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

Lucille L. Sering's picture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image courtesy of audiovisualjunkie through a Creative Commons license

Comments

Submitted by Maria Lucia Yabes on

How am I adapting to climate change here in the Philippines?
Frankly, I am seriously indifferent with the climate activity here.
Yes, it’s mostly hot all year round since it’s a tropical island. I rather prefer a four-season climate view.

With regards to the report, that’s really good that they are establishing a greener nation/environment for the country. Just keep it up and they would attract more tourists.

Submitted by Brigette Lalo on

Environmental as well as social safeguards are two major components in trying to mitigate climate change. Our surrounding is constantly changing parallel to human behaviour that constantly negatively impacting our mother Gaia, mother earth.

As always, self-discipline and love for our country are few of the most important factors we lack that needs to be developed in every Filipino. If we do love our country, let’s act now bereft of hypocrisy. Should we wait when it is our time to go with the catastrophic flush floods with all the trash around us, inflicted with cancer because of the intense heat of UV rays, have air-born diseases, breathe carbon and sulfur emissions? Education for Filipinos about climate change should not be an excuse to any individual. Government should provide a venue for national information campaign on climate and social change. I believe that with proper education, one can act accordingly. It will also help to make people be aware and cautious of the environmental damage due to aggravated pollution; and to visualize what’s happening not just in the Philippines but also globally.

It’s our time to be vigilant, keep an eye to the implementation of green development programs and watch out for inconsiderate ill-planned building structures, unscrupulous financial spending of funds to unwanted projects and corrupt activities of the government. It’s our lawful right to ensure that only sound programmes should be pursued and achieved to the highest level of human safeguards, for the betterment of our country and to secure the future generations.

Submitted by ANNABEL HERMANO on

“…effective implementation of the climate change agenda”

Climate Change is an issue that’s used to be passively dealt with or thought of by the majority. I believe that that is where the problem lies in: our lack of concern towards this matter in the beginning, and our late reaction/countermeasures now that we’ve suffered its wrath. The expression, “better late than never”, accurately describes the government’s measures to alleviate its alarming consequences. It makes one wishes that it were just as simple as controlling the problem and getting rid of it in a snap. Sigh. If only.

We’ve all experienced the problems that Climate Change has brought forth for the Philippines. It’s actually pretty frightening when you think about the typhoons and hottest summer days that we’ve been having for the past three years or so: the casualties and destruction that resulted from it is just the tip of the iceberg in my opinion. The Philippines, as we all know, is an archipelago, a group of islands, so it’s equally worrisome to imagine our land gradually lost to the sea because of global warming, which could lead to low lying islands constantly flooded during typhoon season (its eventual submersion and lost under the sea).

On the Climate reform agenda - With the ongoing budget fund scams that our country’s currently facing, I really fear for the budget that’ll be allocated for this plan. I just hope that the right people will be chosen to lead this, and that funds won’t go astray and/or pocketed by corrupt government or non-government officials. They have to choose the most knowledgeable, skilled and upright individuals in order for this project to be seen through until the end (and actually achieve its goal). Of course, change is only plausible if the people is willing to make it happen. We all need to be united in our objective to make it work. We owe it to ourselves, especially since we would be the ones suffering the bigger consequences should we not choose to act immediately.

Submitted by Joan Estelita L. Paz on

I will not state here anymore my knowledge about Climate Change. Having read my notes about Man’s Role in Changing the Physical Environment and the comments/opinions/insights here,plus the fact that I am an avid viewer of National Geographic, I'm fully aware of the environmental factors to climate change. As a housewife, the simple ways of segregating wastes, planting houseplants, using baking soda as a cleaning agent (btw, there are many ways to use baking soda other than as a cleanser), conserving water and saving electricity are not just to be carried out by an individual like me but should be disseminated and imposed and be implemented over and over again to our society, by the the LGUs and of our Government. The Climate Change Commission (CCC), the People's Survival Fund Board (PSFB) and LGUs coordination to execute its roles and responsibilities lacks clarity. How can this be dealt out? Departments have an insufficient number of knowledgeable and
skilled staff on climate policy, financing, and institutions. Why put up such commissions or boards? When we can inform and teach the public ---public awareness of implementing or imposing rules on taking care of our environment can be done through the help of the Media, Social Media, and the likes because this is not just the Government's problem, it is a global problem. Rules and Regulations, true enough, should be enforced and supported by all of us. We only have one planet to live and to end my sentiments, “The earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship. We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations.” ― John Paul II.

