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Filipinos, how are you adapting to climate change? You ask, we answer

Lucille L. Sering's picture

Climate change is definitely upon us.  You don’t need to have a scientific mind to realize this, as recent natural calamities have shown in the Philippines, which also swept through some parts of Southeast Asia causing hundreds of casualties and losses to the economy: Typhoons Ondoy (International name: Ketsana) and Pepeng (Parma) in 2009 that flooded Metro Manila; Sendong (Washi) in 2011 which was recognized as the world’s deadliest storm in 2011; and Pablo (Bopha) in 2012.  Certainly, this is a little discomforting and makes us a little bit apprehensive about our future. To lessen our anxiety about this phenomenon, it helps to ask questions and get answers. It’s also good to know if something is being done to address the problem – and know that it is being done right.

The Aquino government has been very aggressive in its approach to address the problem of climate change.  It staffed the Climate Change Commission  (CCC) and made it functional. The CCC coordinates and provides oversight and policy advice on programs and projects on climate change. It is also tasked to craft the National Strategic Framework on Climate Change and the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP). The latter serves as the country’s roadmap to effectively deal with the problem. The CCC also takes a strong stand in international negotiations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

To give more teeth to the government’s efforts to adapt to climate change, another law was passed creating the People’s Survival Fund (PSF). With an initial fund of P1 billion pesos (equivalent to US25 million), the special fund will be used for climate change adaptation programs and projects at the local level.

To ensure that the government stays on the right path, through the Climate Change Commission and the Department of Budget and Management, it has requested the World Bank to undertake a study to review government expenditures related to climate change and institutions with mandates to address climate change.

The study called the Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review or CPEIR, also provides a general backdrop of projected increases in global temperature and its corresponding effects:

  • Globally, since 1950, ocean temperature increased by about 0.09oC
  • Sea levels have been rising by 15-20 cm from pre-industrial levels with the rate nearly doubling from that of the past century.
  • Industrial activity was non-existent in the Philippines during this period and any GHG emission could only come from agricultural and other normal processes. However, as a small and archipelagic country, the Philippines is highly vulnerable to sea-level rise. The report cited a study (Dasgupta et al. 2009) which listed the cities of San Jose, Manila, Roxas and Cotabato among the top 10 most vulnerable cities in the East Asia and Pacific Region to sea-level rise.

Based on the study, climate change clearly poses a threat to human survival. It foretells of the submergence of coastal communities due to sea-level rise. It also projects the occurrence of frequent and stronger typhoons, and of prolonged, intense heat in the summers and heavy rains and flooding during rainy season. It also tells of the dire consequences of these natural catastrophes to human habitation, food supply, the degradation of ecosystem services and eventual extinction of some species. This clearly shows that climate change is a development issue that threatens the gains and economic development attained in past decades. Agriculture, for instance, which relies on a stable, regular weather pattern will be adversely affected, if such pattern is disrupted by climate change.

While the Philippines is not a major green house gas (GHG) emitter, the report projects that our country’s GHG emission will continue to increase in the years to come. This growth will be due to a growing economy, heightened urbanization, increased demand and use of energy and the expected increase in the number of vehicles, all of which are highly dependent on crude oil for energy.

Given the above, the report recommends several measures along three main lines:

  • strengthening planning, execution, and financing framework for climate change
  • enhancing leadership and accountability through monitoring, evaluation, and review of climate change policies and activities
  • building capacity and managing change

The report, to be launched on June 25, 2013 in Manila, also calls on the government to address several barriers to effective implementation of the climate change agenda.

Meanwhile, a survey commissioned by the World Bank and conducted by the Social Weather Station finds that many Filipinos say they are now experiencing the effects of a changing climate. The survey looked into the level of knowledge of Filipinos about the impacts of climate change as well as their personal experience/s about it. We’ll soon share the results of this survey on www.worldbank.org/ph, but in the meantime, perhaps there are those who are still in the dark about how to adapt to a changing climate, or how the government is working to mitigate its effects.

If you have questions about this topic or would like to share some observations about your environment, please post them in the comments section of this blog. Join the conversation on Twitter by sending your feedback to @worldbankasia and to @CCCommissionPh with hashtag #askCCC and we'll make sure to respond to them. We hope to address all your concerns and will be selecting five of the most pressing questions and answer them in a short video called   5 Questions, 5 Minutes to be posted on www.worldbank.org/ph. Ask now!

Image courtesy of audiovisualjunkie through a Creative Commons license

Comments

Submitted by Enrico Angelo Santos Jr. on

It is unfortunate that many are skeptical about our government’s efforts to address issues of climate change in the Philippines. Concerns that were discussed in the World Bank report are not new to us. According to the World Bank report (2013), climate appropriations increase each year by 26% from 2008 to 2012. Yet, there are still too many concerns that need to be addressed to have an effective program against climate change―from planning and coordination to implementation as well as monitoring and assessment (with problems ranging from lack of financial and technical support to lack of skilled manpower).

The skepticism is understandable. The Philippines continues to wage a war against corruption that has affected proper enforcement of laws and policies, and the implementation of various development projects since the Marcos regime. The Office of the Ombudsman estimates that $48 billion has gone to corruption for the past 20 years according to Dr. Segundo Romero while estimates made by World Bank places it at around 20% of the annual budget (as cited in Co, 2005).

There is also a need to look into other problems as well as options. Our population has already reached the 101 million mark with a 1.73% annual increase for the past 2 years. We all know that with an increase in population, all our country’s problems are exacerbated which involve basic needs to education, medical care, employment, and of course including that which concerns the environment.

Land-use policies need to be reevaluated. According to Dr. Nicomedes Briones:
...to generate more employment opportunities, and to decongest major population centers...vast fertile agricultural lands go to waste as they are converted to non-agriculture land uses, while environmentally critical, marginal areas have been opened up for agricultural purposes. Landless farmers dislocated from lowland communities usually encroach on forest lands where they practice lowland agricultural practices that further cause resource degradation. (p. 71).

With mining in full swing in the Philippines, consider these findings reported by a MP Clare Short who was part of an independent UK fact-finding group:
We saw polluted rivers, destroyed mangrove forests, damaged coral and ruined agriculture. We concluded that the Philippines is in danger of losing much of its biodiversity...
During our visit, we found scant evidence of mining benefitting local people or the country’s economy. We believe that the Government of the Philippines and the mining companies have failed to comply with national law and international standards (Doyle, C., Wicks, C., Nally, F., 2007).

Even though the Philippines has been making strides as far as generating renewable energy is concerned (contributing 38% in 2012), much needs to be done to reach its full potential. In a May 2013 article, Kara Santos pointed out that:
...solar power also remains largely untapped despite its huge potential. The Philippines is still lagging behind in terms of policy implementation and deployment for solar, said to be the most environment-friendly and promising energy source.

With greenhouse gas emissions projected to increase by 400% by 2030 (WB, 2013) partly because of motorization, the Philippines, especially in metropolitan areas, would benefit from an efficient mass transport system. And with 1 million colorum vehicles on the road nationwide (Mendoza, 2012), the environment would benefit with all these colorum vehicles off the road.

But I also agree that the government can only do so much. We are part of the problem so we should also be part of the solution. Filipinos have to realize that change is only possible if the citizenry wills it. We have to understand that we all have a responsibility if we expect a better life for us and our children.

Submitted by Charlemagne R. Dumaya on

I will keep my response simple.

I read the World Bank Report and am grimly amused by the implications. The report gave a few graphs that went up to the proposed 2013 budget relating to Climate Appropriations. It is now 2015, and the graphs seemed like a joke. In its place, the looming reality of all the negative points enumerated in the report seem to grow more and more drastic.

One of the points that interested me was the admission that the government employs too many agencies with overlapping goals and methods, therefore making the procurement of funds and other logistic tasks difficult -- nay, impossible. I wonder if the current administration even read this report -- if they had, they would not have assigned a separate “Rehabilitation Czar” when Yolanda (Typhoon Haiyan) hit the Visayas region. Also, the allegation that the DPWH has the lion’s share of funds coming from Development Partners seems ironic -- the flood situation in Metro Manila and other areas had not improved all this time, with a few hours’ worth of rain enough to cancel classes across all levels. Of course, the contractors are all too happy to leave their drainage works unattended if it means getting an extension in their contracts (=more money). I could recite a litany of other reasons that caused the World Bank to put the Philippine climate change mitigation scene in such a bleak light (I get the feeling that the report was written in a too detached manner, not considering the other issues in our political scene).

