climate reforms. Both government and non-government agencies, and individuals must do their part in making this happen.

According to World Bank's report on climate change in the Philippines, there has been a consolidation of climate policy across all levels of the government. Unfortunately, despite that, the centralized policies only partially align with development plan outcomes. This is counterintuitive. The government cannot keep on developing or urbanizing certain areas of the country without fully taking into account the effects it would have with our environment. I believe all future development plans should be done according to the climate policies imposed. Also, clarity of roles and responsibilities of workers and institutions should be better defined as to avoid redundancy and inefficiency. By 2030 emissions of greenhouse gasses in the energy sector are projected to quadruple while in the transport sector the projected GHG emissions will double. Hopefully, if systematic planning can be achieved this year, the actual emissions of 2030 will be lower than the projected.

Mentioned in the World Bank report, there is an insufficient number of knowledgeable and skilled staff. This is one of the key barriers in the proper execution of climate reform in the Philippines. The government should provide training and education to officials lacking in the knowledge and skill of their post.

Creating awareness and accountability in a person's actions and decisions should be part of Filipino students' education from the very moment one enters formal education. Just as different industries have carbon footprints, so do humans. Filipinos should learn how to reduce their own carbon footprint by making simple decisions like buying local products instead of imported ones, recycling and segregating trash, and bring your own reusable bag to the supermarket. I believe there is pride when making eco-friendly decisions and actions; and, this might make a person more socially aware and responsible.

Individuals and the government should take care of our only home, the Philippines. Not only is the wonderful archipelago home to the Filipino people, it is home to our culture and tradition, home to our native plans and culture, and home to future generations of Filipinos.

Submitted by Salvador Repizo Jr. on

Climate change is now a global problem especially here in the Philippines. We Filipinos are also experiencing the severe effects of rapid changes like weather disturbances and claims many lives of my fellow countrymen. This is very alarming because if we didn’t adapt and take responsible actions through these changes we can be saved. If we take this for granted our next generation will suffer with this harsh condition.
I am glad that our government is concern about this climate change issues and as the citizens I think we can help about our environment. As of my observation we can tackle this issue to with help of bright ideas of our concern citizens. The country is facing different problems like severe weather conditions, pollutions, and proper governance.
We are aware that our country is constantly visited by typhoons that cause damages to agriculture lands, property, and deaths. Our government has plans to tackle these issues for years but I think there are lapses between it. For example of what happened last 2009 the typhoon called “Ondoy” or “Kestana” that submerged Metro Manila and killed lots of Filipinos during that time. The typhoon is not directly ravage NCR but the rainfall is so severe that the three water dams need to release waters to prevent it from overflow. The spilling water and high tide at the same time cause a major problem. Since the volume of water passes through clog drainage cause by improper garbage disposal which results to flooding in the city. In 2013 typhoon “Yolanda or “Haiyan” the strongest ever recorded around the world. It shatters the lives our fellowmen and leaves massive destruction in the Visayas. These are cause by climate change globally and we are the victims of the nature’s wrath.
Rehabilitation is also very difficult because there are problems while implementing it. There are corruption involves in several government officials that cuts-off the budget and some are excessively overprice which results to poor government service. Poor urban and rural planning is also a problem because the substandard equipment and cheap building materials for the project. We can see this not only in Metro Manila but also in the provinces. Pollutions are also plays role in our country especially here in Metro Manila. Properly disposing of garbage and recycling is must to prevent it to spread diseases and clogging in our waterways. Also the greenhouse gases from the factories and vehicles which results to warmer temperatures and deforestations of our forest. Lack of education is also a factor because the people are not aware if we did not stop from poor practices such as correct garbage disposal, reforestation, and climate change preparedness. We cannot afford to lose the hope to have a sustainable lace to live for the next generations to come.
I want to share my suggestions to attain the right path and restore our environment’s ecosystems. I think we need a leader that is honest, faithful, trustworthy, and initiatives not only to improve but also maintain our country. The officers will be strict with the laws for example the smoke belching law. As I observe that it many vehicles are still not obeys with it. Proper education is also an essential because we can show them how to be responsible citizens and a good example of this are proper garbage disposal, recycling, reforestation, and green living. We as a Filipino citizens we can help our environment by being a responsible and take actionsto protect our environment for the future. We can change our ways to help our environment to be a better place to live. I believe in Mahatma Ghandi said that “The earth, the air, the land and the water are not am inheritance from our fore fathers but on loan from our children. So we have to handover to them at least as it was handed over to us.”