Submitted by Maria Aimee Cabingao on

Climate change is inevitable. In the continuous strike of calamities in the Philippines, it is becoming more and more usual to expect that what will be next is severe flooding and landslides. Just one day of non-stop rains, many people have been already affected. Homes, infrastructure and fields are already devastated. Sometimes even deaths. Even transportations, classes and operations in works and offices are suspended. How to find a solution in this situation is becoming a mystery, because it is the nature that we are facing off. It is surely not just a problem of one country but a problem globally. Global warming has really an effect on us. Though Philippines is not a major greenhouse gases emitter, what would happen then when the Philippines, as a developing country, regarding its growing economy, urbanization and motorization, starts to rapidly emit gases? What would happen from five to ten years from now? Does the government really can do something about this problem? It is true that every people have a responsibility. But how can the government convince the people, to start to change on their own and be disciplined? It is good to know that there is government agency that addresses this problem in climate change. But I think they should not just focus on implementing solutions, they also have to be aggressive in executing and fulfilling it. What is at stake is the survival of man. How can we manage if much harsher and devastating calamity strikes the Philippines like what have strike other countries?

Submitted by ANNA LEA MALONG on

Climate Change. Let the solution start from us.
As the economy and technology continuous to grow, most people in the provinces would choose living in urban areas, thinking that urban area has more to offer when it comes to livelihood. Some would even go beyond of their means by selling off the little of what they have in the provice, to have something that they could start from. Unfortunately, a huge number becomes unsuccessful and end up being informal settlers or worse on the streets. While making the streets and along waterways their home, it also becomes their huge trash bins.
As the community expands and the population continues to grow, while more problem begins to appear, business opportunity arises at the same time. Land developers takes a huge advantage of putting up high rise condominiums to maximize a space and accommodate more people. Private cars and PUVs continues to grow as well.
The above mentioned, are just few of the factors that contributes to climate change and other environmental impacts. In every natural calamity, we've seen how stronger it gets year after year. We are aware how climate change extremely affects us all. But why do people continue to be irresponsible and careless? With the previous typhoons, earthquakes and other negative effects in the agriculture and fishing industry, people tend to always look for somebody or something to blame. We never realize that we all play a big part in this destruction. Each individual should have at least educate themselves on why natural calamity keeps on getting worse and if there's something they could do or contribute in solving the problem. Every individual should have the sense of responsibility and discipline starting from our ourselves and within homes. We can begin with waste segregation, water and energy conservation. Another is choosing our leaders wisely. Every election, we should at least have the knowledge of what a political aspirant can do for us. Does he have sincere concern for the people and the environment? or will he use his power to profit from money that's ought for us?
In everything that we do, that impact will greatly affect us too. We may not see it now, but in the future we will. That's what's happening right now. Today, is not too late but tomorrow might be. So, let's make the change and let the solution start from us.

Submitted by gabrielle yquin on

Climate change in the Philippines can be felt by now. Climate-related hazards include continuous typhoons and flooding, occasional earthquakes, sea level rise and landslides due to heavy rains. By God's grace, we've not yet experienced such calamities in our location. Though some parts in Laguna has extremely damaged livelihoods and homes, they still need to continue their lives for their children's future.
The 2009 Climate Change Act is a big help for the projects, climate reform agendas and achieving the objectives and activities for the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP). Whenever there is news about calamities in the Philippines, you can see that Filipinos still smile and laugh despite of the disastrous calamity they have experienced. It is because some Filipinos are unaware of the gravity of the climate change. We Filipinos must act as early as possible to prevent the impact of climate change to arise in the country. Budget is one of the main hindrances to meet the objectives of NCCAP. The administration must act now and distribute equally the provision of the needs of every sector related to NCCAP.
For me, society gives a big contribution for the climate change and unfortunately most people are unaware that their everyday activities are resulting to increase the gravity of the climate change in their country. The administration must give the public awareness about climate change. And as our administration and the Filipino people act as one, it is not impossible to achieve a better future for the next generations to come. ONE GOAL FOR A BETTER FUTURE! :-)

ADDITIONAL REFERENCE:
Crepin, Christophe. 2013. Getting a grip on climate change in the Philippines : executive report. Washington DC ; World Bank. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2013/06/17917169/getting-grip-climate-change-philippines-executive-report

After reading the World Bank report, I felt glad that the Philippine government is addressing the problems related to climate change. However, what they are doing is still not enough. Climate change-related calamities such as floods and landslides are still happening in the country and the number of deaths and economic losses are rising. According to the report, budget for PAPs (Programs, Activities, and Projects) and the public's awareness is not sufficient. I think the government should focus first on programs which aim to inform the public about climate change, its negative effects, and what they can do in order to lessen these effects. By knowing the impact of climate change on their lives, the people will realize the importance of having to protect Mother Earth. But the fight against climate change is not only the government's but also ours.

As Filipinos and inhabitants of Earth, it is our responsibility to take care of our environment. Having initiative, sensitivity, and discipline will greatly help in the rehabilitation of our planet. Through acting together and helping each other, I believe that we and our planet still have a chance of creating a better world to live in.