Amidst all the controversies surrounding the Aquino administration in particular and Philippine politics in general, it would be easy to see that no matter how hard the limited number of scientific minds work at formulating and streamlining the needed regulations just to make climate change mitigation a reality, it would be impossible given the direction the government is treading. Climate change is a radical thing -- though mankind has grasped it with his academic mind, the rest of his mentality may not yet be prepared to take the necessary action. Here in the Philippines, most of us still retain the average caveman attitude (one that allowed humanity to survive for eons, but not the type that advanced his culture) -- adapt to one’s troubles, instead of trying to prevent it. We have learned in sociology and in other sciences that humans adapt to their own situation -- the caveat is, what if the situation is not “their own”? If it is their neighbors’, or the woes of some city several islands apart? Sympathy allows us to grieve, but nothing follows -- the only actions are vain attempts to console, and not improve. Maybe there will be a change of heart if Malacanang itself gets hit by a flash flood? Consider how the recently-resigned PNP chief spent millions to efficiently improve his official residence (the “White House”) because it was prone to flooding. Consider as well how only half-hearted attempts were made to improve the housing conditions of those in low-lying areas.

After Yolanda and other natural disasters, the plan to invest in climate change/disaster mitigation policies and structures remain that -- a plan. More storms will follow, each one possibly more debilitating than the last, but we cannot truly put the problems underfoot unless we find a way out of the political storm that is the country’s corrupted administrative culture.

What’s next?

Submitted by Gennithony Enguerra Eson on

In the summary of the World Bank Report, I can say that the Philippines from way behind 2009 up until this year had greatly improved as the CCC enforced the movement ’s function proactively. Together with various private companies, the movement received an extra support in promoting the awareness of what Climate Change can do to us especially in our nation. For instance, the company Boysen Philippines released a paint called Boysen KNOxOUT that converts harmful NOx gas into a harmless water-soluble Calcium Nitrate. The paint is used in the areas of Marikina and Makati.

As an archipelago, the Philippines were among the top ten countries which are vulnerable when it comes to Climate Change. As part of the developing nation and the least contributor of Carbon emission, we are not obliged to do some mitigation in solving this kind of global issues. But because of what is currently happening in our nation now, which the storms are getting stronger and stronger overtime. The Philippines makes an initiate voluntary action to alleviate the suffering by focusing on its adaptation program. It’s an estimated of 8 to 10% decrease in our GDP every time a catastrophe hit our nation; this serves a huge impact in the continuous economic growth of the Philippines

Based on the SWS survey the results of the awareness and compliance of some of Climate-change-related law, like Solid Waste Management and Clean Air Act, are not that remarkable. As a citizen, our main responsibility is to steadily abide those lists of Climate-change-related laws and be an assistant in disseminating the information to other people.

The CCC and NDRMC are now focusing in the solutions of Adaptation for Climate Change that aimed to help the Filipinos by providing the right tools to the local DRRM. In collaboration with the city local government, it will be used in examining the region and in effectively informing the people within the area on how they should respond once the calamity hit their area. Also, part of the tasks of the DRRM is to make an adjustment action that helps in securing the livelihood of the city by making adaptation activities that concerns the infrastructure development, agriculture & fisheries, water resource management and many more.

The Philippines is now progressively embracing the renewable way in producing energy like solar, wind and geothermal that produces less or almost no Carbon emission. Sooner or later if all the buildings in Metro Manila will be converted as a Green building; the problem with our lack of reserved energy and all related issues will all of a sudden be resolved. It also gives jobs for the Filipino people and will lessen the unemployment rate. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone, making the problem into an opportunity.

There is no planet B for us to live, its better to preserve the planet Earth rather than abandoning it. The first world nation should help us in solving this kind of problem rather than looking for an alternative planet that looks like our Earth.

Submitted by Marilou Balayo on

Whatever we experience today is definitely the effect of climate change. Yes, it is not only in the Philippines, it is all over the world. It is enigmatic. According to science the world is moving but when we analyze it carefully is it just because it is moving randomly? No! It is because we are liable why all of these are happening.
If you hear the word “change” what goes in your mind? Is it for the better or worse? Why do we experience all those adversity? It is because of “us” time changes and people change too. We may wonder why all of these are related to climate? It is because we live with it and we are the only that can restraint all of these.
Even though we are not the top leading country in the world; still we are blessed with abundant natural resources. We have lots to show the world, we only need to improve and preserve with the concurrence of our government. I am for those who preserve our nature, some private sectors and schools that undertook in the environmental education and restoration of our forests. Due to fast growing economy we cannot avoid some advantages and disadvantages that affect our nature.
With exemption in some areas of our country that are still untouched and being preserved by their people, why can’t we do the same? In each package of cigarettes that we consume we do not only contribute air pollution but also harm each other’s health. Whenever we dumped garbage into the sea we are causing water pollution but at the same time we are also putting our coral reefs at stake. Our electric bills are getting higher, poverty level is soaring high, processed foods are getting popular in which we notice we are getting all sorts of diseases. Right now we cannot avoid climate change but we can improve it.
Reading this article I’m thankful that in a way the government is doing their job to mitigate present climate issues. But can they do more and can they put a little more effort to this? With comparison to other nations why do we always lack anticipation and preparation? We are a tropical country then we are typhoon prone. Maybe Instead of putting all our time and effort to those corrupt politicians we can spare funds to projects for the improvement and fast rehabilitation our surroundings. We can add more emission testing on provinces, regulate no smoking in public places and eliminate plastic bags and use paper and reusable bags instead, and most importantly we need to implement proper disposal of garbage to prevent flooding which caused high death rates. We need organization, willingness and unity. In the midst of sudden crisis how can we be sure that we can still survive? That is the main question that we need to ponder.

Submitted by Eileen Pascual on

For me, always keeping abreast of current issues on climate change is the first step towards learning to adapt to its ramifications. You also need to be pro-active to be able to identify or anticipate potential problems in the aftermath of typhoons or calamities. It may also mean stepping out of your comfort zone in order to help create awareness among people of your sphere of influence about its dire consequences. That is why I always make it a point to talk to my kids about global warming and the importance of protecting our environment since they are the future generation who will suffer the irreversible damage in its wake.
I have lived in Marikina for more than a year now and I have observed that most of the people here are disciplined and pro-active. I guess it stems from years of struggle to battle with nature as they face the challenges of perennial flooding in the city. Typhoon Ondoy last September 2009 claimed hundreds of lives, with 78 recorded deaths from Marikina alone, the most devasted region in the Philippines. Our city government decided to meet the future hazards head on by initiating projects which aim to preserve the environment and help the people adapt to climate change. Last November 2010, technical experts from concerned national agencies, private sector and citizen’s groups met for a whole day workshop themed as, “Adapting to the Changing Climate in Marikina Watershed: An Information and Policy Dialogue Workshop”, to discuss common strategies to improve the level of preparedness of affected communities in the towns of Marikina and Rizal. There was also a call to beef up reforestation of critical watersheds particularly the Marikina Watershed to enhance the natural protection it provides to prevent floods and landslides in low lying communities. The watershed, whose land area is approximately 28,000 hectares is in critical condition due to the rapid rate of deforestation with only about 20 % still covered with trees and forest vegetation. Marikina is also hosting fund-raising events for the Marikina Watershed Reforestation Project to support the rehabilitation of the watershed which is the first defense against erosion and silt from Sierra Madre Mountains causing flooding in nearby localities. These are only some of the measures being undertaken in our city to help develop the resilience and adaptive capabilities of local communities in times of natural calamities and disasters brought about by climate change. For now, I am faithfully doing my share by supporting our community volunteers with the garbage segregation scheme in our barangay. Though this project may seem too simple, one wouldn’t be able to fully grasp the significance of such a task unless you live in a flood-prone area. In fact, this simple task may spell the difference between life and death, here in Marikina City.

