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Submitted by Kirk Boniao on

Filipinos, how are you adapting to climate change?
When I was bit younger and even now, I loved to think about new ideas and climate change was introduced to me during my elementary years. It was during that time that I became aware of how my actions, however little its value may be, is significant in its role in climate change. From then on I believed that if we don’t want our planet change drastically, we, as individuals, need to do something now. As for the government, it’s “good to know if something is being done to address the problem.(Sering)” For the Philippine government has not really given me total confidence in its actions about climate change, so it’s good to know they’ve started. But is it not time for us individuals to do the same? Is it not time for the individual Pilipino to contribute to the betterment of the Philippines regarding its climate change?

How am I adapting to climate change?
a. First, I expect the worst. Whether I’m in the city where polluted air and streets makes you rethink in living there, or in the provinces where plastic waste litter every place people went, I expect the worst. I expect the high probability of heavy rains, humid temperatures, and the like. This is the ability to adjust with the weather.
b. Second, I prepare for the worst, if not always physically, but always mentally. I look at something like this: “I know that roof will hold for a year, but I’d rather fix/change it now than later.” “I know it’s expensive, but shouldn’t we just dig a well than buy a water tank?” “You know, those rice fields won’t produce a lot with these abnormal changes to the climate.” This is having a mindset that considers the future with climate change in mind.
c. Third, I do what I can to lessen the negative effects of human contribution to climate change: I try to lessen my contribution to what I called the “plastic epidemic” in which people use plastic, litter plastic and burn plastic wastes (plastic here meaning plastic bags, cups, chairs, etc. things that don’t decompose.) I try to encourage people, though unsuccessfully, to stop burning wastes that contribute to GHG emissions. This is having the will to contribute.
d. And last, but not the least, I believe in myself, in the Filipino people, in everyone. I believe that everyone can do their part, just only if their willing to. This is having the heart to move.

How can the Filipino people, as a nation, adapt to climate change?
Notice that my question is not how is the Filipino people adapting but how can the Filipino people adapt. I believe that the Filipino people has never really adapted, as a nation, in a shoulder to shoulder attempt to face climate change. A good thing though, is that the government (in particular, the Aquino administration) “has been very aggressive in its approach to address the problem of climate change” and even “requested the World Bank to undertake a study to review government expenditures related to climate change and institutions with mandates to address climate change.”
In the study, called Philippine Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review, it gives detailed review of the governments undertakings. It gives informative data on the government’s climate change agenda and policies. It shows the limitations and hindrances in the climate change planning and execution frameworks. It also revealed the insufficiency in its human and system resources. It presented the climate appropriations and expenditures: the increasing budget, unequal distribution of funds in different levels of government agencies on climate change. Furthermore it shows the need of improvement in its monitoring and evaluation in all levels. The study suggests goals on for the government to follow:
• Ensure that the enabling environment is firmly in place by completing and implementing the remaining pieces of the core climate change reforms;
• Formulate, enact, and support complementary sector and local-level policy and institutional reforms;
• Enhance design and implementation of climate programs, activities, and projects to improve their effectiveness; and
• Through the above reforms, increase efficiency of resource use and provide support for higher levels of financing.
In conclusion, the review will be truly useful only if the government completely implements its ideas and recommendations. But furthermore, our response and actions are needed to support the government’s undertakings and reforms. The government alone cannot do climate change action; we must follow the government’s lead to a hope for the future of climate change.