Submitted by Catherine Catanjal on

A small change can make a big difference..
It is true that we are facing the greatest challenges on the effect of these environmental changes. The Philippines alone had experienced so many typhoons, flood, earthquakes and even landslides, wherein, this greatly affects the economy of the country, the livelihood of the people and even our morale. It is very interesting to know that the Philippine government is now taking the initiative to address the barriers on effective implementation of the climate change agenda. Based on the report provided by the World bank, there are so many things which needs to be addressed. From the financing part, having a knowledgeable staff or committee and raising public awareness of Climate change. Shouldn't we start in raising public awareness? Like educating the people about the cause and effect of the climate change, what the agenda is and how an individual can contribute to the success of this plan? I believe that if everyone is educated and cooperates to this agenda, though it may seem a little change but will still make a difference.
I just have one doubt about the effectiveness of this agenda, how do you think the Filipino's will buy-in the idea of this plan, given that we know that the government is corrupt? How do we know that the funds which will be allocated for this project will really be used for its sole purpose?

I'm relieved to learn that our government is taking initiatives to lead the country in adapting to climate change; and to have the World Bank investigate how effective the climate change-related system is only shows how serious it is about helping the nation on a long-term basis.
Filipinos are very much capable of adjusting to their environment. Our ancestors have maximized the mountains they inhabited by building formidable yet magnificent rice and crop terraces by hand, and used their bare feet in plowing the fields even before the concept of the metal-made plough was introduced to them. Regardless of countless landslides they have encountered over the centuries, they still thrive and adjust to whatever nature brings them.
However, what we’re facing now is different from what our forefathers faced. The climate change is way too fast, and the Philippines, being surrounded by water, is vulnerable to flooding once the ice caps totally melt. It might benefit our fishermen, even if the water temperature has already raised in the coming years, because the fishes have survived and adapted to extreme climate change before. It might not affect our kababayans in the mountains flood-wise, but in time, too much heat might affect their crops and their livelihood.
It’s a good thing that our government is prioritizing adaptation measures on climate change.
While their efforts are appreciated, however, I couldn’t help but shocked to find out through the World Bank report that the Climate Change Commission (CCC), one that is attached to the Office of the President, still hasn’t clarified what its roles are, as well as its relationships with other agencies. In any organization, even in a small family, not knowing one’s role is can greatly affect productivity.
This issue will hinder the commission in accomplishing its goals, even after it has addressed its problems on data collection systems, knowledgeable personnel, and cooperation of the people.
The CPEIR is already accessible through the CCC’s official website. I hope that they have read it and immediately call a series of meetings to clarify and finalize what their roles are in this undertaking, and how this agency is related to the others. Because even in a small organization such as a three-member family, not knowing what one’s role is can greatly affect effectiveness and productivity.
Questions
Is our government including the preservation of non-renewal resources? I’m referring to the the strict regulation of the extraction industry. Just in case they’re missing it, these companies are removing huge amounts of the Earth’s crust. The other countries who are engaged in this means of economic survival must ponder on this as well.
I’m also curious to find out what the government is planning to do in terms of strengthening our fisheries and agriculture industry, given that the waters are expected to be 4°C by 2060. If I’m not mistaken, that’s an average of a degree higher every 11.75 years. And would it be possible that the fishes are already adjusting to the warmer water temperature? Since the earth existed, its inhabitants have showed its capability to adjust to extreme climate and weather changes. I’m thinking that if we act now and minimize pollution, we won’t have much of a hard time in terms of securing food.
I believe that the Philippines can adapt to climate change. We have a willing and able president, and motivated LGUs who are the backbone of our government. Now, if we can only get the people to lift a finger to help out.

Submitted by Deo Angelo Simando on

It is very clear that climate change is getting worse and more destructive. Unfortunately, nothing, not even the most powerful countries can reverse it. Nature has its way of maintaining balance, and changes in the climate patterns are just part of nature’s law.
Although it is irreversible, there are mitigation and adaptation measures that we can make use of to reduce or prevent further damage to lives and properties. However, very few people understand how crucial it is to take part and learn our responsibilities in addressing this global concern.
We are fortunate that the Philippines is geographically located right above the equator. Being a tropical country with high biodiversity is truly an advantage but our location in the pacific region also makes us vulnerable to strong and destructive storms during wet seasons and severe drought or long-dry spells. These phenomena always affect our economy, our well-being and our lives.
Sadly speaking, our country does not have institutional capacity, including limited access to knowledge, and inadequate state-of-the-art tools and equipment that are needed for efficient action to and reforms on climate change. The reason? Misuse of the country’s fund, poor governance, corruption, lack of unity and a lot more.
What can we do then? I am particularly curious about how the Philippines can improve its program on climate change.
But I am aware that, there are enough resources and information that identified the causes of global warming and climate change and the solutions to alleviate the problem. So, we can work together and adopt solutions that will work best for our country and for the entire world.
Let’s plant trees, maintain a cleaner and greener environment, minimize energy consumptions, lessen contributors to global heat, use bio-diesel and etc…
Let us minimize the factors that contribute to drastic global warming and climate change and maximize our knowledge, team work, goals and determination to address this urgent and life-long global concern.

