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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 Aaron Cruz on

Upon reading the World Bank report about climate change in the Philippines, I think they have all the tools they need and they thought about every aspect of the solution, how would they manage, how would they execute and implement, and how would they allocate resources.
But I think it is hard to advocate and make a change when most of us in our daily life we depend on the resources that are the main cause of climate change. And although we are aware and we feel the effect of climate change, most of us do a little about it.
Awareness alone is not enough, we should have a strong concern. We should not feel that when we try participating, even in our small gestures, that it is merely a fraction. Everyone should practice a new way of living, one that can coexist without harming and damaging the other, and one that can minimize the cause of climate change. Our main motivator should be one another and one common goal. We should not only think of ourselves in terms of survival but also we should think about the future generations.
I think both the public and the government should work side by side in promoting and educating every individual even the young one in awareness and consciousness about what is happening in our environment and the cause and effects of climate change.
As of this writing the Paris Agreement on climate change are presented to President Duterte and are about to be signed. Laws should be enforced and implemented, and planning about climate change should be prioritize.
I only hope that this time everyone would participate in preserving our environment, in preserving human life and in preserving the future.

Submitted by AKEIMI LOPEZ on

Climate change is one of the most complicated issues that the world is facing today. This is a continuous problem that is really unavoidable, that soon, passes on to the next generation, and so on. This on-going warming of Earth’s temperature is caused not only from the natural changes in the climate system – such as biotic processes, changes in ocean-atmosphere circulations, volcanic eruptions and solar cycle – but also from human activities which is said to be the most significant contributor of the global warming since the mid-20th century.

Evidences tell that climate change is affecting our ecosystem negatively. Satellite observations show that Arctic sea ice is now declining at a rate of 13.3 percent per decade, relative to the 1981 to 2010 average. Glaciers retreat as temperatures continuously rises. Here in the Philippines, PAGASA’s climatological record indicated that the latest high temperature recorded in Metro Manila in 2016 (37.5°C) was close to the hottest temperature in Metro Manila recorded on May 14, 1987 at 38.5°C.

While we can't undo the damage caused to the environment, we can still help decelerate the rate of change - and long-term, change the fate of the planet altogether. Half the problem for us as individuals, however, is the knowing where to start.

And as for me, what I usually do is practicing proper waste segregation. How we dispose our garbage can make a big difference in the amount of waste we produce and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with our consumption. The manufacture, distribution and use of the goods and food we rely on in our daily lives — as well as management of the resulting waste — all require energy! This energy mostly comes from fossil fuels, which are the largest global source of heat-trapping greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Waste management may sound unusual, but imagine our landfills without plastics, hazardous chemicals, and non-biodegradable materials – it’ll be easier to do composting which can eliminate GHG. Even recycling of waste produces some emissions (although these are offset by the reduction in fossil fuels that would be required to obtain new raw materials). Waste prevention and recycling help address global climate change by decreasing the amount of GHG and these processes can also save energy.

Separating recyclables from biodegradable wastes may make a small progress, but it can make a big difference in today’s society. Using paper bags instead of plastics, selling papers and PET bottles to the nearest junk shops, and proper disposing of waste are some of the simple ways to save the Earth from this climate changes.

Submitted by Nancy D.Cubo on

Saving Mother Earth: Can we do it?

What is happening in our environment today? Well, that’s a very crucial question to all of us. But, I know all of us have a factual answer on this. Such a common issue in our place and everyone experienced the effect on it. We cannot deny that most people are now controllable in using the natural resources. They don’t even think that upon doing this everyone will suffered. Not just you, but us. Now we are tearing up remote corners of the planet looking for crude oil and coal, and our forests and wild animals are disappearing. And, we can see how polluted our environment is : even now we drink polluted water, inhale air full of dust, and eating food with traces of pesticides and other toxic chemicals. Suddenly, we are suffering from diseases.
As a result of our doings, the ozone layer destroyed, we can feel the result individually, too much heat that can cause sun burn and can damage also in our plants. Unfortunately, we are now scared of the different calamities coming in our place. Why? Because we are not prepared and we cannot prevent anymore whatever calamities may come. We choose to derelict the things that can save us. Now global warming is warning us that climate change is coming. Mother Earth is in danger as well as our life too. Let us come together to save one another because we individual is a hero. We can do impossible things if we can unite for the sake of one purpose.
Let’s us all start the better change that we all deserve. We should individually intervene to save our mother earth because we are the one accepting all the benefits.
1. Plant trees
2. Save wild animals
3. Intervene to the government to use non-conventional energy resources such as, air, water, sunlight, and biomass.
4. Empowered students and citizens of the importance of saving the environment and all the things that we can do to protect our environment.

Through this, it’s a big help already. I know there are more ways to solve this problem but it is on us how we do our part as part of the society. Be a good model to everyone because WE CAN DO THIS TOGETHER

Submitted by Mary Grace D. Falagne on

Knowledge and Training are Significant Factors.

The report of World Bank regarding climate change here in the Philippines revealed some vital factors that may assist the Philippine government in improving the country’s climate change organizations. Moreover, the World Bank report had also raised some major concerns that hinder the development of climate change reforms in the country. One of those concerns is the limited amount of knowledge and skills of some climate change institutions’ people.

Enough knowledge and skills for staff and related individuals of climate change institutions and LGUs, I believe, should be one of the top priorities of the country. As the forefront of the organization, these people must be aware of the facts and true information needed to conduct (or at least help in conducting) a strategy to implement an effective climate change reforms. Furthermore, people –especially in the LGUs—are typically the ones in-charge in disseminating information about climate change to the public. Therefore, they must be suitable enough to extend awareness and apprise the public about the country’s situation—and the government’s plan—with regards to climate change.

Submitted by Mathemar Montes on

Things change constantly that we need to adapt to in order to make life going. The major change we are facing now is the Climate Change. We are already adapting to this and it is given that further efforts will be needed in the succeeding years.

Adaptation happens in many ways, some examples of this are: a) through technology- in warm areas, they use air-conditioners to keep their house’ temperature cool; b) in agriculture – improving crops that can yield faster or can withstand drought; c) in infrastructure – building strong coastal defenses.

Successful adaptation of the whole society is not just in the hand of the individual but of the government as well.

As of what I can understand on the World Bank’s report, the Philippines is not ready and don’t have a well-organized Climate Change Actions. It shows that Climate Change is not one of the primary concerns of the government. As to my observations, our government only acts if the damaged has been done, they aren’t preparing before the ravage or they might be preparing when it’s too late. Many created Climate Action institutions results to the lack of clarity in their roles and responsibilities thus hindering execution and communication. Also these institutions have differences in the classification of climate programs, activities, and projects overlapping with each other causing misappropriation of funds. They pointed out that insufficient institutional capacity, including limited access to knowledge, and the complexity of planning tools have hindered efficient execution of the climate. The national government cannot execute Climate Actions at the same time because it is so wide. So it is better if they’ll give the funding to the LGUs for immediate actions and they will just overseer.

With the typhoons, floods, earthquakes and other calamities that devastated some places in our country, knowing our President as a “maka-masa”, will the Duterte Administration give more focus on making our country resilient to Climate Change? Does combatting Climate Change needs political will? Are our actions today will not cause us the harm of climate change nowadays or are our actions today are too late for us?

Submitted by Job L. Edora III on

Capitalism and Philippine Natural Resources

When climate change comes into mind, the grip of capitalist ideologist comes to enlightenment. Countries with high emissions like China and the US are countries who either are capitalist in structure or succumbs to capitalist mode of productions. China, although still with its communist background is a good example of a victim of capitalist mindset. Countries who are capitalist in nature will outsource their supply and production due to their materials, resources, and manpower deficiencies. China, on the other hand, still reeling from development is promised an illusion of alleviation from poverty at the expense of their climate conditions, exploitation of their natural resources and work force, and the nurturing of another imperialist mindset. Albeit these are, for the meantime, their primary source of income, it does not solve the chronic problems of society. It will only create more poor people that will settle for the current mindset. This statement proves the complex of natural resources, climate, and society given the premises of economic growth, population growth, technological change, and political-economic institutions. (Stern, et. al., 1992)

As the projection and study of the Worldbank really helps us comprehend the looming state of climate and of the labor conditions in the Philippines, we must also take into account the pattern they all suggest. The Philippines, now flourishing with jobs from the US in forms of BPOs, contribute as the exploited workforce of capitalist companies from the US. This serves as an illusion that the Philippines is flourishing, while in fact, we are being exploited and carrying the burdens of their development. Also, studies and actions directed towards climate change are heavily dependent on financing using the General Appropriations Act of the Philippines where in fact, these are the results of exploitation from capitalistic ventures of imperialist countries and companies, local capitalists, and misinformation due to capitalistic and imperialist mindset nurturing. Why should the taxpayer’s money pay for the collateral damages done by other countries and foreign companies? Why are we exchanging this false labor boom while our resources are being exploited by other countries? Is this really a cross deal or a form of status bullying by imperialist countries?

Furthermore, it was blatantly said by the study that LGUs are action-oriented but their limited capabilities in hiring personnel with technical skills, policy-making and implementation capabilities, and lack of funding displays their incapability to respond to the demand for Climate Change (Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines, 2013) When capitalistic ventures are employed, the capable technical workers are hired by companies in order to further exploit the environment while they should be under the efforts of the Philippine Government in the battle against climate change and development of mitigating measures.

Juxtaposed with the LGUs, the Climate Change Commission, along with the same deficiencies and capabilities like the LGUs, are as inefficient as they only come up with mitigating measures while still being under the sleeves of the Philippine Development Plan that it is not in line with, especially with regards to regulation of mining and energy development (Getting a Grip on Climate Chang in the Philippines, 2013). Clearly, the leaning of the Philippine Development Plan is towards modernization and not sustainability – still under a capitalistic mindset and cold-war ideology that development, even at the expense of our natural resources, is still more valuable despite its chronic effect in the Philippine environment. Since modernization is driven by capitalism and its faux promise of liberating the masses of their poor conditions, it is not far that Philippine climate and its natural resources would be further exploited. If we do not put an end to the mindset of capitalistic ventures, not only in the Philippines, but in the whole world, the consumption of mankind and its growing demand for natural resources will be the end of the ecological equilibrium and economic stability we intended to pursue. The end of the exploitation of natural resources is the solution to the root problem and not just with mitigating measures. We have to approach this inclusively and sustainably. (Milbrath, L. W., 1998)

As a student of Geology, I am very aware of the importance of minerals and energy development. Without energy, man would go back to its primitive ways and without minerals, our modern-day conductors, sources of energy, and technological advances would cease to exist. Although minerals and natural resources are concentrated in some parts of the world due to geological events, the proper utilizations and responsible harnessing of these are very important. With all the undeniable facts and advances present through the wonders of science, it must occur that man cannot deal with nature’s teaching (Valerio, R. L., 1997). If it can’t be grown, it has to be mined. This is a natural law that man has no control over but is innovating more ways in order to mine more to meet demands. A perspective change has to occur and this change will lobby us to a different mode of demands and a trajectory towards a more sustainable mindset. (Milbrath, L. W., 1998)

While we continue to mitigate, develop, and sustain the future towards a more environmental cooperative one, it must not stop here. Statistics that the Worldbank gathered empowers us to rise from the occasion and implement mitigating measures, set the mindset towards sustainable development, and course humankind towards natural selection. But the disconnect of the statistical knowledge and its practical applications is very wide. It must occur to us that man and nature is so interconnected that man will never live without nature but nature will flourish without man. Man is the problem and its capitalistic tendencies towards imperialist and hedonistic self-centeredness. (Milbrath, L. W., 1998)

References:
Milbrath, L. W. (1998). Living Sustainably (Special Issue 9). Electronic Green Journal.
Appendix C of Lopez-Wui, M., Ventura, E., & Rolda, R. (2003). Social Science I Foundations of Behavioral Science (1st ed., Vol. 1, Ser. 2003). Quezon City, NCR: UP Open University.

