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Submitted by Maria Carmencita Mella on

The WB exclusive report has given us a detailed and elaborate review and investigation on climate change in the Philippines and its exposure to the harsh environmental conditions that bring about major changes in all dimensions of society. The review cited major threats on the country's environmental, social, structural and economic growth because of the extreme effects of climate change in the country. While governmental preventive and corrective actions are being taken such as the establishment of the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) to deal with the present crisis, the review presents weaknesses in the implementation of procedures to effectively carry out the measures. The review also included pillars or recommendations as to how the Philippines can go about a successful implementation of the climate change adaptation and how social learning can bring a huge impact on the society's readiness for change.

Unfortunately, as much as social awareness and learning are promoted to Filipinos regarding climate change, the core of the problem is not cognitive but internal. Filipinos fail in terms of discipline. While naturally, the water level rises, the flooding in many areas of the country are mostly caused by human disposals. This can be perfectly attributed to unconstraint attitudes of the citizens concerning their laws. Also, the enforcement of the laws on care for the environment is weak. With these perpetual habits, nature will eventually take its toll. As I quote Ma.Glenda Wui in her book, Foundations of Behavioral Science 2003, she says that,

"Nature, and the imperatives of its laws, will be our most powerful teacher as we learn our way to a new society". (Module 3, page 62, par.5, Foundations of Behavioral Science)

Thinking about this statement, I cannot help but to look back on the suffering that the storm Yolanda brought to our nation. Seeing people go through so much suffering losing members of their family, their livelihood and everything they have invested their lives on just crushed the hearts of people around the world. However, this devastation did not stop the willingness of Filipinos to prevail. This resilience has encouraged people from around the world to work together. To share the problems of our deteriorating world and find more measures to work hand in hand to implement rules of preservation. This catastrophe made a big impact on how the world treats the threat of climate change. Now, no matter how slow, the people of the south, particularly in Leyte, go through the process of rebuilding their lives and their communities. Nature's vengeance can instill so much trauma, pain and sufferings for those who will be greatly affected. But no matter how painful, it will pave a way for change- a new society. Constructively, when we talk about a new society, it does not mean that we destroy everything that is in existence but rather we move forward into making a sustainable environment for all of us. As Filipinos experience growth in the many dimensions of society and as we pursue quality of life, we neglect to consider the values attached to it. Our self-seeking, short-sighted intentions to promote good living cause a humungous strain on our environment. The need to exhibit primary values such as justice, security and love for our resources are vital collective characteristics of a successful act of sustaining and preserving our environment. Practically speaking, we should think twice before throwing pieces of candy wrappers on the street, before we burn our garbage, before we cut trees, before we buy products in the grocery, before we build businesses, and before we make laws of our land. We should take an active part in adapting to climate change and sustaining a healthy environment.