Submitted by Ton Belen on

As a Filipino, how am I adapting to climate change? That question is really an eye opener, again, for me as I may say. I guess I may not be aware that I am already adapting to climate change because for me it’s a norm, but not until now.
I first heard the words climate change back when I was still in my elementary days or during grade school, but it doesn’t have that much of an effect on me at that time. I just remembered we were taught to always keep our environment clean, stop using CFC’s like spray nets, never burn plastics, etc. since all of these (pollution) contributes to climate change as it creates a hole in the ozone layer.
Upon reading the WB report “GETTING A GRIP...on Climate Change in the Philippines.” It is nice to know that our government has some project about mitigating Climate Change. The National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP), Climate Change Commission (CCC), Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change (CCCC), People’s Survival Fund Board (PSFB) and Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) are all new to me but at least the government has its own initiative in contributing to help mitigate climate change not just in our country but in the whole world. All of these government agencies may help each and every one of us in educating us with the support of our LGU’s. However all of these will also be useless if we will not support and participate their advocacies in mitigating climate change. Always remember that if we want some change, we need to start with ourselves. Do not think that you are just one and that you will not have any significant effect, if all of us will support in mitigating climate change…rest assured that our mother nature will regain its natural beauty.

Submitted by Eileen Pascual on

Filipinos. How are you adapting to climate change?
For me, keeping abreast of current issues on climate change is the first step towards learning to adapt to its ramifications. You also need to be pro-active to be able to identify or anticipate potential problems in the aftermath of typhoons or calamities. It may also mean stepping out of your comfort zone in order to help create awareness among people of your sphere of influence about its dire consequences. That is why I always make it a point to talk to my kids about global warming and the importance of protecting our environment since they are the future generation who will suffer the irreversible damage in its wake.
I have lived in Marikina for more than a year now and I have observed that most of the people here are disciplined and pro-active. I guess it stems from years of struggle to battle with nature as they face the challenges of perennial flooding in the city. Typhoon Ondoy last September 2009 claimed hundreds of lives, with 78 recorded deaths from Marikina alone, the most devasted region in the Philippines. Our city government decided to meet the future hazards head on by initiating projects which aim to preserve the environment and help the people adapt to climate change. Last November 2010, technical experts from concerned national agencies, private sector and citizen’s groups met for a whole day workshop themed as, “Adapting to the Changing Climate in Marikina Watershed: An Information and Policy Dialogue Workshop”, to discuss common strategies to improve the level of preparedness of affected communities in the towns of Marikina and Rizal. There was also a call to beef up reforestation of critical watersheds particularly the Marikina Watershed to enhance the natural protection it provides to prevent floods and landslides in low lying communities. The watershed, whose land area is approximately 28,000 hectares is in critical condition due to the rapid rate of deforestation with only about 20 % still covered with trees and forest vegetation. Marikina is also hosting fund-raising events for the Marikina Watershed Reforestation Project to support the rehabilitation of the watershed which is the first defense against erosion and silt from Sierra Madre Mountains causing flooding in nearby localities. These are only some of the measures being undertaken in our city to help develop the resilience and adaptive capabilities of local communities in times of natural calamities and disasters brought about by climate change. For now, I am faithfully doing my share by supporting our community volunteers with the garbage segregation scheme in our barangay. Though this project may seem too simple, one wouldn’t be able to fully grasp the significance of such a task unless you live in a flood-prone area. In fact, this simple task may spell the difference between life and death, here in Marikina City.

Submitted by Michelle on

For the past years of our country enduring and passing through the storms, I realized how even heavy rains and strong winds can such be a huge threat to human survival. Many have lost their homes and worst, some also grieve upon the loss of a love one. What do we do to survive? As Filipinos, I have observed we do know and practice preventive measures on how to survive on our own. We stock our food, keep emergency kits, flashlights and some of us even put wheels on top and tied it on our roofs. Our government has finally strengthened the safety and security through calamities. As a country mainly profiting from agriculture, it’s such a waste if we will relently ignore how climate change affects us. I am sad yet happy to know there’s something the government is doing. Reports had been made about the help we got from other countries during the typhoon Yolanda. Although looking deeply through our government procedures, it wasn’t all organized as some of us discovered not all did go to the victims of the typhoon. How do we develop such camaderie if not all of us are willing to give unconditionally? I am appalled about how consumed we can get. Do I trust the government with the funds? No. I think more of us will be benefiting more only and only if we and the government stay honest to our goals as a country and through we might even contribute more to the world.

Submitted by A. V. Ebba on

It is laudable that funding is being allocated to address the pressing issue of climate change and the adverse impact it has on the lives and livelihoods of the Filipinos. However, even as funding is a step forward, it should not constitute the main effort to address the problem. Given the continuing reality of graft and corruption in the Philippines, these funds might be another source for enrichment of unscrupulous government officials and their partners. Who knows what fake NGOs might again be invented for the next billion-peso scam.

The fact that a large part of the efforts in addressing climate change are for adaptation and mitigation show that the root cause of the problem has been allowed to fester. Social inequity and bureaucratic ineptness should be recognized as part of the problem. Policy formulation and implementation are often at cross-purposes with each other, such as in the case of allowing real estate developers to kill hundreds of full-grown trees to expand their malls, build exclusive residences and multi-storey parking under the guise of development.

There is need for an overarching policy that would safeguard Philippine environmental resources and address the issue of climate change. A broad spectrum of responses have been put forward by brilliant personalities and concerned organizations. These responses, along with the bitter lessons from many past calamities, could be crafted into a general policy that must be implemented without fail or favor to ensure the country's resilience against the adverse impacts of climate change.

Submitted by Christiannee Cruz on

Climate change is happening globally. In the Philippines we are experiencing and facing the climate change dilemma especially during the typhoon season. Based on the World Bank article Getting a Grip… on Climate Change in the Philippines: “As the third most vulnerable country in the world to weather-related extreme events, earthquakes, and sea level rise, the Philippines is already feeling the consequences of climate change”. The impact of climate change is a horrendous experience and sometimes can lead us to fatalities, for example the super typhoon Haiyan left at least 6,340 as the total toll of death and 1,061 still missing in the southern Philippines particularly in Tacloban. The devastation only showed to us that we need to focus on how to limit climate change, not only from government’s action but also every individual should act responsibly.
According to the article, Philippines is a minor contributor globally. Climate change has always been there. My question was, is there really a way to prevent climate change? I believe there is a way to prevent climate change. The local government in the Philippines created several institutions such as Climate Change Commission (CCC) to coordinate all the aspects of climate policies to strengthen the adaption strategies, however, my observation based on the graph showed in Figure 1. Evolution of Climate Appropriations Based on the NCCAP Classification, 2008–2013 is that most of the climate expenditures and appropriation fall under the water sufficiency, which I believe is very important because Philippines is prone to typhoon and other calamities such as earthquakes. However, the government allocates small funding for Knowledge and Capacity Development and I believe this has caused slow implementation progress. I believe if there will be enough budget to broaden our knowledge on this alarming “global warming” then this will leverage us to build strong strategies and learn how to prevent the major concern that our mother earth is facing.

Submitted by Aubrey Villanueva on

Climate change effect is undeniable. Philippines can feel this change on many ways. The usual season time frames are now different and our agriculture is in a great battle . Weather are on the extreme levels: super typhoon , earthquakes ,  people’s life and economy are affected.

The people on our country realized that this BIG change on our life is a no joke. Our fellow men on the other side of the globe are admiring Filipinos on how we can adapt on such changes that make or break us. But, as matter of fact, our world can always adapt to change, from the time the world was ever created and up to now. The only difference on this change we are experiencing on our generation is that the main contributor are the waste produced by people ( smoking in various means, greenhouse effect, illegal logging, non biodegradable waste, etc). With all of these, we are surprised on how these change have caused disasters we have never seen before.

We need to make a change. I want to share the program introduced in some places in Cavite ( Carmona, Dasmarinas, Tagaytay and Silang) because we are now in a  “No plastic” campaign. Most people are now aware on how to use eco bag and reusing it; recycling old papers and use it as paper bags. Eventually, it started to minimize the clogging of drainage and a good way for flood control. It is a good start for a change. Though it is only a small thing, its worth doing it. 

I am hoping that we can see more of these kind of improvement. We need good campaigns to save the place we live in and cope with changes. More knowledge ,awareness and make the people know what needs to be done. We need funds to support it and people who will care about our our present and future state. I wish that there will be a global campaign that everyone should be involve and make action. It is not only the Philippines who are affected on it, but the entire world. 

Submitted by Lyn Pichay on

Ever since the hit of Typhoon Ondoy, the speculation of more and even worse phenomenon’s may hit the Philippines were already obvious to the country. It is also that during the time, when Aquino had started to govern the republic, more and more construction sites are being barreled all over the country. Now, at first, there is really no threat here, it is simply part of the growing economy to build and beautify what past Administrations haven't finished.