Submitted by Drew on

I agree, to some extent, with the proposed measures. I disagree, however with their limited nature. The measures also seem to assume that the Philippine government isn’t going to simply pocket the funds and do nothing, as they typically do with donations given to the Philippine government. Simply put, there needs to be an empowered external authority. An organization that will do more than simply publish papers and offers of advice. While I’m not saying they should any sort of power over the Philippines, I’m saying that we need an external organization to, essentially, give us the goods rather than the money, because money has a habit of disappearing.
Additionally, we are in a unique position to get ahead of our industrialization. If we start now, encouraging decentralized, renewable power sources as we grow, it will weave itself into our economy and we can bypass a crippling dependency on Oil. A good example is what the liberal party tried to do in Spain some 10+ years ago. They subsidized people installing solar panels in their homes, by up to 90%, and were even hoping to introduce legislation that would make it law that every home have a few solar panels on the roof to offset the individual consumption of occupants.
Basically, one major problem of industrialization is the heavy centralization of things in general. One such thing is the production of power. If, as we go along, we build infrastructure that can easily accommodate a wide variety of smaller power sources as well as long term storage facilities (such as bloom box farms or Hydrogen Fuel Cell servers). Encouraging the installation of small scale solar panels and wind turbines in homes is a great way to start. Additionally, our dams, which are in desperate need of upgrading, can be upgraded to be Hydroelectric dams, which would supply tremendous amounts of power and be integral in dealing with the side effects of climate change.
The reason something like this could have an enormous effect on climate change is because it is these massive, centralized facilities that produce the majority of our pollution. While vehicles may contribute a noteworthy percentage, they do not, by any means, supply the majority of Greenhouse Gasses. Instead, it is the massive diesel and coal power plants that generate obscene amounts of pollution. If we can leverage our economic growth and direct that growth towards including renewable energy sources into our infrastructure, it could have wonderful benefits. Ideally this is something everyone could participate in, but as many already industrialized nations either have something like this or are irrevocably addicted to fossil fuels already, it may be up to us to set an example. And lastly, it is important that every nation implement changes for the better, regardless of the actions of other nations. Once you know that your carbon emissions are reasonable, you then have the moral high ground, you can stand as proof that it is possible and encourage (or even shame) other nations to follow suit.

Submitted by Luz D. Emano on

We are always visited by storms in Bicol. In 2006, one very strong typhoon destroyed our medyatalye house (from the floor until 1/3 of the wall is concrete and the rest is wood) together with some appliances and furniture that my parents worked hard for. It's heart breaking specially for my parents but all we can do is try to recover. My parents really worked hard to build a concrete house to survive strong winds and heavy rains, but it took them 6 years. To build a new house and buy new appliances and other basic tools at home are not easy and not cheap. Priorities changed, one of it was my education. My parents can only support my education in associate degree, which I am still grateful that they did despite of financial difficulties. Climate change affected us in many ways, but in a sense, we are still lucky compared to those who have much worse experience such as losing their loved ones.

Climate change brings death, destruction, sickness and trauma, poverty and many more nasty things. Good thing that our government is now taking action to address the issue in climate change. But so far, how are they doing? After reading the World Bank Report on Philippine Climate Change, I can't help but to ask this two questions: How come that the roles and responsibilities of the institutions are not properly clarified in the first place before they are made operational? It is obvious that you will have a problem in creation, implementation and coordination of programs or activities if your role is not clear. Why use a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system that is not applicable or doesn't really fit to where it is going to be used? A correct data is very important in planning. So, an accurate evaluation and assessment is crucial in creating a plan and budget distribution that will address a problem.

I have read a lot of very good ideas from the comment section. I hope our government also spend some time reading them.

Submitted by Enrico Angelo Santos Jr. on

It is unfortunate that many are skeptical about our government’s efforts to address issues of climate change in the Philippines. Concerns that were discussed in the World Bank report are not new to us. According to the World Bank report (2013), climate appropriations increase each year by 26% from 2008 to 2012. Yet, there are still too many concerns that need to be addressed to have an effective program against climate change―from planning and coordination to implementation as well as monitoring and assessment (with problems ranging from lack of financial and technical support to lack of skilled manpower).

The skepticism is understandable. The Philippines continues to wage a war against corruption that has affected proper enforcement of laws and policies, and the implementation of various development projects since the Marcos regime. The Office of the Ombudsman estimates that $48 billion has gone to corruption for the past 20 years according to Dr. Segundo Romero while estimates made by World Bank places it at around 20% of the annual budget (as cited in Co, 2005).