Stern, P. C., Young, O. R., & Druckman, D. (1992). Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions. Committee on human Dimensions of Global Change, National Research Council. Appendix B of Lopez-Wui, M., Ventura, E., & Rolda, R. (2003). Social Science I Foundations of Behavioral Science (1st ed., Vol. 1, Ser. 2003). Quezon City, NCR: UP Open University.

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. (2013). Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines. Retrieved February 3, 2017, from http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/473371468332663224/pdf/788090WP0P13010nge0Executive0Report.pdf

Valerio, R. (1997). An Introductory Handbook to Social Science. Los Banos, Laguna: University of the Philippines Los Banos.

Submitted by Job L. Edora III on

Capitalism and PH Natural Resources

When climate change comes into mind, the grip of capitalist ideologist comes to enlightenment. Countries with high emissions like China and the US are countries who either are capitalist in structure or succumbs to capitalist mode of productions. China, although still with its communist background is a good example of a victim of capitalist mindset. Countries who are capitalist in nature will outsource their supply and production due to their materials, resources, and manpower deficiencies. China, on the other hand, still reeling from development is promised an illusion of alleviation from poverty at the expense of their climate conditions, exploitation of their natural resources and work force, and the nurturing of another imperialist mindset. Albeit these are, for the meantime, their primary source of income, it does not solve the chronic problems of society. It will only create more poor people that will settle for the current mindset. This statement proves the complex of natural resources, climate, and society given the premises of economic growth, population growth, technological change, and political-economic institutions. (Stern, et. al., 1992)

As the projection and study of the Worldbank really helps us comprehend the looming state of climate and of the labor conditions in the Philippines, we must also take into account the pattern they all suggest. The Philippines, now flourishing with jobs from the US in forms of BPOs, contribute as the exploited workforce of capitalist companies from the US. This serves as an illusion that the Philippines is flourishing, while in fact, we are being exploited and carrying the burdens of their development. Also, studies and actions directed towards climate change are heavily dependent on financing using the General Appropriations Act of the Philippines where in fact, these are the results of exploitation from capitalistic ventures of imperialist countries and companies, local capitalists, and misinformation due to capitalistic and imperialist mindset nurturing. Why should the taxpayer’s money pay for the collateral damages done by other countries and foreign companies? Why are we exchanging this false labor boom while our resources are being exploited by other countries? Is this really a cross deal or a form of status bullying by imperialist countries?
Furthermore, it was blatantly said by the study that LGUs are action-oriented but their limited capabilities in hiring personnel with technical skills, policy-making and implementation capabilities, and lack of funding displays their incapability to respond to the demand for Climate Change (Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines, 2013) When capitalistic ventures are employed, the capable technical workers are hired by companies in order to further exploit the environment while they should be under the efforts of the Philippine Government in the battle against climate change and development of mitigating measures.

Juxtaposed with the LGUs, the Climate Change Commission, along with the same deficiencies and capabilities like the LGUs, are as inefficient as they only come up with mitigating measures while still being under the sleeves of the Philippine Development Plan that it is not in line with, especially with regards to regulation of mining and energy development (Getting a Grip on Climate Chang in the Philippines, 2013). Clearly, the leaning of the Philippine Development Plan is towards modernization and not sustainability – still under a capitalistic mindset and cold-war ideology that development, even at the expense of our natural resources, is still more valuable despite its chronic effect in the Philippine environment. Since modernization is driven by capitalism and its faux promise of liberating the masses of their poor conditions, it is not far that Philippine climate and its natural resources would be further exploited. If we do not put an end to the mindset of capitalistic ventures, not only in the Philippines, but in the whole world, the consumption of mankind and its growing demand for natural resources will be the end of the ecological equilibrium and economic stability we intended to pursue. The end of the exploitation of natural resources is the solution to the root problem and not just with mitigating measures. We have to approach this inclusively and sustainably. (Milbrath, L. W., 1998)

As a student of Geology, I am very aware of the importance of minerals and energy development. Without energy, man would go back to its primitive ways and without minerals, our modern-day conductors, sources of energy, and technological advances would cease to exist. Although minerals and natural resources are concentrated in some parts of the world due to geological events, the proper utilizations and responsible harnessing of these are very important. With all the undeniable facts and advances present through the wonders of science, it must occur that man cannot deal with nature’s teaching (Valerio, R. L., 1997). If it can’t be grown, it has to be mined. This is a natural law that man has no control over but is innovating more ways in order to mine more to meet demands. A perspective change has to occur and this change will lobby us to a different mode of demands and a trajectory towards a more sustainable mindset. (Milbrath, L. W., 1998)

While we continue to mitigate, develop, and sustain the future towards a more environmental cooperative one, it must not stop here. Statistics that the Worldbank gathered empowers us to rise from the occasion and implement mitigating measures, set the mindset towards sustainable development, and course humankind towards natural selection. But the disconnect of the statistical knowledge and its practical applications is very wide. It must occur to us that man and nature is so interconnected that man will never live without nature but nature will flourish without man. Man is the problem and its capitalistic tendencies towards imperialist and hedonistic self-centeredness. (Milbrath, L. W., 1998)

References:
Milbrath, L. W. (1998). Living Sustainably (Special Issue 9). Electronic Green Journal.
Appendix C of Lopez-Wui, M., Ventura, E., & Rolda, R. (2003). Social Science I Foundations of Behavioral Science (1st ed., Vol. 1, Ser. 2003). Quezon City, NCR: UP Open University.

Stern, P. C., Young, O. R., & Druckman, D. (1992). Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions. Committee on human Dimensions of Global Change, National Research Council. Appendix B of Lopez-Wui, M., Ventura, E., & Rolda, R. (2003). Social Science I Foundations of Behavioral Science (1st ed., Vol. 1, Ser. 2003). Quezon City, NCR: UP Open University.

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. (2013). Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines. Retrieved February 3, 2017, from http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/473371468332663224/pdf/788090WP0P13010nge0Executive0Report.pdf

Valerio, R. (1997). An Introductory Handbook to Social Science. Los Banos, Laguna: University of the Philippines Los Banos.

Submitted by Therese Angela Dionisio on

The Solution to Climate Change

There is a saying I quote, "When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money."

This quote has given me the idea of what we can become if one does not put their attention towards the effects of climate change. I very much believe of what the article says is true, we see this everyday and we feel the change currently in the country but society chooses to turn a blind eye and ignore the effect of climate change. We spend so much money in order to sustain electricity and energy: Oil mining, Nuclear power plant, Radiation technology etc. which both harms not only humans but our earth and thus result to climate change.

I would like to stress the point on how renewable energy is one of the solutions to this problem. Climate change has been an issue for several years. Like it is said, Philippines may not be a major contributor in emitting Green house gases but we are fairly affected as other countries are in this phenomenon.

Renewable energy is a growing study. It is an idea where we depend the production of energy from mother nature itself without harming her. Unlike factories and nuclear power plants, these inventions contribute in the majority of GHG. Using renewable energy will change that. An example would be solar energy, where we receive energy by the heat of the sun. Since the Philippines is a tropical country we experience more sunny days rather than rain fall. Using solar energy will benefit in the saving of costs in producing energy, which every person needs each day. Another example would be also Hydro power, the Philippines is known to be an archipelago where we have hundreds of islands surrounded by bodies of water. This is an advantage of our country because due to this structure, underwater pressure is likely in our area. Creation of underwater pipes where water travels within can form kinetic energy and thus provide as the sufficient amount of energy needed per day, per week or per year. This is just two examples of renewable energy which the Philippines can take advantage of. There are plenty more solutions based on this type of resource that can help us survive and thrive from climate change.

The Philippines have always had the option to convert themselves to this type of practice. In fact today I see plenty of business corporations promoting the use of renewable energy but then only few have dedicated themselves to this change. Some practice the known "earth hour act" but i believe this is not enough. We are still dependent on the traditional production of energy that continuous to harm our surroundings. The worst part is there are people in this world that think climate change is not real. Despite the efforts of the Government officials or Non Government sectors people still choose to stay ignorant with the issue at hand.

There are plenty of solutions to solve this if we just place that in mind and start the change as well. I believe that converting our practice to renewable energy will be the start to save ourselves from Climate change. Awareness of our society and how they look upon the issue of climate change must be shared continuously. Why wait for the worst to happen when we can act the prevention now.

Submitted by Therese Angela Dionisio on

The Solution to Climate Change

There is a saying I quote, "When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money."

This quote has given me the idea of what we can become if one does not put their attention towards the effects of climate change. I very much believe of what the article says is true, we see this every day and we feel the change currently in the country but society chooses to turn a blind eye and ignore the effect of climate change. We spend so much money in order to sustain electricity and energy: Oil mining, Nuclear power plant, Radiation technology etc. which both harms not only humans but our earth and thus result to climate change.

I would like to stress the point on how renewable energy is one of the solutions to this problem. Climate change has been an issue for several years. Like it is said, Philippines may not be a major contributor in emitting Greenhouse gases but we are fairly affected as other countries are in this phenomenon.