There are two things that are still controversial on media. Where today, is the source of information to the nation. Controversy number 1 still has a problem with the people and the opinions of the people. The Philippines has a wide range of past corruption and misusing of the money by the government for projects that aren't as much as a priority than the causes of Climate Change. People tend to think that with those 1Billion pesos for the projects to help Climate Change is being used for other projects and when disaster strikes, they can say they are right because still, the nation will be in calamity.
Number 2, is what people don't understand that is, Yes, Southeast Asia is one of the main targets for disastrous phenomenon and they get stronger and stronger each year and the country has only limited time to catch up on the destruction caused by the past typhoon.

I have been holding onto an idea that I thought of ever since I was in 4th grade. Why is there the involvement Greenhouse effect when the Philippines are a minor user of it? Why are we still badly affected by typhoons when the effects of GHG aren’t really tolerated in this country except for normal processes? The answer is Trees.

The Philippines is a very rich country, very rich in minerals, in exotic fruits and vegetables, also in agriculture. There is problem I see right there. If the World Bank had given the country the approved budget for the present year, there will thousands of options as to where they should use it first—and wisely I might add. In Economics, most people would think it must be better to use the money for agricultural issues first because that is how the Philippines grew into what it is now. Without Agriculture, the country would be helpless under other things. It is the root of the country and I think that's where we should start when it comes to Climate Change.

A funny idea had entered my mind at the age of seven when I was visiting the cemetery during All Souls Day. At the time, the cemetery was already what it was, crowded, over-piled gravestones and pretty much what a public cemetery would look like around Manila. During that time, Climate Change was already a kicky subject and I thought it would be much better to plant trees as headstones rather than placing them into piles and piles of cement where once crowded, impossible to reach. But for trees, they may die eventually but the death rate will also increase and no one is safe from it. Imagine that, trees all over the land and under them are your loved ones; you can even play on the tree to feel closer to them or whatever. It's a childish thought, but it may work if we can try it.

Concluding, there is not much to say about Climate Change at this time since it is unavoidable really, we just need to learn where are priorities lie first and it all starts at the very top, in the government.

Submitted by Christian Ymas on

The report of World Bank has mounted on the table a clearer picture of what the Climate Change situation is like and the problems that the Philippines is facing together with some recommendations to deal with the inconsistencies and insufficiencies of the country in dealing with a very destructive phenomenon. This acknowledgment of the current situation and the evaluation of what the future holds is a critical stage because by doing this, I believe that it allows the government and even the whole society to see where the country is and where the needs are. It can also allow others to take part in making a better society.

First, development is indeed a great goal of one country but in line with this, lies a very daunting effect in the society. Based on the report, the great additions in the society’s growth can add more opportunities for the people. As the economy, urbanization, and motorization all progress, the government needs to have in mind proper allocation that would not undermine the potential problems of climate change. Some of the problems are: having too much vehicles in the streets can cause not only air pollution but also road traffic. I hope that we can imitate other countries in giving less control on vehicle registration to people to minimize the amount of vehicles in the street and expanding local/public transportation for the benefit of more people. In urbanization, the deforestation leaves a big mess that the government often times does not have a control on. The big businessmen’s pockets are full but the country is left with a horrible after-effect that often cause flooding and erosion. These and more are some big challenges that should be given consideration by all, to really make a place suitable for living.

Secondly, as mentioned on the report, the poor inhabitants in the city have both been contributors to the pollutants and are affected by calamities and flooding. Although adaptations are being done, there should be higher stance made by the government to solve this problem. Something that is not too dreadful for the people in need but also something that can help the society in general.

Thirdly, having the group that is in-charge of the coordination with the country’s stakeholders about climate change is a great indication that the country is interested in addressing the issue. Although there is a group such as this, there are glitches on the coordination, lack of clarity, and limited scope. If more focus and budget allocation is given to such this organization, there can be proper climate change control or management.

Lastly, the biggest priced jewel of all is the people. If the government can equip people with the proper knowledge and tools that will enable them to function better, the desire to study and put more focus on climate change can be on a better road to progress. Train the people and equip the community, let there be a joint desire to make better place for living and not to wait for the future but act on it now, now that there is still time.

Submitted by Simon Lacap on

I strongly believe that there is no viable way to go except forward. We cannot undo the past. We have already damaged a significant portion of our natural resources on land (through rapid urbanization) and on sea (by dumping industrial waste, accidental oil spills, dynamite fishing, "muro-ami" fishing, and other destructive methods of fishing.) That cannot be undone. However as nature lashes back at us in a seemingly vengeful way, all we can do is adapt. In other words, there is no future to be seen but one which is green. (I made that up). That means that within this century, (at least in this country) we must strive to change our cars from gas-guzzling, CO2-spewing monsters to hybrid or even purely electric vehicles. Some effort has been put into it by some cities where they have e-jeepneys that run without a single drop of gasoline. It may be expensive at first, but if one considers the running expenses of a 5-year old car that ran on gasoline, you might as well have bought yourself an electric car. As for overall power, our government should start to seriously consider investing in solar, wind, and nuclear energy. They seem out of our comfort zone (especially nuclear energy) but it will pay off in the future, not only for nature, but also for our pockets and our children's pockets. Personally, any other means that will reduce CO2 emissions would be fine, especially in transportation. Biking is an extremely viable option. But as for supplying the nation's power grid, anything but fossil fuels will do. For this reason, we must invest in going green. There's no other way.

Submitted by Ignacio Javier Tan on

After reading the report on how our government is addressing climate change in the Philippines, I have come to realize that there is a lot of work to be done within the government in coordinating its efforts to disseminate the programs down to the local governments units, specifically in the areas most affected by climate change - those constantly hard hit areas of the past strong typhoons. I believe that communication is key in making each member of our society aware of how he or she can contribute towards mitigating the effects of climate change. There has to be an “information drive” to spread awareness down to the remote parts of the country. Therefore, it is imperative to educate our population about the many repercussions of climate change and how to address them. We need adequately trained and knowledgeable personnel within the government to spearhead and coordinate these efforts. Only then can they effectively disseminate and carry out their programs.
I think one of the best actions would be for each of us to be involved in the promotion of environmental protection practices which will combat climate change in the country, chief among these, tree planting programs. The presence of trees in our environment can prevent climate change hazards such as erosion, which can cause floods and landslides. Campaigning for cleaner energy sources would definitely help the country against global warming, since the continual use of fossil fuel increases carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, making the air temperature rise. Unfortunately, these other forms of energy are considerably more expensive and are hardly, if ever, seen used.

Submitted by Fatima Fornelos on

Going to War Unarmed

As one of the world’s most vulnerable counties in terms of numerous climate-related calamities and having a handful of first-hand experience of such, we should have already learned our lesson. Without proper and sufficient information about our enemy and accurate details regarding our inventory of skills and capabilities, we are actually going to this war we call ‘climate change mitigation’ unarmed.

It is saddening to still see that limited access to knowledge in the list of our disadvantage withstanding the fact that we already know how it can really be of help in this problem we are facing. This lack of access, or mechanism to access, knowledge about climate change among national departments and agencies, local government units, and even the general public hamper us in making significant progress in our endeavors.

As underscored in one of the three pillars of World Bank’s report on climate change in the Philippines, building the country’s capacity and managing change is one of the priorities. Objectives under this pillar are primarily geared towards creation of storehouses of knowledge and raising public awareness which I believe are the most vital parts of the framework forwarded by the World Bank.

I am not, in any way, underestimating the power of strong plans and frameworks and leadership enhancement (the other pillars) but what I am trying to say here is that, when people are aware of what they can do themselves and what they can ask for their leaders, these two things will follow effortlessly.

Just imagine thousands, or even millions of citizens, aware and critical of the pressing environmental concerns not only climate change. If that is the case, these people will look for knowledge themselves. Storehouses which are originally intended to be used by scientists and authorities only would be made available to the public too; and when that happens, an influx of consciousness and concern will make waves on the society that will send ripples even to laymen pushing them to do something for the environment and assert their right to ask for their government’s leadership and accountability in the matter.

A mass informed is a mass empowered and this mass would, in turn, channel this empowerment to the rest of the society. This is exactly why I put my faith on knowledge bases and public awareness.

Individually, people in an informed society could do their part (which is already a lot). Collectively, they could rattle their leaders and even other key players in climate change mitigation.