Submitted by Nicole Anne T. Djamco on

It’s nice to know that our government is doing something about climate change. But all of us can help. We can start doing little things like planting a tree or things like that. This small this will help our community to avoid flash floods and landslide. And it will also minimize pollution and will give us fresh air. All of us are responsible for this things climate change. We are also responsible for minimizing it. All little things that we do to change our country will add up to make a big difference.

Submitted by Pauline Garsain on

Reading the report of World Bank entitled “Getting a grip on the climate change of the Philippines.” It was impressive that today’s administration has made an act, The 2009 Climate Change Act, and it was set for NFSCC which will later then be an overall parameters for developing the NCCAP. The government has still a lot of problems and issues to fix but it was good that they have faced this thing. Some people may not see it as important like the other problems of the government. But, if we are going to look deeper and reason out, this should be the priority of our government. With this act as it was enumerated in the report it will help lessen poverty. If this will really be applied and followed by the leaders surely, we will be able to lessen the problems with regards to typhoons and any other calamities. If calamities will be lessened the progress of our country will just arise. More jobs, infrastructures, investors, and works will be available to the business sector of the Philippines.

Submitted by Maria Cecilia Sevilla on

Relative to the World Bank Report entitled Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines and with its 3 major areas of recommendation in the back of my mind, I have also read that “the Philippines was ranked 18th in KPMG’s 2013 Change Readiness Index (CRI). Change readiness relates to the capability of a country’s agents – its government, private and public enterprises, people and wider civil society – to anticipate, prepare for, manage, and respond to a wide range of change drivers, proactively cultivate the resulting opportunities, and mitigate any potential negative impacts. The 2013 Change Readiness Index ranked 90 countries, measuring them across 26 components to compare capabilities in the areas of enterprise (business environment), government, and people and civil society (social and human capital).”¹

However, change includes negative shocks like natural disasters resulting from climate change. Notwithstanding the KPMG study above, I cannot but be concerned that except for maybe a few of its civil society, the input that KPMG got from the Philippine government, business environment, and the majority of its people as far as reacting and adapting to climate change is more rhetoric rather than concrete actions, more of wanting rather than doing. Recent events in the Philippines portray a government rife in corruption, a business sector incessant in its pursuit of more profit to the detriment of its human capital, and the majority of its populace more focused on having 3 meals on the table. Issues such as adapting to climate change would be the least in each sector’s concerns. Nor would the World Bank’s recommendations for that matter.

Nevertheless, I am convinced that the individual shapes the society, whether it be the government, the business sector or civil society. If I, as an individual Filipino, resolve to act rather than just wish, I can immediately implement the Environment’s 3Rs of REDUCE-REUSE-RECYLE. I can start from my home and family and progressing farther to my friends, community, province and ultimately my entire beloved country the Philippines.

¹http://www.kpmg.com/Global/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/change-readiness/Pages/default.aspx

Submitted by Joanne Laurice Caguicla on

Everyone is aware of what global warming is, but not everyone realizes the grave effect of it—climate change. As the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) exponentially increase, the change in climate is getting worse. The temperature is increasing and the weather becomes more unpredictable. But actually, the worst part is not the climate itself but the fact that most people don't realize that they are also contributors of greenhouse gases in their simple ways.

For the past years, we have been experiencing severe disasters, like destructive typhoons, landslides, earthquakes, etc., that affected thousands of people. As these problems become alarming, the government and different organizations, both public and private, are starting to formulate safety measures in preparation for such disasters.

Honestly, I was not aware of the actions done by the government to resolve or lessen the problems about the arising problem regarding climate change.While I was reading the World Bank report, I finally got informed that the government is actually doing something about it. It is promising but, at the same time, bothering.

If there are a lot of plans, activities and laws concerning climate change, how come there is no or little improvement? On the one hand, the government keeps on informing the public of the do's and don'ts to lessen GHG emission. But is it well implemented? I am not sure if it's because of my indifference or the government hasn't really implemented those policies efficiently. On the other hand, there may be effective laws that would somehow resolve the problem. But do the people cooperate? It's just easy to put the blame on anybody. And that's the major problem—people keep on blaming each other.

All the plans and agendas, if implemented well, will be very helpful and indeed effective. But no matter how much fund the government will allot for the climate related agenda, if the people will not cooperate, there would have no change at all.

Global warming is already impossible to resolve. And still, a big percentage of people are still unaware of the long-term future effect of this climate change. Most just rely on the government and don't make an effort to create change. That's why there's a need for a strong implementation of policies and actualization of plans.

The questions are: When could these plans be actualized? Would it still be possible for citizens to be more concerned about this issue? How could the government catch people's attention and inform them about the urgency of this arising problem?