There is also a need to look into other problems as well as options. Our population has already reached the 101 million mark with a 1.73% annual increase for the past 2 years. We all know that with an increase in population, all our country’s problems are exacerbated which involve basic needs to education, medical care, employment, and of course including that which concerns the environment.

Land-use policies need to be reevaluated. According to Dr. Nicomedes Briones: generate more employment opportunities, and to decongest major population
centers...vast fertile agricultural lands go to waste as they are converted to non-
agriculture land uses, while environmentally critical, marginal areas have been opened
up for agricultural purposes. Landless farmers dislocated from lowland communities
usually encroach on forestlands where they practice lowland agricultural practices that
further cause resource degradation. (p. 71).

With mining in full swing in the Philippines, consider these findings reported by a MP Clare Short who was part of an independent UK fact-finding group:
We saw polluted rivers, destroyed mangrove forests, damaged coral and ruined
agriculture. We concluded that the Philippines is in danger of losing much of its
During our visit, we found scant evidence of mining benefiting local people or
the country’s economy. We believe that the Government of the Philippines and the mining
companies have failed to comply with national law and international standards (Doyle,
C., Wicks, C., Nally, F., 2007).

Even though the Philippines has been making strides as far as generating renewable energy is concerned (contributing 38% in 2012), much needs to be done to reach its full potential. In a May 2013 article, Kara Santos pointed out that:
...Solar power also remains largely untapped despite its huge potential. The
Philippines is still lagging behind in terms of policy implementation and deployment
for solar, said to be the most environment-friendly and promising energy source.

With greenhouse gas emissions projected to increase by 400% by 2030 (WB, 2013) partly because of motorization, the Philippines, especially in metropolitan areas, would benefit from an efficient mass transport system. And with 1 million colorum vehicles on the road nationwide (Mendoza, 2012), the environment would benefit with all these colorum vehicles off the road.

But I also agree that the government can only do so much. We are part of the problem so we should also be part of the solution. Filipinos have to realize that change is only possible if the citizenry wills it. We have to understand that we all have a responsibility if we expect a better life for us and our children.

Submitted by MA. CHRISPY LACSI on

How can anyone oppose advancement when it has led to such enormous benefits? The question is how does growth impact our environment? The series of action to achieve the result reflects the reality that human activities such as burning of coal, oil and natural gas as well as deforestation and various agricultural and industrial practices are altering the composition of the atmosphere and contributing largely to climate change. This concern is considered to be one of the complex environmental issues that affect not only the Philippines but the entire world.

All of us in our daily lives contribute our bit to this change in the climate, from the gadgets we used that are of course consuming electricity, various types of vehicles (cars, buses, trucks, etc.) as our means of transportation that are run mainly on petrol or diesel, large quantities of plastic waste (non-biodegradable) generated that cannot be broken down into its base compounds thus remains in the environment for many years and cause damage. Have we also thought the number of trees being used in a day due to excessive usage of paper in schools and offices also, the large areas of forests to be cut down due to construction of large houses and buildings. A huge number of agricultural lands and forests are being developed as residential and recreational areas in order to accommodate and dispense the needs of the growing population.

The effects of climate change can be seen today as biodiversity loss, depleted mines, eroded topsoil, dry wells and rivers, loop of plastic trash in the oceans and the ozone hole. The nature has also taken its toll, thus poses threats to people in experiencing more frequent and dangerous extreme weather in the form of intense typhoons, rainfall, increased flooding as well as intense drought.

Admitting that it is an immense challenge to combat the current and calculated rates of climate change, however in our own simple ways we can at least help minimize its cause and effect.

•Impart our knowledge to those who are not aware of the climate change.

•Be a part of the government/NGO’s programs concerning the climate change.

•Support the “Go Green” campaign.

•Implement the Three R’s… Reduce - reducing the amount of waste we produce is the best way to help the environment. Reuse - instead of throwing things away, try to find ways to use them again. Recycle - many of the things we use every day, like paper bags, soda cans, and milk cartons, are made out of materials that can be recycled. Recycled items are put through a process that makes it possible to create new products out of the materials from the old ones. (

•Conserve electricity and water in every way we could.

•Plant a tree.

We have to act now, before this phenomenon completely devastates our livelihoods and the natural world we live in.