Submitted by Fatima Fornelos on

Going to War Unarmed

As one of the world’s most vulnerable counties in terms of numerous climate-related calamities and having a handful of first-hand experience of such, we should have already learned our lesson. Without proper and sufficient information about our enemy and accurate details regarding our inventory of skills and capabilities, we are actually going to this war we call ‘climate change mitigation’ unarmed.

It is saddening to still see that limited access to knowledge in the list of our disadvantage withstanding the fact that we already know how it can really be of help in this problem we are facing. This lack of access, or mechanism to access, knowledge about climate change among national departments and agencies, local government units, and even the general public hamper us in making significant progress in our endeavors.

As underscored in one of the three pillars of World Bank’s report on climate change in the Philippines, building the country’s capacity and managing change is one of the priorities. Objectives under this pillar are primarily geared towards creation of storehouses of knowledge and raising public awareness which I believe are the most vital parts of the framework forwarded by the World Bank.

I am not, in any way, underestimating the power of strong plans and frameworks and leadership enhancement (the other pillars) but what I am trying to say here is that, when people are aware of what they can do themselves and what they can ask for their leaders, these two things will follow effortlessly.

Just imagine thousands, or even millions of citizens, aware and critical of the pressing environmental concerns not only climate change. If that is the case, these people will look for knowledge themselves. Storehouses which are originally intended to be used by scientists and authorities only would be made available to the public too; and when that happens, an influx of consciousness and concern will make waves on the society that will send ripples even to laymen pushing them to do something for the environment and assert their right to ask for their government’s leadership and accountability in the matter.

A mass informed is a mass empowered and this mass would, in turn, channel this empowerment to the rest of the society. This is exactly why I put my faith on knowledge bases and public awareness.

Individually, people in an informed society could do their part (which is already a lot). Collectively, they could rattle their leaders and even other key players in climate change mitigation.

Submitted by Kemi Buladaco on

I can still vividly remember the very first time floodwaters made it into our house back in 2009 when Typhoon Ketsana struck Metro Manila. The amusement of watching our pots, pans, and furniture float their way out of our front door turned to fear and profound sadness upon seeing the heart-breaking pictures of the aftermath on television: dead bodies found hanging on electric wires, long queues at supermarkets with emptied racks, houses submerged in deep muddy waters, survivors clinging on anything that floated to make it to the dry side. A college friend and I rushed to a nearby mall-turned-disaster-command-center to give whatever supplies we had at the time, but on our way back home, we couldn’t brush off the idea that the storm was nothing ordinary – and that we have to expect more to come.

So it’s quite a relief to know that the government is heading towards the right direction in responding to the clear threats of climate change. According to the World Bank report entitled ‘Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines’ (released in 2013), funding for mitigation has been gaining a positive traction, although the budget is still predominantly focused on adaptation. While it is understandable that a big chunk of the budget for climate change goes to adaptation measures (e.g. hazard mapping, disaster contingency plans, “safety nets” for means of livelihood of identified communities that are more vulnerable to effects of natural disasters), it wouldn’t hurt to also allot a significant portion of the appropriations on mitigation, primarily on reduction of carbon footprint and lowering emission of greenhouse gases. Much has been done on the capacity-building part (with the initiation of Low Emission Capacity Building Philippine Project by the Climate Change Commission in 2012), but there’s still a long way to go. However, it is good to note that we’re faring well on spreading awareness about climate change, as evidenced by successes of awareness initiatives, like Earth Hour.

In my little ways, I also get to do my part in fighting the effects of climate change. I’m one of the many patrons of mass rail transits in the metro. While not exactly the most convenient way of getting around the city, riding the LRT still translates to lesser carbon footprint compared to hopping on buses. If the government and private entities involved in the operation of these mass rail systems can work on improving services and maintenance procedures, the public would then find it practical to hop on trains instead of vehicles that run on fossil fuels. I’m also in full support of waste management measures implemented in my city, like minimal use of plastic bags and waste segregation. At home, we make sure that we get to save electricity by investing on efficient lighting systems and appliances.

I just hope that, as a nation, we build our efforts on common ground, that all of us are affected by climate change. Success in planning and implementation of measures in adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change largely lies in the concerted efforts of all sectors involved, may it be public or private entities. Through the development of the National Climate Change Action Plan, the government intends to be a part of the solution. This also calls for greater involvement of the private sector, may it be through capacity-building, policy-making, or allotment of resources. Major corporations whose nature of business impacts local ecology should revolve their CSR initiatives around environmental protection and sustainable development in the communities where their operations are located.

Submitted by Ms. E on

Why We Can’t Stop Climate Change.

It is good to know that in the Philippines, we don’t really focus on the idea of whether or not climate change exists. Perhaps, it’s because we are a country prone to natural disasters. Evidently, our government and even World Bank understands that climate change is something we can’t stop. Notice how World Bank in their report used “adapt” instead of “stop”. The word “adapt” is used 12 times in the report.
Contrary to what many of us believe, humans did not “create” climate change. However, there is truth behind the claims that human activities are major contributors of climate change. While it may be a natural process, global warming and climate change is occurring much faster than what was predicted a long time ago, especially with the increase of greenhouse gas emission.

It is important that we understand that climate change is a natural cycle thus, inevitable whether we use cars or not. They say it’s a natural phenomenon and so understanding it this way will greatly help us find the best way to deal with this. And that way is adaptability.

It is going to be difficult or better, almost impossible to reboot or undo what we have already done to the environment. We are running out of time. The things that we should be more concerned about is how we can adapt to the changing climate while making effort in helping preserve the environment.

I live in Marikina City. Marikina is a valley surrounded by the mountains of Montalban, Antipolo, and higher areas like Quezon City. In 1991, Tropical Storm Thelma caused flood that reached our second floor. After the incident, we decided to move to a higher place within the same city. However, after 7 years, we came back and my father decided to renovate the house into a three-storey house. It might not be the best decision to go back however, it was the best decision that he decided to build a higher house. We were able to survive any storm that followed right after Thelma. We even outpowered “Ondoy”.

The issue with the climate change is not just the government’s fight but also our fight. We can’t just sit and relax and leave everything to the law and the government’s care. The issue with climate change is extremely serious and the government needs us. We should not let the government be accountable for everything. I am sure we can all do something to help minimize human activities that leads to climate change while thinking of ways to adapt in the changing of environment. It all starts within ourselves. Let's walk the talk and help.

Submitted by Junelle Tagaro on

“Take a look at yourself and make a change!” This line from the song “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson is very applicable to the situation. At this time when it seems climate change has nowhere else to go but getting worse, every action counts. The best way to deal with this change is to change ourselves too. One of the main reasons why climate change has worsened is us, our actions: cutting of trees, polluting the waters, using products that harm the air, and many more. It seems that we don’t realize how mean we have been to mother earth. Hence, in the recent years, she has given us a taste of our own medicine by going through natural calamities, especially typhoons. You see, the cause and effect of climate change are in our hands. We can only rip what we sow. We made nature do what it did to us, why not counter what we did for us to get treated better in return next time? Yes, climate change is unstoppable but I greatly believe that we have the ability to reduce its harmful effects. Just as the song goes, let us make a change by starting with ourselves. The government does its part but it wouldn’t succeed if we don’t participate. Our own little actions make a big difference. With consistency, a little goes a long way. Let us encourage everyone to start changing now.

Submitted by John Paul Punzalan on

“Being a Citizen in our Country gives a lot of Privileges as well as costs & consequences,” I am not saying that it is another burden that one has to weigh, rather a Responsibility that each one should take part.
Climate Change is evidently showing in our Country; however it also shows the Limited and Insufficient contributions of our own Government – displaying gaps, faulty coordination of the workers and that is – in my opinion roots to the lack of priority in intervening about these issues.
So, I agree with the report describing the cripples and inadequate management of the Government, specifically on the insufficient financial assistance towards its LGUs (Local Government Units) which is in charge of developing these Climate Change actions per region; the Faulty Convergence of Climate management of Climate Change Adaption and Disaster Risk Reduction Management, which this causes the overlapping responsibilities, action plans and tools, and limited monitoring and reporting requirements, therefore, there are limited operations within the organization; the lack of leadership in implementing the climate agenda, and not to mention the Insufficient Capacity of Knowledgeable and Skilled Staff on Climate Policy.
How can they maximize the years left to prevent or at least lessen the effects of Climate change, if there’s no strength in the government force? Especially that the Climate Act of 2009 is in its mid-decade, where as we could recognize its least movements, that it supposedly should be at its best if given priority.
Climate Change is a serious issue in affecting our Economy, if they focus on other things than this, we will just repeat the same story again with the same weak resiliency; thus, we are just wandering in the same direction, no good turns, no better ends.
I repeat, all these rooted to lack of priority of the Government – All we need is importance, and all we ask for change will succeed in a matter of time, from Mass implementation and awareness in All Sectors especially on Public and Private Schools and Urban Poor Communities to Mass Climate Change Activities that involves each and every one of us.