Submitted by Abigaile Cyr Sevilla on

“There are 4 Key Points in understanding the causes of climate change:

• Both natural and human factors change Earth’s climate.
• Before humans, changes in climate resulted entirely from natural causes such as changes in Earth’s orbit, changes in solar activity, or volcanic eruptions.
• Since the Industrial Era began, humans have had an increasing effect on climate, particularly by adding billions of tons of heat-trapping greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
• Most of the observed warming since the mid-20th century is due to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.”¹

No human being can do anything on changes in climate resulting entirely from natural causes. However, as an individual and as a society in general, we can all contribute to mitigate human-caused effects in climate change. From human processes such as deforestation, desertification, and urbanization, to human activities increasing the number of aerosol particles in the atmosphere, one’s individual action and by-and-large the society as whole, can reduce or at the very least alleviate the negative effects of climate change. From an individual Filipino’s recycling efforts to Philippine society’s targeted reductions in black carbon emissions, each at its level can reduce global warming. What is important, whether as a Filipino individual or Philippine society in general, is the doing not only the wishing, the action and not just the rhetoric.

¹http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/causes.hltml

Submitted by KAF on

While the report gives comprehensive recommendations on how the government can sort out the bureaucracies and inadequacies that prevent its institutions from effectively implementing measures that can prepare the nation for the effects of climate change, I cannot help but feel pessimistic about the whole thing.

I’m sure that if we are readily capable of instantly following the recommendations in the report, we would do so. It would benefit the country greatly. I would prevent damage to the economy. It would pave the way for accelerated economic growth. It would save lives. However, the challenges that were enumerated in the report are a reflection of the current state of Philippine politics: an entangled mess of things. Unclear domains of responsibility, lack of technical skills and knowledge, disjoint plans between government institutions, different classifications per institution, insufficient access to funding where it is needed and a lot of red tape in between.

Climate change is upon us. For our nation to be prepared for it, the proper implementation of sound plans under a unified effort of aligned government institutions and its citizens are necessary.

Submitted by Emerjon Regala on

I do believe that most of the Filipinos are aware of what is going on once they experience it however, they don't know what caused it and how it will be resolved. For example, those typhoons and other natural calamities came to their knowledge once it happens in their place. But when you ask them why it is happening, they might not have the full knowledge of why's and how's especially those who are in slump areas or rural areas. When you ask them if they have heard the word "global warming", and climate change", they will answer with yes however, if you ask them to define them, they will answer with mmmm..., I don't know or other responses which deal with uncertainty or out of knowledge. The problem and the solution that arrive to my mind is the information dissemination and technology. Scientific and technological innovation can help the problem and it must be delivered properly. Some of the schools and universities in the Philippines adopt new technology to climate change. Some try to make a gadget or an innovation that will help the farmers to know the weather events. I remember the issue of a politician who put a budget on making a kit or a pamphlet for farmers which was in english, I don't see the problem with this, it was really helpful, however, the medium they used was not coincide with the consumers. It is because only few famers can understand english. Some rather wanted to rather spend it on crops or materials needed. I would suggest to have the information on cellphones because most of the farmers have cellphones or the government or the responsible on agriculture would sell cellphone at a very affordable price and they will disseminate information regarding agriculture to the farmers. Example what will be the best crops in rainy season, what they can do to save the plants when it is drought. The biggest challenge in terms of climate change is the agriculture, like the change of soil, planting season. I have heard from the news that the government is partnering with universities, with local research centers in order to find solutions. We must mitigate with climate change. Social Media as well has the greatest aid of information dissemination for most of the people are into social media. The things that they may include with the information dissemination are: definition of terms like global warming, climate change, green house effect etc., causes of natural calamities, effects of the human doings and the like. The solutions and the future are in our hands and we must go hand in hand in facing the challenges that future brings.

Submitted by Jose Crisaldo Leona on

The World Bank noted in its report on climate change entitled Getting a grip, on climate change in the Philippines that the present administration has shifted its priorities in terms of addressing the issue, from mitigation to adaptation. I applaud this shift in focus for obvious reasons, topmost of which is the fact that the Philippines lies on a typhoon-prone area and is part of what is known as “Pacific Ring of Fire”, therefore, embracing an “adaptation” focus allows the government the freedom of planning what to prepare for in the event that disaster strikes. It is a more practical approach (adaptation) instead of trying to oppose the force of nature. Ms. Ma. Glenda Lopez Wui quoted anthropologist Yehudi Cohen as saying, “New adaptations must be developed if effective relationships with altered habitational conditions are to be maintained”.
Although efforts by the government are commendable, we all need to work double time, maybe even triple time, what with the fast moving technology around us. An unwelcome by-product of some technological advancements are Greenhouse gas emissions, and even if the Philippines is considered a minor contributor to global warming, the same World Bank report stated that Greenhouse gas emissions in the country are projected to multiply several folds, largely due to the growing economy, along with it, urbanization and motorization. We all must do our share in any way we can, not just for the here and now, but for our children’s tomorrow.

Submitted by Geffrey Cena on

For a majority of Filipinos, especially those who are living in slum areas don’t even care or maybe worst, that is they don’t even know what climate change is all about. The government should strengthen its programs in educating the people on how to take care of his or her environment and how to preserve its natural resources.

I agree with the blogger of this site, Ms. Sering in saying that climate change is definitely upon us. Every Filipino should not be relying solely with the government in preserving the environment but also each one should possess the right discipline in taking care of its natural resources.

