I think the root of the problem is that most Filipinos just don’t care enough about climate change. Or, to be more diplomatic, we’re too complacent. I should know, because I’m one of those people. I think it’s fair to say that well over the majority of Filipinos is very much aware that climate change exists, and how it has affected the country, but we personally don’t go out of our way to do our part. We’ve known about things like global warming and pollution since grade school, and we probably all have the three R’s—reduce, reuse, recycle—embedded in our brains, but I think most of us still feel detached from the reality of climate change. Or even if we don’t, we don’t really do anything about it.
Ultimately, I feel that the government must make the climate change problem a top priority. WorldBank has data on a few renewable energy projects currently in development in the Philippines but, while this is certainly reassuring, those projects are taking a lot of time. Until they come to fruition, the government could stand to gain a lot from initiating objectives focused on bringing awareness to reducing our carbon footprint and combating climate change. Additionally, drawing up new policies—and actually enforcing existing ones—will further bring climate change to the forefront of people’s minds. Being serious about enforcing something as simple as “no littering” will certainly make a big difference. Personally, I know that reducing my carbon footprint will take a lot of commitment that must come from within, but a few, efficient government policies can definitely serve as incentive. If people don’t care, they might start caring once they have to pay a fine or two.