Renewable energy is a growing study. It is an idea where we depend the production of energy from Mother Nature itself without harming her. Unlike factories and nuclear power plants, these inventions contribute in the majority of GHG. Using renewable energy will change that. An example would be solar energy, where we receive energy by the heat of the sun. Since the Philippines is a tropical country we experience more sunny days rather than rain fall. Using solar energy will benefit in the saving of costs in producing energy, which every person needs each day. Another example would be also Hydro power, the Philippines is known to be an archipelago where we have hundreds of islands surrounded by bodies of water. This is an advantage of our country because due to this structure, underwater pressure is likely in our area. Creation of underwater pipes where water travels within can form kinetic energy and thus provide as the sufficient amount of energy needed per day, per week or per year. This is just two examples of renewable energy which the Philippines can take advantage of. There are plenty more solutions based on this type of resource that can help us survive and thrive from climate change.

The Philippines have always had the option to convert themselves to this type of practice. In fact today I see plenty of business corporations promoting the use of renewable energy but then only few have dedicated themselves to this change. Some practice the known "earth hour act" but I believe this is not enough. We are still dependent on the traditional production of energy that continuous to harm our surroundings. The worst part is there are people in this world that think climate change is not real. Despite the efforts of the Government officials or Non-Government sectors people still choose to stay ignorant with the issue at hand.

There are plenty of solutions to solve this if we just place that in mind and start the change as well. I believe that converting our practice to renewable energy will be the start to save ourselves from Climate change. Awareness of our society and how they look upon the issue of climate change must be shared continuously. Why wait for the worst to happen when we can act the prevention now.

Submitted by Xavier Red Bartolome on

Over three years since the original article was posted, and it is quite clear that Climate Change is real and presently occurring. Three years since this article has warned us of ever worsening conditions, and sure enough, the oceans have been rising, while the quality of the air has been dropping. The effects are devastating, and we have none to blame but ourselves.

In the pursuit of a better, easier life, man has manufactured not only clever machines to help us, but also the looming threat of global warming. It is quite ironic that while the effects of climate change continue to increase, its naysayers and skeptics still stand firm. This is not an indication that climate change in valid, merely a testament to the greed and short sightedness of its detractors.

The correct approach to this, I believe, is twofold; we must make an effort to reduce our carbon foot print and make sure that we do not consume or waste more than we should, while constantly asserting the urgency and validity of Climate change.

First, it is important to remember that change comes from oneself, and that in order to fight global warming, everyone must pitch in. It is not an easy task, but it can be done, especially if executed incrementally and properly. Second, we must try to spread awareness as much as we can so that more people make an effort to stem the tide of the corruption that is Climate Change. Furthermore, we must make sure to educate the future generations so that they may continue to preserve mother nature.

Submitted by Nigel Letigio on

Climate change is a very big problem for us. As of now we can slightly feel the effects of climate change in our world and in our country. The emission of Green House Gas (GHG) is increasing. This is a huge problem for us. We can experience a lot of problems with this like, lacking of foods to eat, because of the rising of the Earth’s temperature, our plants may become dry, people may suffer heat related diseases, and the fishes in the seas might die causing our fisher folks to have a low amount of catch, and for us to have a lesser amount to eat.

Our government on the other hand is studying and working on for some ways to fight climate change. They have an agenda that prioritizes, executes, monitors and reports on climate change activities and its development. The NCCAP or the National Climate Change Action Plan was launched. They put a budget for climate expenditures, focuses on water sufficiency, ecosystem, environmental stability and food security. Also there is a framework that anchors the government’s reform agenda that includes three pillars. First is to strengthen the planning, execution and financing framework for climate change. Second, enhance leadership, accountability through monitoring, evaluating and review of climate change policies and activities. Lastly is building the capacity and managing the changes.

I got high views for this agenda against global warming. None of us want to suffer the effects of it that is why we should help each and every one of us and do what is needed to fight global warming. We should. Let’s SEGREGATE. Love our environment, plant more trees. We should always take risks and work hard fro us to live fruitfully and longer in our world. We should be responsible for our own world. I still want to know and experience the beauty of the Earth for a long time. I want my children to also experience and see how Mother Earth is so beautiful, that is why I want to support this agenda and help. As a resident of this wonderful home, I encourage everyone to support this agenda. Mother Earth gave a lot to us, its time to help her and give back.

Submitted by Ma. Socorro Herrera Olivares on

Our planet have always been making an effort on it's own in producing resources that benefits human beings. But through the years, our planet have been worsening it's condition which is brought by accumulating reckless ways of humans.

There are ofcourse several factors that are affecting earth's deterioration. Which are the uncontrollable climate change, irresponsible waste disposal, unwarranted fishing, illegal mining, air pollution and many more.

In the past years the government have been establishing several ways to protect the environment. Efficiency is the main issue here. As they strive for producing excellent plans, inadequate supporting and planning hinders the effectiveness of such projects.

First, the use of eco bag has been launched in several local governments in our country. However, through observation it seems that this have not been strictly implemented. Plastics are composed of chemicals which are not only harmful for the health but also to the nature. The burning of which contributes to the thinning of the ozone layer. If everyone will actually cooperate then we do not have to suffer floods which are caused by clogging of plastics through stream and other water system. Why not continue such project and help rebuilt mother earth.

Another aspect we have to look into is traffic. The biggest parking lot, as a parody, also known as EDSA is a common rally of commuters everyday. Honking of cars is a really devasting experience to anyone. In addition to the noise pollution is the air pollution brought by thousands of cars passing along the national highway. Approximately 4.7 million tons of greenhouse gases are emitted each year in 2012 according to inquirer.net. We also anticipate the increase of this statistic to 5.72 million tons a year in 2030. Imagine the terrifying effect kf this to our planet? It will be best if President Rodrigo Duterte will keep his promise of mitigating traffic in our country, through whatever possible way. Intelligent planning is vital to this process and will require trial and error, and a great deal of effort.

Perhaps creating bike lane in major and minor roads is a plausible way of minimizing heavy traffic. Since there have been increasing number of bikers in th country, it will be advantageous if the government also encourages people to ride on pedals. Which is not only good for the environment but also to one's health. Continuous support to carpool will also be a great help, since there will be less cars in the road which equates to less pollution.

Through all of this, people's cooperation is necessary to prevent future damages that will affect the future generation.

Submitted by Ma. Socorro Herrera Olivares on

Our planet have always been making an effort on it's own in producing resources that benefits human beings. From the water we drink, the plants we eat and the air we breathe, it all came from mother nature. But through the years, our planet have been worsening it's condition which is brought by accumulating reckless ways of humans. The simple candy wrapper thrown in the streets, to the tons of garbage seen elsewhere have highly contributed to the worsening of our environment.

There are ofcourse several factors that are affecting earth's deterioration. Which are the uncontrollable climate change, irresponsible waste disposal, unwarranted fishing, illegal mining, air pollution and many more.

In the past years the government have been establishing several ways to protect the environment. Efficiency is the main issue here. As they strive for producing excellent plans, inadequate supporting and planning hinders the effectiveness of such projects.

First, the use of eco bag has been launched in several local governments in our country. However, through observation it seems that this have not been strictly implemented. Plastics are composed of chemicals which are not only harmful for the health but also to the nature. The burning of which contributes to the thinning of the ozone layer. If everyone will actually cooperate then we do not have to suffer floods which are caused by clogging of plastics through stream and other water system. Why not continue such project and help rebuilt mother earth.

Another aspect we have to look into is traffic. The biggest parking lot, as a parody, also known as EDSA is a common rally of commuters everyday. Honking of cars is a really devasting experience to anyone. In addition to the noise pollution is the air pollution brought by thousands of cars passing along the national highway. Approximately 4.7 million tons of greenhouse gases are emitted each year in 2012 according to inquirer.net. We also anticipate the increase of this statistic to 5.72 million tons a year in 2030. Imagine the terrifying effect kf this to our planet? It will be best if President Rodrigo Duterte will keep his promise of mitigating traffic in our country, through whatever possible way. Intelligent planning is vital to this process and will require trial and error, and a great deal of effort.

Perhaps creating bike lane in major and minor roads is a plausible way of minimizing heavy traffic. Since there have been increasing number of bikers in th country, it will be advantageous if the government also encourages people to ride on pedals. Which is not only good for the environment but also to one's health. Continuous support to carpool will also be a great help, since there will be less cars in the road which equates to less pollution.

Through all of this, people's cooperation is necessary to prevent future damages that will affect the future generation.

Submitted by Fleo Mae L. Arellano on

I can totally see how climate changed affect lives here in the Philippines, not just the people but also the animals around the country. I am a professional scuba diver and I would like to share with you how I can see our coral reefs slowly dying because of climate change. There are two common ways why and how they die, first is from coral bleaching, it happens by warmer water temperatures brought on by climate change stress corals because they are very sensitive to changes in temperature. If water temperatures stay higher than usual for many weeks, the zooxanthellae they depend on for some of their food leave their tissue. Without zooxanthellae, corals turn white because zooxanthellae give corals their color. White, unhealthy corals are called bleached. Bleached corals are weak and less able to combat disease. The second is by ocean acidification, this happens when carbon dioxide gets dissolved in the ocean, well it is a natural process of the ocean to do that but large amounts of carbon dioxide now a days is being emitted all over the world, and the ratio of the ocean absorbing carbon dioxide has been higher than the past decades, this result to an acidic ocean which makes the corals hard to absorb the calcium carbonate which they need to maintain their skeletons and the stony skeletons that support corals and reefs will dissolve. If nothing is done to reduce carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, ocean acidification will increase and more and more corals will be damaged or destroyed and that is a big problem in the Philippines since we are in the Coral Triangle and that we are in the center of it.

Submitted by Rayn B. on

Based on the World Bank report, it shows that we still have a lot of things to improve on. The report has 3 recommendations that we should take a look at and as Filipino citizen it is our shared responsibility to at least provide ideas and suggestions.
1. Strengthening the planning, execution, and financing framework for climate change.
- On my understanding on the report, we still lack the coordination between government agencies on how to have one approach to deal with climate change.
- So it would be better that each government agencies, bureaus and departments should work hand in hand and should have a more specific scope of responsibilities. This is to give each of them priorities so each problem can be addressed. There should also only one agency who will oversee all of those involved in planning, execution and financing.
- Invest more on projects and research about the impacts and how we can prepare more for climate change.
2. Enhancing leadership and accountability through monitoring, evaluation, and review of climate change policies and activities
- The government should of course support the stop climate change. It also needs to ensure that people involved or appointed are well-equipped and well-trained to handle these initiatives. People that have more knowledge about climate change and not be influence by personal agenda.
- It also about time to pass the FOI bill. This is to ensure accountability and transparency among government agencies and departments involved. Our economy is already losing from the destruction brought by the impact of climate change; we can’t afford to lose again from the corrupt politicians.
- The president also needs to think again about stopping the Project NOAH. This agency has helped a lot when it comes to disaster risk reduction and management.
3. Building the country’s capacity and managing change
- We also need to invest on public awareness and knowledge about climate change. The more people are aware, the more we care about our environment. Simply telling our friends to keep our electric lights off when not used will be a great help.
- We must also start it with our self. We should be a good model and inspiration to all.