Adaptation to climate change through technological solutions such as coastal defences or management and changes in consumption habits are also needed in order to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Some non-government organizations (NGO’s) such as the Science of Identity Foundation conduct different seminars to help the government educate its people.

Submitted by Sej Girard Kaimo on

It is nice to know all the plan and vision to help the effects of climate change. Based on "Getting a Grip on climate change in the Philippines", a report from The World Bank, Initiatives were already rolled out since 2009 for the Climate Change Act and NCCAP to have a clear evolution of priorities. It really is good indeed. But our question is, Is it all plans? or publicity? Why Publicity? It is because people are not aware of this. With how our government is now and all the corruption happening how can we ever keep our hopes high? Government says funds have been allocated here and there, but do we see results? One issue is pollution, this can dramatically help reduce the effects of climate change.Recently Philippine Medical Association (PMA) plans to file a case against DTI, DOTC and DENR for dereliction of duty (for failing to implement the environmental laws). Not seeing an improvement with the pollution problem in the Philippines particularly with Air pollution which greatly affects climate change.

As a concerned common Filipino, I hope we could help start a change by just being an advocate to these plans, just being aware will be a great push. Educating the nation alone will be a move towards a better tomorrow. Expecting the government will just keep us dreaming.

Submitted by Yakeina Gozun on

CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate change is a major concern globally. Climate change is noticeable with the drastic rise of sea levels, icebergs rapidly melting, increased amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, more unbearable warm temperatures and stronger & more disastrous typhoons and natural calamities. Hurricane Katrina that hit the US in 2005, Japan's tsunami in 2011 and Philippines' typhoon Ondoy in 2009 are just few examples of how disastrous the natural calamities are these days. These natural calamities are indications that climate change is occurring and can aggravate if not attended to immediately.

In our country, the Philippines, there are only two types of season – the wet and the dry season. During the dry season, the country experiences warm temperatures at the beginning of March until the start of June, and cool dry temperatures from December to February. During the wet season, rains and typhoons occur in mid-June and may last until October to November. Due to climate change, the Philippines is experiencing warmer temperatures and/or even rains in the months of December to February, and heavier rains (habagat) during the wet season as felt during typhoon Ondoy in 2009.

It is gratifying to know that the Philippine government is increasing its attention to managing climate change with the adoption of a policy in 2009, the Climate Change Act, which is driven by the Climate Change Commission (CCC) in partnership with Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

"In 2009, Congress passed the Climate Change Act creating the CCC to develop policies and coordinate government programs on climate change. The CCC in turn developed the National Climate Change Action Plan that serves as a road map for all climate change programs in the Philippines. “Incorporating the climate change action plan into the national and local development process, supported by properly-targeted public investments, is important to ensure that climate change priorities are translated into concrete actions on the ground,” said Secretary Lucille L. Sering, Commissioner and Vice Chairperson of the CCC.

"Climate change has a direct and immediate impact on development. As it stands, the Philippines is already in the path of major weather disturbances that damage property and critical infrastructure. More urgent however is the fact that these weather patterns frequently jeopardize the welfare of communities in high-risk areas. Recognizing this, the Aquino administration remains committed to providing sufficient budgetary support for programs and projects that mitigate the effects of climate change in the country,” said DBM Secretary Florencio B. Abad

However, we should not wait for the government and its agencies to implement their projects against climate change. We can start contributing to solve this problem in our little ways. If we are continuously being aware of practices or activities that can help our environment or at least slow down its degradation, this collective effort can count.

One way for us to reduce climate change is by using renewable energy, which prevents the emission of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels. Another way to reduce climate change is by “travelling green.” Instead of using your own car, you can ride a bike, walk or use a public utility vehicle in getting to your destination. You can also use a fuel-efficient gas for your own vehicle to lessen the emission of carbon in the atmosphere. Manufactured materials are often disposed of after being used. Trimming our wastes by reusing and recycling them can diminish the amount of carbon dioxide in land and air. Also, planting trees in our environment can be a big help in decreasing carbon dioxide. People can make a difference in the world, even with the small actions we can do as individuals, these can create a huge impact in making our world into a better place to live in.

http://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/39948-by-the-numbers-ondoy-habagat-2012-2013

http://kidlat.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/cab/climate.htm

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/01/04/world/asia/philippines-landslide/index.html

http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2013/06/26/philippines-new-study-says-fully-integrating-climate-change-agenda-in-government-planning-budgeting-will-boost-country-s-resilience

http://www.epa.gov/climatestudents/solutions/actions/index.html

Submitted by Hermelyn Velasquez on

It's great that the administration set up these agencies or units to take charge solely related to climate change. I presume that the majority of the people don’t know about the aforementioned data, especially the general public. And even if they know ---perhaps saw on TV news or read from a newspaper --- they don't fully understand or intend to grasp what it is all about, because of the jargons used or the technicality of how it was presented.