Submitted by Mariel Geronimo on

Climate change has been an issue since then. It is always the hot topic when it comes to environmental issues. But what are the things that we need to do to prevent the rapid changes in our climate? Does it really need to have big funds before starting to do an action for this? Is it that impossible for us to start acting on it without those big financial help? I know that planning is a big part of everything but I also think that it is better if we raise the public awareness on how to prevent the climate change as soon as possible. Having some small community group discussions or even big conventions about climate change is somehow a big help for the Filipinos’ awareness. As soon as Filipinos are aware of the situation we can start doing small actions, which can be a big help in this issue. We can start by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, as it is a big impact for climate change. Little did we know as time goes by we are already a big help not just to the Philippines’ but also to the world’s issue. Since the Philippines have already the Republic Act No. 9729 or also known as the Climate Change Act of 2009, we can start implementing and strengthening this policy for a better result.

We all know that we can’t stop the climate change but what are we going to do is just to prevent its rapid changing. So why don’t we start now? We are not just the ones who will benefit from it but think of our future generations. They will be the ones suffering if we don’t start doing actions to prevent the rapid climate change. Even in our own little ways, we can help not just the Philippines but also the whole world in this issue, Climate Change.

Submitted by KRISTINE MARIELLE MENDOZA on

I think that it is a good thing that our government is actually doing something about climate change but I don't think that it is enough. I believe that a lot more people have to be informed and educated about the effects of climate change (and global warming). Experiencing very strong typhoons in the last decade is a direct effect of climate change. Although we are now more aware than ever about its effects, we still do not understand so many things about it like what causes it and how to prevent it. The government should start by giving lectures and explaining what exactly we are going through. I don't think it is enough that the government is funding projects for climate change because then only a handful of people know about it.

We filipinos are not really doing anything much to adapt to climate change because we lack the information on how to adjust. Yes, there are LGUs and government sectors that are studying, researching and implementing strategies on how to cope with climate change but that percentage is very small compared to all of us who do not really know what it is all about. In a time where social media is freely used, I think there should be no problem disseminating information. This is the first step to ensuring that all the projects on climate change are effective. The more people who are aware, the better the chances for success. In line with this, being disaster ready in not a remedy or a solution. It is a coping mechanism. What we should be doing is trying to prevent disasters from happening. Granted, we cannot control mother nature but we can always control ourselves. Being conscious about where we throw our trash and how we segregate it may seem like a very small thing but when combined with other people's actions, it gets magnified. Before we can change the world we have to change ourselves first. We have to change the way we think and the way we act. It is also very fortunate that technology has found a way for us to be more environmentally friendly. We now have cars, power plants, appliances etc that minimizes/reduces/eliminates pollution. These things when you think of them as a whole does have a great impact on saving our world.

Submitted by Jan Mae Agbayani on

The interaction of human beings with their physical environment is a constantly changing one. The physical environment place limitations on human beings, but also also presents us with challenges to overcome those limitations. This means that while we are constantly changing, the environment also change. Example for this is growth in population which leads to higher demand on supply of food, services and power. Creating these supply of food and energy will lead to higher consume rate of resources we find in the environment. We all know that too much of usage environmental resources will lead to drastic change in climate due to emissions therefore ruining the balance in the nature. The magnitude of environmental problems has become so great that the ultimate survival of the human species is in question with the recent and unpredicted weather conditions which cause too many lives lost.
Though the blog relates in the Philippine setting, we all know that this is not just a national issue but also a world wide concern. As mentioned on the book “Foundations of Behavioral Science” (Ventura et al, 2003), there are five types of social variables known to affect the environmental systems implicated in global change: (1) population change, (2) economic growth, (3) technological change, (4) political-economic institutions, and (5) attitudes and beliefs. Global economic growth, defined as increases in the measured production of the world’s goods and services, is likely to continue at a rapid rate well into the future.
Good to know that the Philippine government is doing something about the climate change. Proper budget, knowledge and information are disseminated to the local governments and municipalities. However, I can see that we are only acting about this issue when in fact this should be done a long time ago given that the statistics show an increase on population and eventually technological advances. Yes, I do agree to agree on the planning and execution plans of the government but let us also be realistic that this will not happen if proper information, education and environmental awareness are imposed a long time ago. For example, before Ondoy hit Manila years ago, using plastic bags and straws are okay to use in Pasig area. However, when the government learned that the cause of floods were the drainages that are blocked by these plastics, they implemented not to use plastic products anymore such as straws and grocery bags. If this has been implemented a long time ago and proper disposal of waste was done, the floods will never occur, thus saving a lot of lives.
However, its not too late to change our ways and we still have time to save our environment since this our only place after all (as if we have a choice). We start on our very own little ways such as recycling products on our own home and reusing them. I know we should not blame the government about this envirnmental issue but we should start cooperating with them.
My question is, for how long it will be active and how effective these agencies created by the government will last?

Reference:
Valerio, RL (1997). An Introductory Handbook to Social Science. UPLB
Ventura, E., Lopez Wui, MG., Rolda, R. (2003). UPOU SOCSCI 1 Foundation in Behavioral Science

Submitted by Lavarias, Raquel R. on

The point that I will be making in this issue about climate change in the Philippines, how are Filipinos coping up is the Filipinos secret to resilience which I’m afraid the greatest if not the only obstacle in the implementation in reaching the goals for climate change action as reported by the World Bank (WB) such as:

1. Strengthening the planning, execution, and financing framework for climate change;
2. Enhancing leadership and accountability through monitoring, evaluation, and review
of climate change policies and activities; and
3. Building the country’s capacity and managing change.

I believe that behind every Filipinos secret for resilience lies in their strong faith in God. We know that for a fact as our country’s cardinal have shared with Pope Francis’ recent visit, 'Our melodies make our spirits soar above the tragedies of life, our faith makes us stand up again and again after earthquakes, typhoons, and wars,'. We also know that that is true as we heard many interviews with the victims during aftermath of typhoons and other catastrophic events related to climate change impacts. That it is their faith that made them stand up and stand strong.

In a country whose vast majority of population believe that earth was created by a divine creator hence, is in control of everything, such climate change would be God’s way of calling them for spiritual revival rather than environmental renewal. It’s hard not to assess that faith or the spiritual belief of most Filipinos is the greatest obstacle in building resilience to climate blows if not the only, because there is of course corruption issues in our country that can also be a hurdle, perhaps budget allocation for building strength against climate change consequences will be pocketed by most government official who will be involve, as what is very common in our country but faith and spiritual belief is still what I think the biggest obstacle to meet the goals to climate change remedies.

So the question I would like to post is this could there be hope for people who look at climate change as their god’s way of sending message to them for spiritual revival rather than environmental renewal if there is what actions to be taken to deal with this kind of perception?

Reference:
Rappler.com, Jan 16, 2015

Submitted by Abigail Jacinto on

The government can effect change, but only to a limit. Having read the World Bank report, I can say that the government is definitely conducting methods on reducing GHG emissions and stopping climate change. Not only that, but also adaptation techniques for its people living in a rapidly changing environment. While clearly the government is doing their part, we should do ours as well. It’s a teamwork between two factors that coexist within the same environment.

The key solution is to gain awareness about climate change, especially of its root causes. One of which, is us. We made climate change inevitable and we’re making it unstoppable. Simple tweaks to our mundane activities surely effect prevention, such as:
• Purchasing food and other items that come in recyclable packaging
• Taking part in public transportation rather than traveling with our own private vehicle
• Using highly efficient home appliances
• Making use of fluorescent light bulbs
• Utilizing paper by keeping the scraps for latter use, double checking before printing, writing your drafts on the laptop, etc…
• Unplugging idle appliances
• Bringing your own reusable bag to the grocery

These are just a few of from the long list of simple tasks we can do. Notice that these are acts of prevention that cater to reducing GHG emissions. This is because the most effective solutions are the proactive solutions.