Submitted by Minerva Chavez on

From my observation, the issue of climate change is often overlooked. There are not much strong measures being implemented due to red tape and continuous bad practices. Environmental groups or government agencies concerned do not sustain awareness campaigns and action points do not logically follow. Also, the need for the general masses to be well informed about climate change needs to be emphasized. There should be government efforts in pursuing this since most of these people work for environmentally destructive companies like factories, which can be both hazardous to the workers and the environment itself.

QUESTIONS REGARDING THE TOPIC:

1. What sample anti-climate change campaigns can serve as general prototype so all countries can replicate them back home?

2. What is the ranking of Climate Change Projects when it comes to national budget allocation?

3. What are the concrete fruits of the Aquino administration’s work on climate change?

4. How can inter-agency collaboration help amplify our climate change information campaign?

Submitted by Lorenzo Perez on

Climate change is indeed a real threat to the Philippines, the country being an archipelago of 7000 plus islands. Coastal communities are particularly endangered, especially those living in the eastern part of the country. Already, the frequency and power of typhoons and tsunamis have increased and the melting ice caps in the North and South Pole have raised sea levels. The people’s way of life have been and will be affected. Climate change has led to a decline in the marine population, affecting livelihood of the fisher folks and other people dependent on it. In our province in Bulacan, my grandfather told us that there has never been any flooding in their area; yet one year ago, strong floods affected their whole town, which devastated several houses and farm lands, this despite the province being landlocked.
So it is good to note that we have laws and policies that address the issue of climate change. However, are these laws and policies enough? I would say that these are not enough. Though we have plenty of laws and policies that are supposed to address or mitigate the effects of climate change, many of these are poorly implemented. The reasons for the poor implementation include lack of political will, lack of funding, lack of awareness or understanding of the policies and guidelines, or simply the low priority accorded to these by the administration. President Duterte himself said last November that he will not honor the Paris Treaty although recently, there have been reports that he will sign it. Hopefully this will lead to more concrete actions being taken.
On the other hand, we shouldn’t solely rely on our leaders and government to mitigate the adverse impact of climate change. We should also do our part in cleaning and taking care of our environment. From simply picking up trash that we see and disposing of these properly, to recycling, planting trees and using renewable energy. No act is too small. There is much we can do to aid in this fight for our future.

Submitted by Michelle Alcazar on

I believe that the government needs to focus on expanding its knowledge on how to adapt to climate change. I commend the government's effort in addressing this issue as this is not just our concern but it is after all a global concern. A greater knowledge on such concern can make the project and effort more effective and more easily to manage.

It should not just be the government who works on this but the change and help that our mother nature need should also be an initiative by all of us. We are main cause of this climate change as we increase in population we also increase in demand of industrialization. As predicted on on the statement it is said that a few years time it will increase (industrialization, use of vehicles and etc).

The private sectors should also start investing and discovering new ways to create their products to reduce their contribution to the greenhouse gas effect. They should help and work with the government maybe also fund the government to provide better knowledge on how we can adapt to change and mitigate.

The media can also play a great role in creating awareness and nowadays also social media can play such a huge role to create an impact most especially to the youth on what and how the cause, effects and to mitigate climate change.

Submitted by Desiree Banda-ay on

Valerio (1997) stated in his book, An Introductory Handbook to Social Science, that:

The earth is a closed system; it provides all the resources and means that man requires for his cultural development. The processes acting on the earth are mostly cyclical rather than unilinear or “one way.” Yet, man appears to be interfering with these processes as a result of his apparently unconcerned attitude.

The passage above sums up how our environment got to be where it is today. The earth gave us all the things we need to survive, yet we, humans, instead of taking care of it, abused it, and look where that got us. We’re knee deep in pollution be it our land, water, or air; we’re depleting our natural resources, faster than it can restore itself; we’re emitting so much greenhouse gases that it causes global warming which in turn causes climate change and a whole lot more. I understand that there’s no point in laying blame, however, I think that it is important for us to understand that this is on us, we shaped the world we currently live in and that alone should motivate us to do something about it.

As reported by the World Bank’s report (2013), our country, the Philippines, “is the third most vulnerable country to weather-related extreme events, earthquakes, and sea level rise.” This is evident in the past decade alone, as we’ve undergone devastating storms such as Ondoy in 2009, Yolanda in 2013, and just last year, typhoon Nina. Typhoon Yolanda was a terrible reminder of how woefully ill-prepared our country was to counter such natural disaster. It disheartens me that something bad had to happen before we thought of doing something. Sure, we can say that our government is better prepared now compared to 3 years ago, however, there’s so much more that we can improve on. I’m not just talking about our government, but us, Filipino individuals, as well.

It is easier said than done, especially in our country, we are after-all ranked as a third world country. Based on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)’s report (2016), Filipinos earning under the poverty threshold or poor was at 21.6% and those who were way below the threshold or extremely poor was at 10.4 % in 2015. In the same report, it stated that, “In 2015, a family of five needed at least PhP 6,329, on average, every month to meet the family’s basic food needs…” That’s around PhP 210 a day for 5 people. I can’t help but think that if I were in that situation, where I’m struggling just to put food on the table, I wouldn’t care much about climate change. However, despite this fact, I believe that those of us that can, should at least try. Besides, one of the significance of the review in the report from World Bank (2013), was that “climate action contributes to inclusive growth and poverty reduction.” For example, climate action such as building renewable energy structures will create new jobs and adapting our structures to withstand storms or floods, can lessen the devastation it would otherwise cause.

The Climate Change Commission (CCC)’s website provided these suggestions on how we, as individuals, can help in battling climate change:

• Environmental Education- The more we know, the better we understand, and the higher chance that we’d care.

• Reduce Consumption- Reduce, Re-use, Upcycle. Honestly, just having an eco-bag with you always, helps.

• Practice Eco-Friendly Transportation- Walk, jog or run if you can, it helps and its healthy too.

• Save Energy- I understand that it’s hard to turn off the air conditioner in a hot and humid weather, I’m guilty of that too. However, we should at least try to keep it at a minimum, use the fan or open the window and let the natural breeze cool you down.

• Use Renewable Energy Sources- Solar powered gadgets are prevalent right now, so if you can afford it, why not?

• Patronize Recycled Products

• Be Active in Environmental Protection- Again, if you can, why not?

• Get Your Community Involved- You can even start small and do it with your family first.

• Be Prepared

Just, imagine, if we all did our part, maybe we can even slow down the effects of climate change. As the saying goes, “United we stand, divided we fall.”

To further convince you here’s a short, animated video on climate change that I found:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKDAn0scxiA.

Submitted by Janice Casas on

Is climate change a myth, unreal or a hoax? I have heard this debate several times and most of the time, the discourse is refutable.

I firmly believe that it is crucial to pay attention about the issue of climate change. This is a worldwide phenomenon that brings massive problem and projects humungous dangers, threats and risks. The dilemma continues to proliferate over the course of time and it is expected to multiply if we continue to be oblivious about the existing problem.

If I may recall, circa 2013, the typhoon Yolanda destroys the source of living and the lives of many Filipinos. The typhoon have resulted to floods, storm surge and landslides and claimed many lives of the people. I may have not witnessed it from my own naked eye but the worldwide news and the testaments of my friends and relatives in my home country were more than enough to feel the harsh effect of the catastrophe. It was not the only intense typhoon that struck our country but there are many of them. I may not recall the latest few as I have been away from my homeland for more than a decade but the damages of those typhoons generated an international commotion and shockwaves.

In the Philippines, it is evident that geography plays a big factor for the climate change; however, it is also known to us that the citizen of our country performs considerable amount of unacceptable actions that worsened the situation and altered the natural environment. Though Philippines is a typhoon prone country, it is also apparent that over a period of time, an increase number of intense typhoon made landfall on our ground. And why is it so? This is because of the climate change. People became abusive to the abundance of the Mother Nature and they have shrugged off the possible consequences of their wrongdoings. The trees and mangroves that used to help in stabilizing the soil in the event of typhoons have been denuded. The coral reefs are dying and it continue to weaken due to the pollution and trashes that has been dumped into the seas and rivers. The natural environment is in great danger due to our greed and ignorance. Its deterioration is a threat to the humanity.

The clamor about the climate change has been there for long time and I agree that majority of the Filipinos are aware of it and even felt it. They knew its existence but they do not know how to combat the issue. Who’s to blame? Shall I blame the government about their lack of knowledge? Yes, but not totally because every citizen of the country must have a conscious effort to decipher what is right and wrong for the environment. The relationship of mankind and the environment has been established since the beginning of time and even before the construction of our ideals and beliefs. In one way or another, the two are interrelated. We are all responsible for it without any excuses. Aside from this responsibility, we also need to develop our sense of discipline. Some of us use our capacity to go against the nature and destroy its beauty. Some of us dispose our garbage without following the method of segregation and we cut trees for the sake of modernization and globalization.

Somehow, there is no point to dwell the mistakes of the past. It is necessary to make amends as early as possible so that the next generation can have a better experience of our natural environment. Whilst I agree that the government needs to promote awareness about climate change and tackle on how to combat the issue in a wider spectrum; it is also pivotal that this method of awareness will reach to our fellow countrymen that have limited or no access to media, technology and education. We also need help from the people of various sectors, support groups and even the students to conduct an awareness campaign. Additionally, the government must develop strong governance and effective implementation of the climate change law of our country. Fines or punishments must be strictly implemented to the violators of the law. Lastly, let us start examining and evaluating our own environment and see if we conform to the standards. After all, change starts from within and then spread it.

Submitted by Ma. Luisa Miranda on

Climate change, also called global warming, refers to the rise in average surface temperatures on Earth. An overwhelming scientific consensus maintains that climate change is due primarily to the human use of fossil fuels, which releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the air.
If we want change, we need to think solutions, start doing things to stop Climate Change, we need change, yet change takes time, we need to be more patient if we want it to be more effective.
Start growing plants on your own, and water it frequently. These things will help a lot. Imagine if most of us are doing these. We can expect a wonderful future
Question: If you were to think of your own solution about how to stop Climate Change, what would it be?