I suggest that the government, specifically these agencies should add more focus to public awareness through the use of a way that is very common to every household, which is the television. Local TV shows have tremendous commercials about product advertisement, why not adopt these means and make some TV commercials showing some tips and heads up about climate change. Simple tips and uncomplicated steps like opting for energy-efficient home appliances and recycling.

Submitted by Joanne Laurice Caguicla on

Everyone is aware of what global warming is, but not everyone realizes the grave effect of it—climate change. As the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) exponentially increase, the change in climate is getting worse. The temperature is increasing and the weather becomes more unpredictable. But actually, the worst part is not the climate itself but the fact that most people don't realize that they are also contributors of greenhouse gases in their simple ways.

For the past years, we have been experiencing severe disasters, like destructive typhoons, landslides, earthquakes, etc., that affected thousands of people. As these problems become alarming, the government and different organizations, both public and private, are starting to formulate safety measures in preparation for such disasters.

Honestly, I was not aware of the actions done by the government to resolve or lessen the problems about the arising problem regarding climate change.While I was reading the World Bank report, I finally got informed that the government is actually doing something about it. It is promising but, at the same time, bothering.

If there are a lot of plans, activities and laws concerning climate change, how come there is no or little improvement? On the one hand, the government keeps on informing the public of the do's and don'ts to lessen GHG emission. But is it well implemented? I am not sure if it's because of my indifference or the government hasn't really implemented those policies efficiently. On the other hand, there may be effective laws that would somehow resolve the problem. But do the people cooperate? It's just easy to put the blame on anybody. And that's the major problem—people keep on blaming each other.

All the plans and agendas, if implemented well, will be very helpful and indeed effective. But no matter how much fund the government will allot for the climate related agenda, if the people will not cooperate, there would have no change at all.

Global warming is already impossible to resolve. And still, a big percentage of people are still unaware of the long-term future effect of this climate change. Most just rely on the government and don't make an effort to create change. That's why there's a need for a strong implementation of policies and actualization of plans.

The questions are: When could these plans be actualized? Would it still be possible for citizens to be more concerned about this issue? How could the government catch people's attention and inform them about the urgency of this arising problem?

Submitted by John Christian Carpio on

I think we are not adapting to climate change. We still see places destroyed by floods these days. Our government just rescued faster and that's all. Floods still destroy properties and harm lives. And I don't see this problem being solved anytime sooner.

Submitted by Frencie Flake on

As one of the most vulnerable countries in the world, Philippines is continually experiencing the effects of climate change. Natural causes and human activities caused this climate change. But we, as human beings, took a large part in causing these effects of climate change. We, Filipinos, especially the government, need to contemplate a more pro-active adjustment planning to ensure a sustainable development. We can also start through small things such as conserving the electricity, lessening the use of plastics, stop the cutting of trees and instead, plant more trees.

Studies are also ongoing to help marine ecosystems cope with the effects of climate change. Dr. Aileen Maypa, Research Director of CCEF, conducted a research on how reefs can adapt to the impacts of climate change and how these can be mitigated is currently being conducted. The organization is developing a protocol for coral reef recovery, fisheries recovery and coral reef rehabilitation that can be used by local communities and LGUs. They are also looking into the redesigning of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), including the establishment of a network of MPAs, as a resiliency strategy to climate change, while considering the many factors that may impact the effectiveness of a MPA design. (Reference: The article Climate change to devastate Philippine Seas; Greenpeace proposes Roadmap to Recovery on www.greenpeace.org)

There is still hope for this country. I believe that if everybody would just cooperate and contribute, and if the government will focus on what they should really be doing, we can still possibly speed down the changes occurring nowadays caused by our own activities. We can work together as one nation and stop blaming one another. From small to big things, we can work this out.

Submitted by Vida Brucelas on

It was mentioned that our country is just a minor contributor to climate change; unfortunately our country is one of the most affected. We should not despair; it does not mean we cannot do anything about this anymore and just be passive about this. As a developing country, what we can do is avoid the path that developed countries, some are major contributors to climate change have done, and instead as we develop we should still consider the effects it will have to the environment, knowing now that as predicted our contribution to climate change will increase.
Our government should be more pro-active and take preventive measures in climate change, instead of just preparing for natural disasters intensified by climate change. Examples of these are investing in alternative energy, support private sectors that are already in environment friendly industries and for citizens in our daily lives to really cooperate and participate in the Reuse, Reduce, Recycle and Repair movement. Implementation of the law has always been our problem as a country and it does not help that we lack self-discipline as citizens too. But, if we really want to provide for the future generations, our families, which Filipinos our known for, assuring them of a healthy planet is one of the best we can provide them. We just have to do our part on this planet, no matter how little we may think it is.

Submitted by Beatrice Miranda G Reyno on

I am adapting to climate change by lessening my carbon footprint and by recycling as much as possible. Climate change creates stronger typhoons that create bigger floods most especially here in the Metro. I do my part by throwing garbage to proper bins to lessen the blockages in our drainage.