Submitted by Enrico Angelo Santos Jr. on

It is unfortunate that many are skeptical about our government’s efforts to address issues of climate change in the Philippines. Concerns that were discussed in the World Bank report are not new to us. According to the World Bank report (2013), climate appropriations increase each year by 26% from 2008 to 2012. Yet, there are still too many concerns that need to be addressed to have an effective program against climate change―from planning and coordination to implementation as well as monitoring and assessment (with problems ranging from lack of financial and technical support to lack of skilled manpower).

The skepticism is understandable. The Philippines continues to wage a war against corruption that has affected proper enforcement of laws and policies, and the implementation of various development projects since the Marcos regime. The Office of the Ombudsman estimates that $48 billion has gone to corruption for the past 20 years according to Dr. Segundo Romero while estimates made by World Bank places it at around 20% of the annual budget (as cited in Co, 2005).

There is also a need to look into other problems as well as options. Our population has already reached the 101 million mark with a 1.73% annual increase for the past 2 years. We all know that with an increase in population, all our country’s problems are exacerbated which involve basic needs to education, medical care, employment, and of course including that which concerns the environment.

Land-use policies need to be reevaluated. According to Dr. Nicomedes Briones: generate more employment opportunities, and to decongest major population centers...vast fertile agricultural lands go to waste as they are converted to non-agriculture land uses, while environmentally critical, marginal areas have been opened up for agricultural purposes. Landless farmers dislocated from lowland communities usually encroach on forest lands where they practice lowland agricultural practices that further cause resource degradation. (p. 71).

With mining in full swing in the Philippines, consider these findings reported by a MP Clare Short who was part of an independent UK fact-finding group:
We saw polluted rivers, destroyed mangrove forests, damaged coral and ruined agriculture. We concluded that the Philippines is in danger of losing much of its biodiversity...
During our visit, we found scant evidence of mining benefitting local people or the country’s economy. We believe that the Government of the Philippines and the mining companies have failed to comply with national law and international standards (Doyle, C., Wicks, C., Nally, F., 2007).

Even though the Philippines has been making strides as far as generating renewable energy is concerned (contributing 38% in 2012), much needs to be done to reach its full potential. In a May 2013 article, Kara Santos pointed out that: power also remains largely untapped despite its huge potential. The Philippines is still lagging behind in terms of policy implementation and deployment for solar, said to be the most environment-friendly and promising energy source.

With greenhouse gas emissions projected to increase by 400% by 2030 (WB, 2013) partly because of motorization, the Philippines, especially in metropolitan areas, would benefit from an efficient mass transport system. And with 1 million colorum vehicles on the road nationwide (Mendoza, 2012), the environment would benefit with all these colorum vehicles off the road.

But I also agree that the government can only do so much. We are part of the problem so we should also be part of the solution. Filipinos have to realize that change is only possible if the citizenry wills it. We have to understand that we all have a responsibility if we expect a better life for us and our children.

Submitted by Charlemagne R. Dumaya on

I will keep my response simple.

I read the World Bank Report and am grimly amused by the implications. The report gave a few graphs that went up to the proposed 2013 budget relating to Climate Appropriations. It is now 2015, and the graphs seemed like a joke. In its place, the looming reality of all the negative points enumerated in the report seem to grow more and more drastic.

One of the points that interested me was the admission that the government employs too many agencies with overlapping goals and methods, therefore making the procurement of funds and other logistic tasks difficult -- nay, impossible. I wonder if the current administration even read this report -- if they had, they would not have assigned a separate “Rehabilitation Czar” when Yolanda (Typhoon Haiyan) hit the Visayas region. Also, the allegation that the DPWH has the lion’s share of funds coming from Development Partners seems ironic -- the flood situation in Metro Manila and other areas had not improved all this time, with a few hours’ worth of rain enough to cancel classes across all levels. Of course, the contractors are all too happy to leave their drainage works unattended if it means getting an extension in their contracts (=more money). I could recite a litany of other reasons that caused the World Bank to put the Philippine climate change mitigation scene in such a bleak light (I get the feeling that the report was written in a too detached manner, not considering the other issues in our political scene).