Submitted by Rayn B. on

Based on the World Bank report, it shows that we still have a lot of things to improve on. The report has 3 recommendations that we should take a look at and as Filipino citizen it is our shared responsibility to at least provide ideas and suggestions.
1. Strengthening the planning, execution, and financing framework for climate change.
- On my understanding on the report, we still lack the coordination between government agencies on how to have one approach to deal with climate change.
- So it would be better that each government agencies, bureaus and departments should work hand in hand and should have a more specific scope of responsibilities. This is to give each of them priorities so each problem can be addressed. There should also only one agency who will oversee all of those involved in planning, execution and financing.
- Invest more on projects and research about the impacts and how we can prepare more for climate change.
2. Enhancing leadership and accountability through monitoring, evaluation, and review of climate change policies and activities
- The government should of course support the stop climate change. It also needs to ensure that people involved or appointed are well-equipped and well-trained to handle these initiatives. People that have more knowledge about climate change and not be influence by personal agenda.
- It also about time to pass the FOI bill. This is to ensure accountability and transparency among government agencies and departments involved. Our economy is already losing from the destruction brought by the impact of climate change; we can’t afford to lose again from the corrupt politicians.
- The president also needs to think again about stopping the Project NOAH. This agency has helped a lot when it comes to disaster risk reduction and management.
3. Building the country’s capacity and managing change
- We also need to invest on public awareness and knowledge about climate change. The more people are aware, the more we care about our environment. Simply telling our friends to keep our electric lights off when not used will be a great help.
- We must also start it with our self. We should be a good model and inspiration to all.

Submitted by Ren Paolo Villanueva on

First of all, while reading this blog, I couldn't help but ask myself, are these government efforts still being attended to? Now that we have already changed administration, is President Duterte focusing on addressing the climate change? Or are we just waiting for something, say a typhoon, to happen and lose other thousands, worse millions, of life again before we take another action?
From my observation, most humans specifically Filipinos have already adapted to climate change, adapted in such a way it has been part of our lives and already getting used to this kind of change. However it is our poor farmers/people in the agricultural sectors suffering because this kind of change affects their livelihood. They are the ones in need of most help, in which I think their local government units are giving their sympathy and full cooperation in funding studies to combat climate change. Only if funds/donations/budget for climate change is being put into good use we could’ve somehow reduced, or better eliminated, the problem at hand. Being identified as the most successful living creatures, together, if we work hand in hand, we can save the environment and eliminate climate change once and for all. Let us prove that we can win the battle against the humans causing the distraction of our natural resources that result to climate change. We should learn that human activities in natural resources also have its limits.

Submitted by Amity on

Awareness is the key. And it should start in the household, a small start can do great things. If we ask Filipino children or families if they observe as simple as proper waste disposal, we will get different answers. Some will say they’re not aware, or there’s no available resources like where to dispose or how to dispose properly.
This is only a portion of a community but the impact in larger scale is huge.
It is important that we educate and raise awareness on the impact of climate change and how we as individuals can help on our own way. It is true resources are scarce especially in rural areas, but with each one’s help, we can achieve it.
But how?
Based on the World Bank report, Departments have an insufficient number of knowledgeable and skilled staff on climate policy, financing, and institutions. Knowledge gaps and the lack of a knowledge management system have been key barriers for scaling up Climate Action in Departments and LGUs. Tools to support planning and prioritization are often not mainstreamed and too complex to use. The LGUs most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change have the greatest need for public support, yet generally have the least capacity to provide support under the current revenue-sharing arrangement.
It’s about time we reinforce awareness and add conviction to the act. The country and it’s people is resilient and I may say can adapt but we need to be ready as a nation to withstand and fight Climate Change.

Submitted by Jonathan on

I think it starts with ourselves. Change should start within us and we can influence the people around to make that change. One person can make a difference. We know this issue of climate change but, if we aren't doing anything about it in our daily practices, habits, etc. How can we expect any action to be done? We should make the first step to prevent climate change. Otherwise, we will reap the consequences of our actions.

Submitted by Micaellah Romero on

The Philippines is not new to extreme weather especially due to its geography. Besides the Philippines being located near the equator, where it experiences only two seasons, it is also surrounded by warm waters of the western Pacific Ocean and is prone to tropical cyclones. As the oceanic water’s temperature continues to rise due to the effects of climate change, more heat will be released to the atmosphere, thus can result to stronger tropical cyclones. Truthfully speaking, we can neither stop nor control what nature brings back to us, since the earth is changing and developing all throughout its existence, and we are one of those that have become as a result of the development that has happened to earth. However, it is different when it comes to being one of the reasons why the earth was not developing in the way as it wants to, since we know what we have done to result in this climate change we are experiencing, although we cannot fully stop it, we can prevent it.
Climate change is something not experienced only by the Filipinos, but those around the world as well, that is why we all have to do something to prevent it. However, as much as we cannot control the nature, we cannot also fully control the people on the same pattern, that’s why the change should start within ourselves first. The government of the Philippines already allocated funds to act against the result of climate change and for prevention, but was that all enough? Are we going to blame the government again for not fully focusing on something so important? Isn’t it the time where we should already take responsibility as a human living on the earth and using its resources for our own good? Climate change is something beyond what the government can control. But they can be set as promoters and wake up people from trembling, thinking when the next calamity will be.
According to Motoo Konishi, the World Bank Country Director for the Philippines. “Many of the country’s poor derive income from agriculture, fishery and natural resources that are vulnerable to climate change,” The dry season in the Philippines has become drier and the wet season has become wetter. And if this continues to happen, farmers will even get confused when to plant and harvest and those who are living in danger zones will be prone to flood. So next time, instead of saying we have to prepare for the next calamity, let’s say “We have to do something to prevent it to happen,” or at least cause too much damage. Let’s save the earth so it can save us!

Submitted by Hubert Abao on

The Philippines is a signatory to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change even if it is neither a major or a minor contributor to the global emission of the greenhouse gases. As a signatory to this agreement, the Philippines has an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) equivalent to a reduction target of 70% below as usual (BAU) levels by 2030. The Philippines has established the Climate Change Commission (CCC) with the President of the Philippines as the Chair. The projected increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission is due to urbanization, increased demand and use of energy and the expected increase in the number of vehicles, all of which are dependent on the use of crude oil for energy. Studies have shown that climate change is a threat to human survival, submergence of coastal communities due to sea-level rise, occurrence of more frequent and stronger typhoons (Yolanda, for example), prolonged and intense heat during summer and heavy rains during the rainy season. These climate abnormalities can be detrimental to human habitation, food supply, degradation of ecosystem services and eventual loss or extinction of some species. Hence, in 2013, the Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review or CPEIR came up with recommendations or specific measures to address climate change. These are (1) strengthening planning, execution, financing framework for climate change, (2) enhancing leadership and accountability through monitoring, evaluation, and review of climate change policies and activities and (3) building capacity and managing change. These recommendations were done during the time of the outgoing President, Benigno C. Aquino. With the change in the Presidency under President Rodrigo R. Duterte, the CCC convened the National Panel of Technical Experts on January 27, 2017 to review the accomplishments under the previous administration at the same time developing climate policies, programs and strategies . We may expect a different perspective on how climate change issues will be addressed.

Submitted by Patricia Barrera on

I think the root of the problem is that most Filipinos just don’t care enough about climate change. Or, to be more diplomatic, we’re too complacent. I should know, because I’m one of those people. I think it’s fair to say that well over the majority of Filipinos is very much aware that climate change exists, and how it has affected the country, but we personally don’t go out of our way to do our part. We’ve known about things like global warming and pollution since grade school, and we probably all have the three R’s—reduce, reuse, recycle—embedded in our brains, but I think most of us still feel detached from the reality of climate change. Or even if we don’t, we don’t really do anything about it.

Ultimately, I feel that the government must make the climate change problem a top priority. WorldBank has data on a few renewable energy projects currently in development in the Philippines but, while this is certainly reassuring, those projects are taking a lot of time. Until they come to fruition, the government could stand to gain a lot from initiating objectives focused on bringing awareness to reducing our carbon footprint and combating climate change. Additionally, drawing up new policies—and actually enforcing existing ones—will further bring climate change to the forefront of people’s minds. Being serious about enforcing something as simple as “no littering” will certainly make a big difference. Personally, I know that reducing my carbon footprint will take a lot of commitment that must come from within, but a few, efficient government policies can definitely serve as incentive. If people don’t care, they might start caring once they have to pay a fine or two.

Submitted by Joseph Medalla on

This is an issue that everyone is becoming more and more aware about. We are going through problems caused by climate change. The growing amount of storms, the landslides caused by the storms are just a few examples of what we are dealing with as a result of climate change.
If our government doesn't find a way to deal with this issue it will come biting us back in the future. They should pursue programs in reducing the amount of greenhouse gases let out into the air and deal with the deforestation. But the government aren't the only people who should be pursuing this but each individual too. Even in our own little way, be it the recycling of plastic bottles to the proper segregation of trash, or even in group activities like planting trees and picking up trash we can contribute in preventing climate change. And everyone should be educated and informed of these things so we can all seek to make a group effort to address the problem of climate change. If people aren’t aware of the situation that we are in or the weight of their actions now, how do we expect others to help?

Submitted by Ivy Rose Gonzales on

IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Based on the survey conducted by Pow Research Center last 2015, it shows that 72% of Filipinos said that they are “very concerned” about climate change. It is undeniably a great threat to Filipinos as we have witnessed several destructive and deadly typhoons that hit our country in the last 10 years. But not only that, we have also personally experienced extreme changes in climate and we have observed a widespread changes in extreme temperatures, cold days and cold night are becoming less frequent, hot days and hot nights are becoming more frequent, and intense tropical cyclone occurs.

It is definitely alarming as climate change can severely affect the state of our coastal, water, forest resources, agriculture, people’s health and economic growth. According to PAGASA, the effect of climate change in our coastal resources is vulnerable to accelerated sea level rise, temperature increase, heavy rainfall, and storm surges brought by tropical cyclones. Low-lying islands will soon be permanently flooded and livelihoods will also be affected such as fishing and agriculture. Water resources will be at risk in regions where rainfall is projected to decrease which will cause insufficient water supply to irrigations and households. On the contrary, floods, landslides and mudslides will occur to regions where rainfall is projected to increase and will cause destruction of public infrastructures and houses. Due to extreme increase of temperature, El Nino events may produce forest fires and the condition of highly sensitive species will be at risk.

Moreover, when unpredicted weather patterns occur, the Philippines’ agriculture will suffer if production of food supply is disturbed. Thus, if agriculture is low, the growth of our economy will be hindered. All in all, when coastal, water, forest resources and agriculture will be affected by climate change, the health of the people will also be greatly affected. Increased temperature could result to illnesses and death. Poor air and water quality could spread diseases. Cases of malnutrition will also grow among children if food production is low.

ADAPTATION ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Now that we are already seeing and we are aware on how does climate change affect our environment and human beings; how do the Filipinos adapt to climate change?

Since climate change is inevitable, we can only prevent its further damage through implementing practices and effectively cope with the impacts of climate change. Our government and international organizations continue to set up methods to increase the public’s awareness about climate change. Climate Change Commission (CCC) has been actively functioning to address the problem of climate change. In fact, CCC recently held its first meeting this year last January 27th with regards to developing policies, strategies, and programs to promote resilience of Filipino people towards the impact of climate change.

