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Submitted by Riana Mercado on

Some still definitely think that climate change is not the phenomenon responsible for all those said natural calamities. I’ve heard several people claiming that since it is a “natural calamity,” it is indeed uncontrollable, and there is nothing us humans can do to prevent those things. Those people are unfortunately uninformed.

The Aquino government’s approach through the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the tasks (a strategic framework on climate change) and budget (an initial fund of a billion pesos) given to them as a stepping stone to craft action plans against climate change and find ways to bring awareness to this cause, such as taking a strong stand in reducing greenhouse gas emissions is certainly the right way to go, as it seems.

Although the Philippines is not a leading GHG emitter, it is still a country of vulnerability. As said in the reports, the country is subject to extreme weather-related events such as typhoons, floods, droughts, landslides, earthquakes, and sea level rise, and these are all aggravated by one single thing: climate change. It has become such a major factor so much so that the government is taking all the steps needed to ensure that Philippines will not be one of the major GHG emitters following its rapid economic growth and urbanization.

The said report by WorldBank also recommended several things to consolidate the strategic framework the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCAAP), crafted by the CCC, which consisted of three “pillars.” In summary, these pillars suggest strengthening the planning that had already been given a starting boost, enhancing the leadership that consists of this planning through monitoring and/or reviewing climate change policies and activities, and raising public awareness. I believe that all of those can be effective if given the needed attention and executed the way it should be, but I think that the most important part is public awareness. It can’t be as effective if us members of society won’t be aware and take part in helping prevent the catastrophic effects of climate change. I’ve seen our cities, and they do not seem to be a reflection that we are learning. It paints a sordid picture of our treatment towards our city and our nation, and the “painting,” well – it’s full of garbage and smoke and harmful chemicals, and those uninformed are not even giving a second thought towards their actions, as they have no awareness of what long-term effects their collective actions have on our environment.

Though as I’ve mentioned earlier that some are in the dark about our situation as a society regarding climate change, there have been enough effects to this date that many of us have indeed experienced considerably obvious effects and are becoming more and more aware of what is happening around us. This is saddening, as it need not to have worsened for us to take action in protecting the very surroundings, the very Earth we are living in, the world where we and everyone we know are spending the rest of our lives in. But before it becomes an even worse situation, maybe now there are enough people who are aware and are willing to participate in helping prevent climate change and thus the destruction of our environment, and help raise awareness to those others not yet in light of what chaos is already happening before our very eyes.

Of course, I’ve also been given the chance to reflect upon this personally. Somehow, seeing the statistics and the steps taken to prevent climate change has also given me the opportunity to realize that I myself has also turned a degree of a blind eye in taking care of the environment. Wasting paper, not segregating trash – those simple things I’ve done and not done are part of the collective reason why the world is endangered. After reading the report, I’ve been given a more detailed and eye-opening discussion towards climate change, and it’s enough for me to promise that I will become a better inhabitant of this wonderful environment that is thoroughly taken for granted.