Amidst all the controversies surrounding the Aquino administration in particular and Philippine politics in general, it would be easy to see that no matter how hard the limited number of scientific minds work at formulating and streamlining the needed regulations just to make climate change mitigation a reality, it would be impossible given the direction the government is treading. Climate change is a radical thing -- though mankind has grasped it with his academic mind, the rest of his mentality may not yet be prepared to take the necessary action. Here in the Philippines, most of us still retain the average caveman attitude (one that allowed humanity to survive for eons, but not the type that advanced his culture) -- adapt to one’s troubles, instead of trying to prevent it. We have learned in sociology and in other sciences that humans adapt to their own situation -- the caveat is, what if the situation is not “their own”? If it is their neighbors’, or the woes of some city several islands apart? Sympathy allows us to grieve, but nothing follows -- the only actions are vain attempts to console, and not improve. Maybe there will be a change of heart if Malacanang itself gets hit by a flash flood? Consider how the recently-resigned PNP chief spent millions to efficiently improve his official residence (the “White House”) because it was prone to flooding. Consider as well how only half-hearted attempts were made to improve the housing conditions of those in low-lying areas.

After Yolanda and other natural disasters, the plan to invest in climate change/disaster mitigation policies and structures remain that -- a plan. More storms will follow, each one possibly more debilitating than the last, but we cannot truly put the problems underfoot unless we find a way out of the political storm that is the country’s corrupted administrative culture.

What’s next?

Submitted by Gennithony Enguerra Eson on

In the summary of the World Bank Report, I can say that the Philippines from way behind 2009 up until this year had greatly improved as the CCC enforced the movement ’s function proactively. Together with various private companies, the movement received an extra support in promoting the awareness of what Climate Change can do to us especially in our nation. For instance, the company Boysen Philippines released a paint called Boysen KNOxOUT that converts harmful NOx gas into a harmless water-soluble Calcium Nitrate. The paint is used in the areas of Marikina and Makati.

As an archipelago, the Philippines were among the top ten countries which are vulnerable when it comes to Climate Change. As part of the developing nation and the least contributor of Carbon emission, we are not obliged to do some mitigation in solving this kind of global issues. But because of what is currently happening in our nation now, which the storms are getting stronger and stronger overtime. The Philippines makes an initiate voluntary action to alleviate the suffering by focusing on its adaptation program. It’s an estimated of 8 to 10% decrease in our GDP every time a catastrophe hit our nation; this serves a huge impact in the continuous economic growth of the Philippines

Based on the SWS survey the results of the awareness and compliance of some of Climate-change-related law, like Solid Waste Management and Clean Air Act, are not that remarkable. As a citizen, our main responsibility is to steadily abide those lists of Climate-change-related laws and be an assistant in disseminating the information to other people.

The CCC and NDRMC are now focusing in the solutions of Adaptation for Climate Change that aimed to help the Filipinos by providing the right tools to the local DRRM. In collaboration with the city local government, it will be used in examining the region and in effectively informing the people within the area on how they should respond once the calamity hit their area. Also, part of the tasks of the DRRM is to make an adjustment action that helps in securing the livelihood of the city by making adaptation activities that concerns the infrastructure development, agriculture & fisheries, water resource management and many more.

The Philippines is now progressively embracing the renewable way in producing energy like solar, wind and geothermal that produces less or almost no Carbon emission. Sooner or later if all the buildings in Metro Manila will be converted as a Green building; the problem with our lack of reserved energy and all related issues will all of a sudden be resolved. It also gives jobs for the Filipino people and will lessen the unemployment rate. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone, making the problem into an opportunity.

There is no planet B for us to live, its better to preserve the planet Earth rather than abandoning it. The first world nation should help us in solving this kind of problem rather than looking for an alternative planet that looks like our Earth.