Submitted by Andrea Raymundo on

The recent onslaught of natural disasters and other accompanying effects of climate change has been a wake-up call. I myself was affected most especially by the floods that came with the typhoons that passed the metro. Like most families in the city of Marikina, Typhoon Ondoy as well as other typhoons brought damage to our property as floodwater entered our home. There were no lives lost and the damages were luckily not too severe in our neighborhood although the same cannot be said for those who lived closer to the Marikina River.
In the aftermath, people learned to be more attentive with regards to weather forecasts and river alert levels during the rainy season. Many took precaution and had their homes renovated to be less susceptible to indoor flooding and other weather hazards and damages. Local Government units improved sewage systems and garbage collection and disposal methods. We also saw an improvement in the provisions for rescue operations and evacuees. Concern over property damages also motivated people to improve their insurance coverage.
Regardless of whatever on-going or planned action against climate change, whether it is a financed program or an individual environmentalist effort, it will take time to reverse or even halt the effects of climate change. If we cannot actively contribute to government or private agency efforts, we should at least safeguard ourselves against future problems. Investing in weather safe architecture, as well as constructing long term shelters in the case of large-scale evacuations would minimize damages and financial problems in the long run. Education could also lessen casualties and raise awareness on how we can contribute to saving our environment individually.

Submitted by Eleazar De Lumen on

I. Observation
Evidently, climate change effects are well experienced in the Philippines. Awareness to the Climate Change is well promoted though some were not concerned or does not want to be affected at the moment due to personal priorities. The government have made suitable programs and funds for the monitoring and evaluation which are very impressive. To date the Philippines is still challenged in getting every individual to participate in simple things like waste management because cleanliness drive is not strictly enforced. Even in schools and government offices garbage is all over the premise. I believe the awareness is in place but strict compliance is not pressed in schools and focused in communities on better waste management programs. Poverty leads to commit easy ways to earn money even if it affects the environment like what illegal loggers do. Though the Philippines is not major contributor of greenhouse gas in the world, the effects of this, as discussed worldwide, is becoming noticeable in our country. The pollution is getting worst because the responsibility of individuals, communities and societies are aligned to each other. The promise for better future is not enough if it causes destruction of environment and elimination species.

II. Question
1. What can we do to participate in the programs that the Government is doing?
2. What is the role of modernization in the climate change?
3. How can we make technology aligned with climate change?
4. Why can we make change that is needed to overcome climate change?
5. What preservation is necessary to eliminate the effects of climate change?

Submitted by Rhea Torres on

Climate change is a problem not only for Philippines but the entire world. I commend the Philippines’ government for taking its part with World Bank in addressing the problem of Climate change. As progress and urbanization is inevitable, it is important that our government is starting to strengthen measures to minimize if not totally prevent contribution to Greenhouse effects.
However, as we look at our present surroundings specifically in Manila, we can obviously feel and see the pollution. Garbage all over the place, smoke emitted from vehicles and manufacturing factories and so on. It’s been happening and this is not a new picture for us. Unfortunately as much as social awareness and programs being implemented to address these issues, the efforts are still seems inadequate.
Caring for the environment is not a task to be played by government alone. Us as citizens have the responsibility and also hold reliable for the changed in our nature. Each of us should contribute in preserving our environment. A simple acts like throwing of trash in designated trashcan can make a difference.
In order to effectively implement the climate change agenda, I believe the Government should also consider the means on how to increase moral and discipline among us Filipinos.

Submitted by Patrick Bruce E. Jacinto on

Climate change, so what?

At first, I couldn't think of anything to say about climate change. It dawned on me that maybe I was not alone. A lot of people have other issues in life rather than caring about the so called climate change.
So what?
Going back to the topic of climate change, I tried asking other people what they do know about it. Typical answer? “From the word itself, climate change is change in climate”. Then laugh. But I got one answer that said, “Climate change is real but it is also exaggerated. Businesses and governments make use of it as a source of personal gains.” I thought, was it?
So I had to find the answer. Enlightenment came. Does everyone know that climate change is actually one of the major environmental consequences of deforestation? I believe, no. Originally I personally believed that it was due to pollution alone. But based on what I read, “As millions of forest acres are destroyed, rain patterns changes. As forests are diminished so, too, is the Earth’s capacity to absorb the gas most responsible for global warming. Thus, this process leads to changes in the climate and to desertification.” (Valerio, VIII)
What now?
Having known this, I realized that to address a certain problem or any challenge, one must be aware of the root cause of it. From there, we can draw solutions – whether to prevent or to cure. As for this case, we may not be able to cure climate change. That’s true. Climate change is real – is happening and is being experienced, but it is also real that we can do something about it. Every little thing counts. As simple as planting trees, recycling materials, conservation of resources, not littering, and most importantly, self-discipline. People must be educated further.
I appreciate the effort of our government to increase awareness on climate change but what I appreciate more is that through this site, I was able to learn that this is a global issue that needs everyone’s participation in doing the right thing. The government cannot do it for us without us on its side. The action plans are effective when we all do our part in effect.
I’d like to end with this ubiquitous quote by Mahatma Gandhi — “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Submitted by Rico Paulo Ruanes on

I remember when I was a kid; I used to play outside our house every afternoon. I love to feel the warm energy coming from the sunlight. My friends and I play in the rain too! Certainly, we are living our lives as if there is no tomorrow. There are a lot of blissful and vivid memories that I can still reminisce until now. In addition, I feel that my world is so safe during that period. But as time goes by, that world that I know starts to change. Indeed, nothing is certain. People change—the world change.
Nowadays, news in the Philippines are subjugated by catastrophes and other related violence. Undeniably, I am now living in a dangerous world. El Nino, La Nina, earthquakes, typhoons, and floods; these are all just part of our existence in the Philippines. Our society has been struggling to survive. Living in the urban area does not guarantee any safety. What more for those people who are living in the rural? Who will protect them? How will they survive? -- NO ONE IS SAFE.
I have been a catalyst of change, may it be for good or bad. We are all contributors to these ups and downs that we are experiencing in the whole world. I am constantly adapting to these deviations to survive. The extreme weather is just a part of a bigger devastation that might come in the future. As a reminder, we should all be vigilant and restrained in our actions.
The Philippine government has been creating and implementing a lot of action plans to alleviate global warming related issues. People from the non-government sectors and from other nations are also participating in this advocacy. At the end of the day, we are all responsible with our actions and together, let us all build a wonderful nation!

Submitted by Queenie Nuñez on

Basing on the World Bank Report, we have three pillars to work on in order to carry out the National Climate Change Action Plan better. These include, but are not limited to: Pillar 1 – Strengthening the Planning, Execution, and Financing Framework for Climate Change, Pillar 2 – Enhancing Leadership and Accountability through Monitoring, Evaluation, and Review of Climate Change Policies and Activities, Pillar 3 – Building Capacity and Managing Change(1A). As a citizen of the Philippines, I have seen multiple proposals and projects being spearheaded by our fellow countrymen who actively engage for their advocacy on environmental awareness. I believe that what we lack more on, aside from awareness itself, is being engaged and committed to spreading the awareness as well as acting upon knowing. I would just like to compare two cities that I have lived in for a long time, and some eye-catching every day occurrences I have noticed. I would like to stress out that the following statements that are to follow are only my observations and are based on websites I have read, please feel free to correct me if I have given an inaccurate observation.

I have lived and outgrown my early years in the capital of the Philippines, Manila. Particularly in Quezon, I have been used to going back home needing to bathe to get rid of the dust and grime. Pollution has not been entirely widespread during the early 2000’s but it was clearly evident due to the smog around the busiest places and times of the day. As Manila is known for its bright lights and towering buildings, its bustling activities that take place day and night – also gives more opportunities for normal yet, grounds for flourishing pollution such as air, ground, water, and even noise pollution to take root in. However, not to brag about and only aim to state at the facts this time, the city I have refused to come to but started to love during the late 2000’s has caught my attention for its unique practices.