Last December 2016, CCC organized a meeting on providing technical information and examples on maintenance of sustainable mangrove plantation to address climate change adaptation on coastal areas in the Philippines. Mangroves can serve as a first barrier of communities against storm surges and as a sediment trap to prevent erosion. The CCC partnered with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)–Environment and Research Development Bureau (ERDB) and Environment and Management Bureau (EMB) to help the local government of Region 6, 7, 8 and Negros Island Region in conserving mangrove plantation.

Similar project was conducted in Calatagan, Batangas to reduce the impact of climate change in coastal areas. The Coral Triangle Support Partnership (CTSP), with the support of National Plan of Action (NPOA), started to help barangays to protect and rehabilitate mangrove plantation. Calatagan Mangrove Development Alliance (CALMADA) also established a mangrove nursery that facilitates 10,000 mangrove seedlings and are sold at P15.00 to support mangrove rehabilitation of other barangays.

There are several ways to efficiently use our water resources such as, one, promoting to adjust the schedule of farming and enhancement of lining canals to minimize waters losses the National Irrigation Association (NIA). Two, the Department of Agriculture introduce low water use crops to solve the problem of insufficient water supply from reservoir during dry season. Three, installing drainage reuse systems to save water and make it reach areas that normal irrigation canals cannot reach. Four, improving the monitoring and forecasting systems for floods and drought can help prepare for duration of upcoming dry and wet season. Five, improving the use of water pricing policies and structures which makes the consumers pay for being supplied clean and safe water.

In mitigation of climate change in forestry, one example is the CI-Philippines Sierra Madre Project. The objective of this project is to alleviate the threat and protect the 12,500 hectares of land within Corridor. The project will restore the grassland areas in planting fast growing species and native species in order to eliminate carbon dioxide from the atmosphere that will create habitats for the endangered animals. Pres. Aquino also signed the Executive Order 32 to prohibit illegal logging to preserve and protect biodiversity from destructive effects of climate change.

In agriculture, several adaptations and mitigations are continuously supported with the efforts of local communities, private sectors, government agencies and NGOs. Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) conducted a 4-month School On the Air (SOA) training program for the farmers in Agusan del Sur to educate them on how to cope with climate change. The participants received registered seeds and SOA kits while the provincial government extended their help in providing more seeds and facilities to the farmers. Another initiative was from Climate Smart-Agriculture in helping Filipino farmers in adapting and mitigating the effects of climate change. Some of the strategies are: climate resilience rice, review and adjustment of cropping calendar, using SALT (Sloping Agricultural Land Technology), rain water harvesting, mitigating methane emissions, use of biotechnology, promotion of organic agriculture, and Enhanced Farmers Field School (EFFS).

In health, one efforts of the Philippine Government and Department of Health (DOH) is the development of the 2014-2016 Climate Change Adaptation for Health (CCAH) Strategic Plan. Its goal is to protect the health of Filipinos, prioritizing those who lives in areas vulnerable to impacts of climate change. One of their objective is to improve the adaptive capacity of the health care delivery system; wherein, its strategy is to make policy instruments and interventions responsive to impacts of climate change developed and modified, and to improve the capacity of health care providers and facilities responsive to impacts of climate change.

CONCLUSION

Our government with the support of private sectors, agencies, NGOs and the local communities are definitely making progress in setting up techniques and practices for the adaptation and mitigation of impacts of climate change in our country. It is important that we strive for greater efforts in spreading knowledge about the impacts of climate change for the awareness and preparedness of Filipino people. Schools must support in providing public awareness about the impacts and effects of climate change. It would greatly help the public to understand and appreciate the concepts and the programs of government in addressing climate change. The implementation and success of every projects under the adaptation and mitigation of climate change programs depend on the support and response of the community. These programs require extensive assistance in financial, technology and labor to achieve its respective objectives; if it lack any of those, it would be a slow and ineffective progress.

Reference:

Carle, J. (July 14, 2015). Climate Change Seen as Top Global Threat: Americans, Europeans, Middle Easterners Focus on ISIS as Greatest Danger. Retrieved from: http://www.pewglobal.org/2015/07/14/climate-change-seen-as-top-global-threat/
Climate Change Commission (December 20, 2016). Mangroves for Climate Adaptive and Resilient Communities. Retrieved from: http://climate.gov.ph/features/mangroves/
Coral Triangle Initiative. Climate Change Adaptation in Coastal Communities. Retrieved from: http://www.bmb.gov.ph/cti/publications/CCA.pdf
Department of Health (DOH). (2014). Philippines: 2014-2016 National Climate Change Adaptation in Health (CCAH) Strategic Plan. Retrived from: http://www.doh.gov.ph/sites/default/files/publications/National_Climate_Change_Adaptation_in_Health_Strategic_Plan_2014-2016.pdf
Jose, A., & Cruz, N. (1999). Climate Change Impacts and Responses in the Philippines: Water Resources. Climate Research, 12, 77-84. doi:10.3354/cr012077. Retrieved from: http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/cr/v12/n2-3/p77-84/
Lasco, R., Pulhin, B., Sanches, PA., Villamor, G., & Villegas, KA. (June 2008). Climate Change and Forest Ecosystems in the Philippines: Vulnerability, Adaptation and Mitigation. Journal of Environmental Science and Management, 11, 1-14. Retrieved from: https://journals.uplb.edu.ph/index.php/JESAM/article/view/20
PAGASA. Climate Change in the Philippines. Retrieved from: http://pagasa.dost.gov.ph/index.php/climate-change-in-the-philippines
PhilRice. (February 22, 2016) PhilRice Assists Farmers in Climate Mitigation and Adaptation. Retrieved from: http://www.philrice.gov.ph/philrice-assists-farmers-climate-mitigation-adaptation/
Rudinas, J., Godilano, E. Ph.D2, & Ilaga, A. Ph.D3. (2014). Implementing Climate Smart Agriculture Ridge – River – Reef: The Philippine Adaptation and Mitigation Initiative for Agriculture. Retrieved from: http://enrdph.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/02-Philippine-Paper-GIZ-Bangkok-1.pdf

Submitted by Joseph Medalla on

This is an issue that everyone is becoming more and more aware about. We are going through problems caused by climate change. The growing amount of storms, the landslides caused by the storms are just a few examples of what we are dealing with as a result of climate change.
If our government doesn't find a way to deal with this issue it will come biting us back in the future. They should pursue programs in reducing the amount of greenhouse gases let out into the air and deal with the deforestation. But the government aren't the only people who should be pursuing this but each individual too. Even in our own little way, be it the recycling of plastic bottles to the proper segregation of trash, or even in group activities like planting trees and picking up trash we can contribute in preventing climate change. And everyone should be educated and informed of these things so we can all seek to make a group effort to address the problem of climate change. If people aren’t aware of the situation that we are in or the weight of their actions now, how do we expect others to help?

Submitted by Adie Paredes on

Climate Change has been one of the biggest challenges our country continues to face. We must be the one of the first few nations to take this matter seriously having been positioned where we are geographically with our topographical attributes.
Our resilience with our “waterproof spirits” has little to no advantages in terms of the acceleration of the impacts of climate change on us. The rise in the sea levels rising at an alarming rate from the past few years is testament to the dangers we will face with questionable adaptation and disaster risk management implementation in the coming years. We take the brunt of it all being the third-most vulnerable to extremely dangerous climate and weather conditions. Therefore, special attention needs to be given for a special case like ours.

Pollution alone has shown us through the repeated floods taking place in practically every region every so often, what our homeland needs us to do. Hand-in-hand with the negative effects of climate change, is where our farmers are not only threatened of shortage in crops, but will be exposed to food security problems in the future due to the steady decline in passing on the tradition of farming as a result of globalization, where adaptive measures in crop management could still be learned at this point if exercised with good foundation.

A generous allocation of funds to certain projects like building a sea wall, proper irrigation system in relocation areas and beyond, urban development-related decisions that are not taken seriously affect us gravely. Improvement of manpower and training will also come from these allocations. Let us not forget that it took nearly 3 years since Typhoon Yolanda survivors were given the basic necessities that could’ve been handed straight to them, and the failure to tackle these involve many, many factors (shuttling problems, displacement and isolation issues against the LGBT and senior citizens, those living alone, dysfunctional living conditions that increase the risk of crime, even child prostitution within the communities involved due to poverty, etc). We could consider that as a way to gauge a wide-array of solutions should another disaster strike.

Without educating people not only in areas previously affected by these super typhoons but everyone generally at risk, we also won’t be able to fully grasp the changes that will take place in the coming years. It needs to be seen at full implementation for everybody to know and feel that there is work being done, to show progress if any, and in turn we all will see how important it is to contribute in our own little way because everybody else is in fact, doing it. Education is very important; nobody is excused to the effects of climate change, whether one resides in a luxurious condominium built on a high platform to keep the water from touching the marbled lobby floors, or if one lives in a shanty.

The considerable amount of things that can be done by having a consistent follow up in structural planning regardless of which administration is currently in charge should happen. Otherwise we shall have a bunch of unfinished projects, though equally helpful and useful but not implemented after one’s 6-year term has expired. Perhaps a digital diagram of the upcoming projects geared towards protecting those at high-risk areas, reconstruction of roads, evacuation centers, facilities that encourage private individuals to recycle and prevention of pollutants by systematically and slowly eradicating plastic and finding solutions to deal with other non-biodegradable items (wet tissue, diapers, sanitary napkins) that increase problems during floods and so on are only some of it. It sometimes takes too long before it reaches the executive level for some of these suggestions to be seen, even with proper statistics and research in tow by international NGO’s and some of the private sector-powered research. By the time these facts are given attention, the funds should already be tripled and the methods suggested, tweaked to be able to adapt to the drastic changes that often are too unpredictable requiring a lot of foresight.

To explore the use of solar energy could also be the next step in mitigating climate change-related issues. Installation of windmills, the drafting of policies to encourage the use of safe renewable energy especially in our major cities will help. However there is so much red tape for these to be approved. Personally am curious as to how things are now from the time the reforms were drafted during the Aquino administration and how the current administration is handling the policies related to climate change are doing this 2017. I believe these matters should take the real estate of national consciousness because it involves everyone’s safety.

Submitted by Fahly Poblete on

As a resident of Cainta, Rizal which frequents news headlines or contents whenever a typhoon hits Luzon, it is safe to say that I and my family can indeed experience the effects of climate change. In the last three years, the effects have become more definite and inconvenient. Typhoons were frequent and stronger, and so does the floods, while the heat has become unbearable even beyond summer season.