I am glad that the government through the CCC has taken some concrete steps towards advancing the immediate policies to address Climate Change. And I agree with the 3 recommendations written above. It is hard to push through your agenda, if there is not much public clamor as well. I suggest building capacity online, through campaigns that attract Filipinos most especially the younger ones to forward the cause. As we have seen through the Million People March, the government responds to massive participation of its citizens. I am also glad that your commission has teamed up with Rappler.com and several institutions in building Project Agos,a revolutionary idea that can save many many lives.

Submitted by Jeffrie Victorino on

Climate change clearly is one problem that the whole world is facing right now. It is evident that the negative effects are already being felt by many. As mentioned in the article, natural calamities which happened in recent years (like typhoons) produced lots of losses in lives and finances. Our country is very susceptible to these calamities, but flooding has not been very rampant until recently.
I can say that the Philippine government is on the right track, especially that ways and means to effectively address the problems on climate change are already being implemented. Requesting the World Bank to undertake a study to review government expenditures related to the issue is also one smart approach – it only proves that the matter is of critical importance and that serious measures should be applied.
Reviewing and allocating the right budget to projects related to the subject is very important, but I can say that consistency with proper implementation and usage of the budget is far more critical. Also, along with monitoring, reviewing and evaluating climate change policies, educating the public should be driven more for us to have stronger action plans. Everyone’s contribution is needed if we want to be successful with these efforts; it is human survival that we are trying to address after all.
Reference: Getting a Grip… on Climate Change in the Philippines (World Bank Report)

Submitted by Raven Jessica A. Defensor on

It is said that the Philippines is the third most vulnerable country that is affected by the climate change. We are all aware about climate change but only some of us care and understand what truly the effects of climate change to us. The most common climate-related problems that we are facing are typhoons, landslides and floods. The government has put up an organization to help our fellow citizens who are experiencing typhoons, landslides and floods; it is called Climate Change Commission (CCC). To be honest, this is the first time I heard of this, but I am also pleased that the government has this kind of proposal for our country, but this is not the only solution for us to lessen the effect of climate change in our country. Obviously we the people are the only to reprimand and not the government.
As an average citizen, I too experience some of the effects of climate change and in my own little ways I can also help the government thru discipline. We have to help the government by abiding the rules they implement like a simple regulation on how to throw our own trash properly, recycling the trashes and segregating them. By this, we can all help the government in minimizing the effect of climate change in our country because we are all cooperating and helping each other in a serious problem like this.

Submitted by Glen Howard Salamat on

An alarm clock moment for the Filipinos! Year per year natural calamities poses threat to survival of the entire Philippine population. I am grateful that our government is now giving proactive approach on solving problems on climate change. With the creation of Climate Change Commission (CCC), National Strategic Framework on Climate Change and the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP), People’s Survival Fund (PSF) and among others, it is now everyone’s responsibility to sustain the fire that we had started. In today’s world of technology and social media, we are all empowered to create awareness amongst our fellow Filipinos. Let’s shake the government to shy away from issues that need not national concern. Let’s be concerned enough to remind that climate change and national disasters are not seasonal problem but instead urgent and important issues which need to be address all throughout the year. With the recommendation and strategic action plan that was discussed, I am confident that we can make a difference and make a mark on improving our world for the next generation. Let us not wait for the clock to tick let’s all help out, this is not just a national issue it is a worldwide concern and human’s existence on the line.

Submitted by Vince Cañete on

Response:

Climate change is displayed as a big problem for the existence of life on Earth. It causes a chain of events that may lead the world to downfall. Our home and all the organisms that sustain life are faced with danger. Ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising and there have been more frequent natural calamities happening than before. The ecological balance is greatly affected. It places the lives of all living things under a threat—including human beings.
The impact of climate change has become evident in the Philippines. Extreme weather caused by the global changing temperature leaves the country disastrous effects. According to the report entitled Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines, it is said to be “the third most vulnerable country in the world to weather-related extreme events, earthquakes, and sea level rise.” Economic loss is a part of those disastrous effects left by natural calamities. This is a hindrance for the country’s increasing economic development. However, the Philippines’s growing economy also contributes to the risks of climate change (as economic advancement also means increased emissions of greenhouse gas). This only provokes that the future risks of climate change are unavoidable. The only possible way its impact can be lessened is learning how to cope with it.
There are actions taken by the Philippine government to address the issue. As time flew and as the effects became more visible and more people became aware of climate change, these actions were enhanced. The country’s focus of attention transitioned from climate change mitigation to climate change adaptation. Policies, programs and projects have now been provided for advancement of adaptation to the unavoidable impacts of climate change to reduce its risks.
However, the government’s role has a limit. For this to be effective, the people need to cooperate. We are still the ones holding what our future is going to be. Unless we give importance on how strong our influence are, as human beings, to climate change and do everything in our grasp to take care of the environment with our little efforts, such as by doing more and consuming less, nothing will be enough for ensuring the safety of humanity and the world we are living in.

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

Hello,

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!

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