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Submitted by Yakeina Gozun on

CLIMATE CHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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