Miles away in Baler, Aurora where my relatives reside, the effects of climate change are destructive and harrowing. I can recall the moment my Aunt broke down because for the first time, the rice fields owned by the family were submerged after two super typhoons hit the area in a span of six days. Not only livelihoods were affected, but also education as schools took weeks to re-open.

Recently, as a program development officer of a non-profit organization that co-organizes an annual summit for youth leaders, we conducted a poll on which of the Sustainable Development Goals the youth are most interested about and believe they can contribute to most. Of the 3, 209 respondents, 49% responded with Climate Action which took it to Top 4. We can only conclude from this poll alone that young people of today are aware of climate change and its effects, and are keen on finding ways on how to contribute or take action.

While we are waiting for the current President to approve the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, it will not hurt for us, citizens, to take our own actions to curb its effects. In simple ways such as spreading helpful information on climate action, we can help in advancing the message that climate change is real and it is affecting all of us. We can also participate in urging our local leaders in LGUs to plan, approve, and implement Program, Activities, and Projects (PAPs) that supports climate action. Not only is this sustainable but more convenient in the long run; as the old saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.”

We can organize a mangrove tree-planting project, or volunteer in one. Avoid using plastic materials. Recycle, because climate action starts at home. There are a lot of ways an individual can contribute, and together we can do better. When it comes to outcomes in our plight to combatting climate change, we can always hope for the best, but we must also work for the best: for the people, for the communities, and for Earth, our only planet.

Submitted by Stella Poletta on

After reading the WB report, as a Filipino I feel as though I am being admonished of having thrown a small pebble in the moving waters of the lake where before me, some have already thrown massive and heavy volcanic rocks! The case is the same with the arguments of climate change. The Philippines is not a highly industrialized nation with large manufacturing activity which by logic apart from scientific data tell us that the country has minimally contributed to the global gas emission. Heck, most of the rural communities in the large island of Mindanao have rotational and prolonged brown-outs that in terms of energy use, the nation is still far from being modern and contributor of global pollution. On the contrary, the Philippines (the small pebble) is the recipient and basin of the effects of the climate change caused by heavy industrialization of developed countries (volcanic rocks). Instead of asking the review of our climate change efforts for mitigation and adaptation, I think it should have been we as Filipinos asking for the damages of the continuous typhoons and floods the country is experiencing right now. But as the country is promoting itself as a developing country, civilized and adhering to globalization and unity of resolving climate change issues, we surmise that playing as a victim is not the road best to undertake. Rather, since the Aquino government administration, efforts have been directed for both the mitigation and adaptation projects to confront the climate change phenomena such as renewable energy projects while the present government of Duterte is revolutionizing the mining industry and logging for more environment friendly policies and practices. In this light of current commendable efforts of the Filipino people to confront the concerns of climate change, the WB review comes as pessimistic, not realistic and undermining the necessity of the developing nations such as the Philippines to create a balance between the need to sustain the economic growth and food security of Filipinos while maintaining to live well in a friendly environment.

In essence, the review has highlighted how adaptation activities is overcoming the demanded mitigation priorities and how funds for climate change of the government was mainly utilized for response, recovery and rehabilitation efforts such as flood control projects. What should be done according to the review is to prioritize the mitigation activities such as prevention instead of adaptive measures such as building dams for flood control and management. At a first glance, we can observe how the demands of the review is in striking contrast to the urgent and necessary actions of the country in assuring the security of its constituents. The flood control and management activities are actually done out of necessity and not in terms of priority. As expected, to secure the safety of the people in times of disaster is more demanding of time, efforts and funds than preventive activities and projects beforehand. In addition, to prioritize the mitigation policies is a deterrence to the nation’s aim of economic growth and energy security which necessarily comes along with it. The Philippines, recognizant of the effects of coal plants emission of gas, has incentivized the initiatives of the renewable energy projects such as the Burgos wind energy plant. But to completely reply on this alternative energy now which is also cost exorbitant, means halting sharply the economic gains that the country has painstakingly achieved apart from depriving the rural communities of improvement in basic electricity and food security most especially in the areas of Mindanao. In the near future, it is hoped though that innovations in technology will provide less costly solar energy resources in which case the Philippines will benefit most being in a tropics with high daily sun exposure. For the meantime, it highly unthinkable to force the country to rely solely in alternative energy instead of coal. By doing so, it is either future Filipinos will die with hunger due to enormous national debt (from the WB for example) while current citizens live in green or adopt adaptive measures to climate change now and both current and future citizens will live in peace!

In my opinion, it is to the best interest of every state to provide the ideals of achieving economic growth and stability while living in harmony with its eco-system and environment. To achieve these goals, the research and review of major institutions like World Bank is beneficial to the society. However, it is I believe necessary to review issues such as global climate change in the context of the “localized” scenario instead of applying the same treaties of solution to all concerned nations. In short, the concerns and situations of a developing country such as the Philippines is entirely different from the small country of Belgium in Europe or the larger United States of America (by the way, USA has still not ratified the treaty of Paris climate change while the EU has adopted measures both to mitigate and adapt). One of these localized concerns of the country which I believe will be the major contributor to the pollution is the rapid increase of population growth. Yet, I do not see any mention of this concern. I believe that the concerns of climate change in the Philippines must be tackled in pragmatic manner and by addressing the most essential factor such as the increase in population growth while adopting the adaptation measures. For this matter, the Filipino government and intellectual community has the knowledge, capacity and know-how to confront this problem as this has been a dilemma for many decades now, without necessarily resorting to higher levels of financing as recommended in this review which will only augment the already high national debt the country has.

Submitted by Stella Poletta on

After reading the WB report, as a Filipino I feel as though I am being admonished of having thrown a small pebble in the moving waters of the lake where before me, some have already thrown massive and heavy volcanic rocks! The case is the same with the arguments of climate change. The Philippines is not a highly industrialized nation with large manufacturing activity which by logic apart from scientific data tell us that the country has minimally contributed to the global gas emission. Heck, most of the rural communities in the large island of Mindanao have rotational and prolonged brown-outs that in terms of energy use, the nation is still far from being modern and contributor of global pollution. On the contrary, the Philippines (the small pebble) is the recipient and basin of the effects of the climate change caused by heavy industrialization of developed countries (volcanic rocks). Instead of asking the review of our climate change efforts for mitigation and adaptation, I think it should have been we as Filipinos asking for the damages of the continuous typhoons and floods the country is experiencing right now. But as the country is promoting itself as a developing country, civilized and adhering to globalization and unity of resolving climate change issues, we surmise that playing as a victim is not the road best to undertake. Rather, since the Aquino government administration, efforts have been directed for both the mitigation and adaptation projects to confront the climate change phenomena such as renewable energy projects while the present government of Duterte is revolutionizing the mining industry and logging for more environment friendly policies and practices. In this light of current commendable efforts of the Filipino people to confront the concerns of climate change, the WB review comes as pessimistic, not realistic and undermining the necessity of the developing nations such as the Philippines to create a balance between the need to sustain the economic growth and food security of Filipinos while maintaining to live well in a friendly environment.

In essence, the review has highlighted how adaptation activities is overcoming the demanded mitigation priorities and how funds for climate change of the government was mainly utilized for response, recovery and rehabilitation efforts such as flood control projects. What should be done according to the review is to prioritize the mitigation activities such as prevention instead of adaptive measures such as building dams for flood control and management. At a first glance, we can observe how the demands of the review is in striking contrast to the urgent and necessary actions of the country in assuring the security of its constituents. The flood control and management activities are actually done out of necessity and not in terms of priority. As expected, to secure the safety of the people in times of disaster is more demanding of time, efforts and funds than preventive activities and projects beforehand. In addition, to prioritize the mitigation policies is a deterrence to the nation’s aim of economic growth and energy security which necessarily comes along with it. The Philippines, recognizant of the effects of coal plants emission of gas, has incentivized the initiatives of the renewable energy projects such as the Burgos wind energy plant. But to completely reply on this alternative energy now which is also cost exorbitant, means halting sharply the economic gains that the country has painstakingly achieved apart from depriving the rural communities of improvement in basic electricity and food security most especially in the areas of Mindanao. In the near future, it is hoped though that innovations in technology will provide less costly solar energy resources in which case the Philippines will benefit most being in a tropics with high daily sun exposure. For the meantime, it highly unthinkable to force the country to rely solely in alternative energy instead of coal. By doing so, it is either future Filipinos will die with hunger due to enormous national debt (from the WB for example) while current citizens live in green or adopt adaptive measures to climate change now and both current and future citizens will live in peace!

In my opinion, it is to the best interest of every state to provide the ideals of achieving economic growth and stability while living in harmony with its eco-system and environment. To achieve these goals, the research and review of major institutions like World Bank is beneficial to the society. However, it is I believe necessary to review issues such as global climate change in the context of the “localized” scenario instead of applying the same treaties of solution to all concerned nations. In short, the concerns and situations of a developing country such as the Philippines is entirely different from the small country of Belgium in Europe or the larger United States of America (by the way, USA has still not ratified the treaty of Paris climate change while the EU has adopted measures both to mitigate and adapt). One of these localized concerns of the country which I believe will be the major contributor to the pollution is the rapid increase of population growth. Yet, I do not see any mention of this concern. I believe that the concerns of climate change in the Philippines must be tackled in pragmatic manner and by addressing the most essential factor such as the increase in population growth while adopting the adaptation measures. For this matter, the Filipino government and intellectual community has the knowledge, capacity and know-how to confront this problem as this has been a dilemma for many decades now, without necessarily resorting to higher levels of financing as recommended in this review which will only augment the already high national debt the country has.

Submitted by Toshikazu Motegi on

Climate change is one of the things that we humans should give attention to. It is not only a problem of one single nation, but of the entire world. The Philippines, being an archipelagic nation, should put much emphasis on its programs regarding climate change. The government's implementation of its climate change programs should also be properly enforced. The citizens should also be properly educated about the effects of a changing climate to humanity.
Enforcement without educating the people of the country would not suffice and would only make the drive against climate change a failed endeavor. With the government now doing their best to address the problem, the next thing that they should do is to go to the root cause of it—the people.
Filipinos should learn the consequences of all their activities. We all know that when it comes to cleanliness of surroundings and the environment as a whole, the Philippines lag behind other nations. Many Filipinos are not aware of the consequences of what they do on a daily basis. In the provinces for example, many adults still prefer to burn garbage and dried leaves instead of burying them on the ground. Based on that activity alone being done by hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of Filipinos on a regular basis, we can say that it greatly contributes to the destruction of atmospheric layers and thus to climate change and ultimately to sea-level rise.
If that activity could be halted or greatly diminished through government-led seminars or information sessions, then one of the key factors contributing to climate change can be solved.