Submitted by Marilou Balayo on

Whatever we experience today is definitely the effect of climate change. Yes, it is not only in the Philippines, it is all over the world. It is enigmatic. According to science the world is moving but when we analyze it carefully is it just because it is moving randomly? No! It is because we are liable why all of these are happening.
If you hear the word “change” what goes in your mind? Is it for the better or worse? Why do we experience all those adversity? It is because of “us” time changes and people change too. We may wonder why all of these are related to climate? It is because we live with it and we are the only that can restraint all of these.
Even though we are not the top leading country in the world; still we are blessed with abundant natural resources. We have lots to show the world, we only need to improve and preserve with the concurrence of our government. I am for those who preserve our nature, some private sectors and schools that undertook in the environmental education and restoration of our forests. Due to fast growing economy we cannot avoid some advantages and disadvantages that affect our nature.
With exemption in some areas of our country that are still untouched and being preserved by their people, why can’t we do the same? In each package of cigarettes that we consume we do not only contribute air pollution but also harm each other’s health. Whenever we dumped garbage into the sea we are causing water pollution but at the same time we are also putting our coral reefs at stake. Our electric bills are getting higher, poverty level is soaring high, processed foods are getting popular in which we notice we are getting all sorts of diseases. Right now we cannot avoid climate change but we can improve it.
Reading this article I’m thankful that in a way the government is doing their job to mitigate present climate issues. But can they do more and can they put a little more effort to this? With comparison to other nations why do we always lack anticipation and preparation? We are a tropical country then we are typhoon prone. Maybe Instead of putting all our time and effort to those corrupt politicians we can spare funds to projects for the improvement and fast rehabilitation our surroundings. We can add more emission testing on provinces, regulate no smoking in public places and eliminate plastic bags and use paper and reusable bags instead, and most importantly we need to implement proper disposal of garbage to prevent flooding which caused high death rates. We need organization, willingness and unity. In the midst of sudden crisis how can we be sure that we can still survive? That is the main question that we need to ponder.

Submitted by Eileen Pascual on

For me, always keeping abreast of current issues on climate change is the first step towards learning to adapt to its ramifications. You also need to be pro-active to be able to identify or anticipate potential problems in the aftermath of typhoons or calamities. It may also mean stepping out of your comfort zone in order to help create awareness among people of your sphere of influence about its dire consequences. That is why I always make it a point to talk to my kids about global warming and the importance of protecting our environment since they are the future generation who will suffer the irreversible damage in its wake.
I have lived in Marikina for more than a year now and I have observed that most of the people here are disciplined and pro-active. I guess it stems from years of struggle to battle with nature as they face the challenges of perennial flooding in the city. Typhoon Ondoy last September 2009 claimed hundreds of lives, with 78 recorded deaths from Marikina alone, the most devasted region in the Philippines. Our city government decided to meet the future hazards head on by initiating projects which aim to preserve the environment and help the people adapt to climate change. Last November 2010, technical experts from concerned national agencies, private sector and citizen’s groups met for a whole day workshop themed as, “Adapting to the Changing Climate in Marikina Watershed: An Information and Policy Dialogue Workshop”, to discuss common strategies to improve the level of preparedness of affected communities in the towns of Marikina and Rizal. There was also a call to beef up reforestation of critical watersheds particularly the Marikina Watershed to enhance the natural protection it provides to prevent floods and landslides in low lying communities. The watershed, whose land area is approximately 28,000 hectares is in critical condition due to the rapid rate of deforestation with only about 20 % still covered with trees and forest vegetation. Marikina is also hosting fund-raising events for the Marikina Watershed Reforestation Project to support the rehabilitation of the watershed which is the first defense against erosion and silt from Sierra Madre Mountains causing flooding in nearby localities. These are only some of the measures being undertaken in our city to help develop the resilience and adaptive capabilities of local communities in times of natural calamities and disasters brought about by climate change. For now, I am faithfully doing my share by supporting our community volunteers with the garbage segregation scheme in our barangay. Though this project may seem too simple, one wouldn’t be able to fully grasp the significance of such a task unless you live in a flood-prone area. In fact, this simple task may spell the difference between life and death, here in Marikina City.

Submitted by Ton Belen on

As a Filipino, how am I adapting to climate change? That question is really an eye opener, again, for me as I may say. I guess I may not be aware that I am already adapting to climate change because for me it’s a norm, but not until now.
I first heard the words climate change back when I was still in my elementary days or during grade school, but it doesn’t have that much of an effect on me at that time. I just remembered we were taught to always keep our environment clean, stop using CFC’s like spray nets, never burn plastics, etc. since all of these (pollution) contributes to climate change as it creates a hole in the ozone layer.
Upon reading the WB report “GETTING A GRIP...on Climate Change in the Philippines.” It is nice to know that our government has some project about mitigating Climate Change. The National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP), Climate Change Commission (CCC), Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change (CCCC), People’s Survival Fund Board (PSFB) and Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) are all new to me but at least the government has its own initiative in contributing to help mitigate climate change not just in our country but in the whole world. All of these government agencies may help each and every one of us in educating us with the support of our LGU’s. However all of these will also be useless if we will not support and participate their advocacies in mitigating climate change. Always remember that if we want some change, we need to start with ourselves. Do not think that you are just one and that you will not have any significant effect, if all of us will support in mitigating climate change…rest assured that our mother nature will regain its natural beauty.


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