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Submitted by Mary Elizabeth Hulipas on

This year, 2016, will mark the third anniversary of the deadly Typhoon Haiyan. Back then, I recall my Father returned home for a meeting in Camp Crame. At that time, he was assigned to PNP Region 08. Tacloban has been like a second home to me as I often visited my Father and spent several vacations there. It was a rainy Monday evening when I heard hushed voices in my parents bedroom. I was never particularly interested in television so I carried on playing video games until I heard my Dad say in his serious voice, “Pwede ba makisabay sa C-17 ng Army bukas?”. I found it puzzling and thought nothing of it until I entered my parents’ room and watched devastation on Tacloban.

It was a turning point in my life because at that point, the weather was still horrible and I worried about my Dad’s safety (though I do know that he is smart and will always rise above everything). A new concept called ‘storm surge’ was a hot topic among newscasters and in educational programs. It was unheard of. There was a huge lack of preparation. Nobody was able to anticipate for that level. The Philippine Government lacked the measures needed to not only rescue the people, caring for the victims but mostly in educating the masses. No one was prepared for that magnitude of destruction. I truly believe that it was all due to Climate Change.

At the moment, I believe we cannot deny that the Philippines - being a third world country - needs to improve on various things. There are corrupt government officials around. The gap between social classes are widening. It can seem that Climate Change isn’t the foremost priority, and I do understand why. You can walk up to an alley and find a woman with her baby starving to death. However, Climate Change is a real issue. That’s the problem. It’s almost like a double edged sword. Where should the funds go in first? The most important thing right now in my opinion is to preserve the remaining natural resources and environments of our country. At the least, I believe the government should remove the people from unsafe areas. They should also educate the masses and add it into every school’s curriculum so everyone is prepared for what may come.