Submitted by Paolo on

The Philippines, being an archipelago and a third-world country is definitely one of the most vulnerable to be affected by climate change—third most vulnerable country, as a matter of fact, according to this World Bank report. But we can see from the report that while there are several policies already in place, there remains a gap in its implementation. In particular, we can see that there is more priority in adaptation than in mitigation. Which to me is understandable because for one, we are not a significant contributor to GHG emissions that has severely affected the Earth's climate. Add to that that the current revenue-sharing policies of the country puts a disadvantage to the poorest local government units, which are generally among the most vulnerable areas, and whose limited budget would prioritize the more pressing need of adaptation.

There are many injustices in the world where the poor are in the receiving end. I think the main culprits for the climate change should be held proportionally liable for their GHG contributions and for the casualties they have inflicted on other nations. They should be probably held guilty of climate crimes and provide a means of reparation for the affected and vulnerable countries. GHG emissions are after all greatly brought about by profit-driven surplus-production.

In my opinion, the recent Paris Climate Agreement, as with any other UN agreements, lacks teeth for holding the top GHG emitting countries accountable, especially the US, especially now that the current president of the US is a climate change denier. The nature of the agreement is such that the signatories have the liberty in determining their individual contributions in attaining the goals of the Agreement. The hope for the success of the world's first comprehensive climate agreement would then lie on each governments' initiative and with that I am still optimistic that the peoples of these governments would steer the direction of their nations towards a rational attitude on climate change.

Submitted by Kim Eun on

It’s time to train and act

Certainly, Philippines is a blessed country by God with beautiful, abundant natural resources and surroundings. Its tropical weather provides good nutrients for the tropical fruits and its potentiality is keep improving with various kinds of development. However, because of its location at the globe and its climate changes, it is also one of the most exposed countries to dangerous aftermath of climate change as the report says. That’s why it is really crucial that the government is concerned with this matter and let the WB provide a review about it. Among the three major recommendation, personally, it is very crucial to let Pillar 2: ‘Enhancing Leadership and Accountability through Monitoring, Evaluation, and Review of Climate Change Policies and Activities’, be taught and moved to action first.

It’s because I think training Filipino leaders with commitment about this matter for this and next generation is what we need as a base before we move to other stages. We know that climate change is affecting Philippines, and will affect continually unless we prepare to prevent or to lessen its impact on the natural environment. But just knowledge and awareness is different. Even if we know and want to develop solutions or recommendation, even if the government wants to activate this, if there is only little awareness of this problem and few experts, leaders or researchers who seek out for any improvements with commitment and accountability, how can we let all other positive plans be activated? We need leaders not only with knowledge but who are aware, skillful, and committed. But it will be very difficult or rare to find this kind of leaders if they are not first trained for this. Like Joseph in the Bible, he did not only interpreted Pharaoh’s dream by God’s wisdom, but by God’s wisdom he also provided solutions for the problems to come in the future. Philippines also need more leaders like him, who fear God Almighty, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit first, and work for the solutions for the Philippines’ danger of climate change.

Some leaders have knowledge, but no skills; some with skills but without heart for passion. To cultivate leaders who can critically study, and analyze about the problems and suggest the solutions and lead it professionally with heart, we need more social awareness, teaching, various and deep training about this to our and next generations. If this is established firmly, then I think we can connect this to the other steps. Once leaders are cultivated properly, they can also plan properly, and the groups can also manage properly and help apply those skillfully with responsibility to the local communities, cities, and regions and eventually yield a better achievements for the country, nature and the people by God’s grace.

We cannot control the weather or climate. Therefore we need to be trained, think about what we can do to prevent worse outcome and start refresh our environment at where we are, and move it to action, one by one, step by step. That’s why the report WB made is a beneficial and important start for the welfare of the Philippines regarding the climate change. I hope this will be certainly processed not just by words, but by actions. We should be responsible for the negative affects we ourselves made for the climate. We should not forget our residence is gift from God, and this will be inherited to next generations. May our God, Jesus Christ our only Lord and the Savior and the Lord Holy Spirit alone bless you!

Sincerely in Jesus Christ our only Savior, Lord, King, Master and the Redeemer,
Eun Kim

Submitted by Dervin Correa on

After reading the report by the World Bank and several other articles pertaining to the report, I can’t help but wonder if the question posed really provides the answers.

On a government level, most likely. As highlighted by the report, the three recommended themes should help with us handle climate change. On a society level, not particularly directed towards the government, only the second recommendation is vaguely applicable focusing on the “enhancing leadership” part of it.

I think the recommendations are fine, if you are someone with a position in the government where you can contribute to policies and changes to support this climate change adaptation. However, if you are someone like me, part of the mass, who has no direct connection with the government, this data, however informative, does not excite me at all. It open my eyes to the problems of our society on a global level. On a personal level though, this issue is overshadowed by my personal troubles.

I think the articles, fail to highlight what can be done at a personal or even at the immediate community level. As the saying goes, knowing is half the battle. Armed with this knowledge, what exactly can I do to contribute?

This may sound like a cliché, but I believe the best way to move forward is by teaching our children how to better take care of our environment. If we were to start teaching our young Filipinos something as simple as throwing garbage in the trash bin or going further as letting them participate in their community’s recycling programs (where available), at that level, can we feel as though we’re contributing to our society.

What I’m driving at is if we try to instill good practices with our youth then it can lead to better practices for them in the future. This in turn can influence them to ride a bike instead of driving a car to work therefore reducing GHG emissions. Or maybe as far as actually being better participants at the programs that that report is talking about – maybe some kid right now actually aspires to be in Congress to properly affect change and enforce the policies that are being talked about.

I’m not saying that these plans, reforms, monitoring systems etc. are useless. The audience for this is clearly the government but we can’t depend on the government to walk us through these adaptations. The change has to start somewhere and it should come from ourselves.

Submitted by Dindo Dimalaluan on

We Adapt

Climate change is changes of atmospheric activities that effect or change of humans way of life. Its co relational, human being adapts to its society in able to survive. This past few years, people in the Philippines experience climate change through extreme drought and wet season. People are greatly affected and these experiences make us vulnerable. As the report says, Climate-related impacts will reduce cultivatable land, which will decrease agricultural productivity and increase food insecurity. Areas in the eastern part of the country are mostly affected; especially those livelihoods are fishing and farming. Even though, we are experiencing storms every year, nowadays are different. We are also experiencing strong southwest monsoon rains and creating floods in cities. In report also, it says that the urban poor in informal settlements are one of the most vulnerable groups to climate-related impacts, due in part to the additional pressures on urban systems created by rapidly increasing population growth.

The World Bank report shows how the Philippines have been adapting changes in governance as we combat/adapt climate change. As human, we adapt to the changes in nature, as season changes we also change our way of life. We are adaptive to nature. But rapid changes in our climate became to happen, we cannot rapidly keep up. In report, it shows how we spend the budget allocated in climate change adaptation, creating policies/plans/government sectors, ways to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG). This only means that we are adjusting to the pressing changes in our climate. Although there are insufficiencies, lack of knowledge and some hindrances, it is good to know that the government is making efforts to reduce GHG, and create policies to materialize climate change adaptation. This is also a big lift for us because climate change can affect our economic growth, sustaining local and foreign investors. Shifting from coal fire plants (that creates more GHG) to renewable and sustainable energy has become possible because of the efforts to adapt to climate change.

Disasters that gone to the Philippines that greatly affects the many has leave scars and a lot of lessons learned. In the past, we caught off guard and many lives have gone due to our incapability to adjust immediately in harsh way of nature. Although we still have a long way to go, we are moving forward. The government e.g. Local government units, the NCCAP and DRRM; are making sure that the steps in implementing policies and the process were the communities, municipals and cities can adapt climate change. The biggest challenge of the government is the role out of the given policies and contextualizing DRRM plans in every communities, municipals and cities. Another is managing the change of energy resources. We cannot immediately take out coal fired power plants and change to renewable energy that easy. We need strong political will do that. The last administration has take part to that but efforts are still need to be established, educate the people and strongly implement policies. Indeed, the Philippines are making a new frontier and challenged for to survive the new blow of changing climate.

Submitted by Rachel on

Observation: I sometimes organize ecological tours. Part of the package is a briefing on how to be a responsible tourist (ex. BMC, leave no trace, preventive measures, etc) on top the briefing given by the DENR. My observation, in connection to the topic 'climate change', somehow the Department of Tourism and DENR has not shown no move on how to lessen the human impact to our environment. Rather, both agencies keeps on promoting rather than controlling the number of visitors to our natural parks. This industry became a commercial 'thing', that majority of the tourist who goes for the ecological tour is not to appreciate the beauty of nature, but to get their photos to be posted in social media. Therefore, these tourist will, no matter how you tell them the do's and don't's, act according to their convenience because preserving the nature is not their primary concern.

Submitted by Rachel on

Are the effects of what we call to be 'climate change', is due to human's massive destruction to nature or is it a natural phenomena that happens to the environment of the earth at a certain evolutionary cycle? Considering the discoveries of archaeologist on villages buried several hundred years ago, shows that there were bigger instances of the nature's act of destruction to human race, however at those time or years before that, human's destruction to nature is not as large as we have had today.

Submitted by Ace Legaspi on

Our country, Philippines boasts itself with very rich natural resources. This nature, the most important thing in our society, holds its value because it is really the hand that feeds us Filipinos. It is where most of our country men rely upon, their food to eat, materials to build homes, and minerals to contain our much needed energy resources.
Upon reading the WB report, It was really alarming, that on this day, even after all the weather phenomena that we experienced and continues to experience, much of us Filipinos are still irresponsibly enough, and at the same time complacent. In much of our dismay, this attitude of us is something we need to change, sooner than later. The time is running out for each and every one of us to act. The continuous change in the global temperature (which is caused by gases and irresponsible waste disposal) are really alarming, as its effects are wide and global. The rise in the temperature will eventually lead out to a serious case of mass damage in our aquatic resources, that the future is threatening an eradication of our aquatic food sources from the seas. Not only that, but also the threat of extreme natural calamities, are endangering our very own lives.
To this we should act soon as we can. The government’s plan to implement the said Pillars are very well stated. Only if it can be acted upon with eagerness and a sense of responsibility, I believe it can help save millions of lives. The key is the implementation. The grand plan must be carried out to the very root of all. People must be educated properly with regards to the problem of climate change, so that in their very own, they can take part in the program and have a sense of responsibility within themselves. After that I believe everything can be done easier.
Despite the problems regarding climate change, I still believe that we can go through it. We only need to look at ourselves in the mirror and ask ourselves, what am I doing to save the world? After all, we as humans are the protector of the Earth. It is our task, our mission.

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