Davao City has been recently given the name “Davao: Life Is Here”. Here are a few reasons why. One is we have a strong, dynamic local government: A favorite destination for study tours, Davao City is regarded as a model for other cities in the country. The local government is much admired not just nationally but also internationally. It has led in crafting landmark pieces of legislation, pioneering innovations in local governance, strong political will in implementing policies and programs, a high level of self-sufficiency; and its pluralist and liberal political climate result in significant grassroots and civil society participation(2A). Second, we are most prepared to respond to emergencies: Davao City is the only Asian city that has an integrated emergency response system similar to that of the United States and Canada, the difference being that in Davao City , the service is absolutely for free and totally subsidized by the local government. Central 911 responds to all kinds of emergencies: medical, fire, police assistance, natural or man-made disaster(2B). The Davao City Disaster Coordinating Council has been cited as the best prepared disaster coordinating council in the country. And third, our environment is our life: Davao City takes advantage of environmental laws which ensure proper collection and disposal of garbage. The city is known for its well- disciplined residents plus a localized version of Ecological Solid Waste Management Act which is now being implemented. A huge sanitary landfill in place, regular and systematic collection of garbage from fixed points, and proper segregation have maintained cleanliness in the surroundings (2C). Most Davao citizens are aware and act upon the rules established in the city, of course, it cannot be avoided that there are rule-breakers which is why we have leaders and assigned people who are responsible for maintaining the order and implementation of the city’s agenda may it be environmental, governmental, or peace and order related. I believe that for the NCCAP to be fully implemented, we need three things to support the pillars of the Strategic Action Plan. First is to make everyone aware of the causes and effects of environmental degradation. Second is to get the citizen’s active participation in minimizing potential climate change hazards and last, is to establish order in executing the agenda long term, giving the role and responsibility not only to the citizens but to the government and its leaders as well to ensure proper guidance and implementation. I think that, if Makati can implement a clean environment and Davao can maintain and follow the rules established in the city, why can’t other cities do the same? It will take some time to reach where other cities in the Philippines have achieved but with cooperation, all things will fall in line.

Sources:
1A: Getting a Grip… on Climate Change in the Philippines. (n.d.). Retrieved February 7, 2015, from http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/document/EAP/Philippines/OverviewCPEIR.pdf
2A, 2B, 2C: The Davao Life |. (n.d.). Retrieved February 7, 2015, from http://www.davaotourism.com/home/thedavaolife/viewAll/0&subPage=whyLifeIsHere

Submitted by Tinawin Alfred Angelo on

I am a cynical person. That was why while I was reading the World Bank report all I could think about was “It is either we have to wait a long time before we see real change, or it would not even come at all”. All of these plans rely on the work of the government. The same government, which we all know, is full of people who are corrupt and looking to protect their own vested interests. People who rely on red tape and the “padrino system”; making the bureaucratic system so muddy and complex. Conflicts of interests clash, budgets are misappropriated, streamlining processes is nigh impossible. How can genuine change be implemented when the people at the top are only looking at polishing their reputations for the next elections?

One more problem is that we Filipinos are too reactive. We only think of things like climate change when a huge storm is coming. After that passes, we go back to our old ways of throwing trash haphazardly. The government invests in flood prevention, but if people cannot throw their trash properly, it would not work efficiently. Plus most of the efforts of the government are focused at the urban areas. What about the people living in the outlying towns and barrios?

This is why I believe the most important recommendation of the report is pillar 3: Building Capacity and Managing Change. Education is a big part of the fight against climate change. Make climate change a big part of curricula of students. Give the people the knowledge and skills to properly handle and execute the changes that we desire. The imparting of knowledge and the raising of public awareness is the key.
Climate change is a reality. And as the citizens of a country that is one of the most vulnerable to climate change, we must embrace that reality. And the only thing that we can do is to prepare for it. Our attitudes and mindsets must be changed. Aim to reduce your carbon footprint, dispose of trash responsibly, and let your representatives in the government know that you would not stand for delayed action against climate change any longer. As social creatures, we must realize that our actions, how small they may be, have an impact on each of our lives.

Submitted by Elena Shella Villamor on

A in-depth look into this report by the World Bank makes one think of the never-ending debate on whether man is the product of his environment or if it is the other way around. But with climate change, the answer is more apparent; it is a matter of declaring which one takes place first and why certain effects are so.

The interaction of human and his environment, ideally, should be symbiotic; with the humans obtaining their needs from the environment and the environment being preserved by humans to ensure their survival. While humans can modify the environment (e.g. drill holes to extract oils from the ground, terrace farming, etc.) and eventually adapt to the environment which they have created, it is also their duty to perpetuate the existence of the environment.

Climate change is brought about by man’s habitat-destroying activities. Industrialization brought about progress, no doubt, but at what price? Just visit the highly industrialized City of Manila and you would realize just how high the price is. It is human nature to think that doing a small negative act will not have a significant impact on society; in this case, our environment. But there is truth in Glenda Wui’s point that, “…Although the effect of one act on the environment may be small in itself, the global impact of human activities by thousands or millions of people can be huge.” (2003).

Every Filipino uses motorized transport to go to and from school or work each day; of course, almost everyone uses electricity; the affluent few use space conditioning. All these, collectively, can have a huge impact on Mother Nature.

Other factors that affect the environment, if I may just briefly add, are population growth since “…each person in a population makes some demand on the environment and the social system for…food, water, clothing, shelter, and so on.” (Ibid, 2003). It is projected on the 1984 World Bank report that the global population will decrease by 2 billion instead of the previous 8 billion approximation. But is this applicable to the Philippines where those on the poverty sector seem to find procreation as a hobby?

Another factor is economic growth. Wui further states that human impulse, especially among people who were born wanting, is strongest. “…economic activity is so extensive that it produces environmental change at the global level” (Ibid, 2003). With economic growth comes the depletion of non-renewable, natural resources such as oil, coal, metallic minerals and gas. This is not always a fixed relationship, though, since it is not applicable to Japan – a nation that is rich and economically well off but has a sustained habitat.

Going back to the World Bank report, it is the government’s actions that can modify and affect environmental impacts. People tend to follow a government that knows how to set its foot in order to spur action.

There isn’t much that has been started but –

According to Conservation International, the Philippines holds one of the most plentiful and biologically diverse species of plants and animals in the whole world. At the moment, if one is to compare our country to the rest of the world, all I can say is that we are taking baby steps in becoming climate resilient. But then, we have to remember Lao Tzu’s teaching that “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” So, no matter how seemingly insignificant the projects are, it matters that the government has already spurred some action.

An example is Republic Act 9147 which is the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act. Here, the government promised to conserve as well as protect wildlife species, even their habitats.

The Environment Administrative Order 2010-16 was also the government’s initiative to instill the adopt wildlife species program. We also have a Forest Management Bureau that keeps industrial loggers in check. The Clear Air Act has been in force since 1999.

Every development plan, policy, poverty reduction programs, etc. are now integrated with RA 9729 (Climate Change Act). We also have an existing Climate Change Commission.

As Filipinos, let us not always focus on what the government fails to do or what numerous corrupt officials have pocketed. I still believe that there are a handful of inherently good people in our government, leaders that can become catalysts of change. As followers, it is our duty to act upon these laws and to encourage others to do the same.

It all boils down to attitude change. Filipinos have this practice of keeping their own yards clean only to see them throw garbage into the river or right out of their transport vehicles. What the government needs to address is how to educate and discipline its citizens into submission yet, “No leader, not even the most powerful dictator, can simply order change and get people to follow.” (Ibid, 2003). And sure, nature heals itself but not at a quick enough rate to reverse the damages brought about by humans.

A call for change and self-realization is crucial. Every Filipino must consider a sustainable, or preferably a healed, ecosystem as his objective. It can be a grueling change but one that is not impossible.

References:

M., Ventura, Lopez Wui, E., & Realidad, R. (2003). Human Activities and the Physical Environment. In (p. 35). Quezon City: University of the Philippines Open University.

World Bank Report – Philippine Climate Change –

http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/document/EAP/Philippines/OverviewCPEIR.pdf

Submitted by Josean Alderite on

There’s no assurance what will happen in the future. Change is inevitable; thus the only permanent thing in this world. And with every change happening, the nature’s balance is also affected. Every year we hear news regarding calamities, floods, earthquakes, typhoons, and drought seasons. And with every wound these changes inflict on us, healing process is so hard and could take years.

It’s not that the nature is against on what we are doing. The change is already in process even before humans start to rule the land. But with our aid, the process gets faster and we can’t stop it. But we can, however, help it slow down. How? By taking good care of our environment.
I appreciate what the government is doing. But I believe that no matter how much effort we put in moving along with these changes, proper education is still the best solution. No matter how strict the policies we have, we will still continue to ignore it if we don’t know what will be its effect. Research data will be useless if only that educated person knows how to interpret them. Poor don’t have quick access the latest news regarding these changes.

You hear people whining about the government not doing anything but upon checking the World Bank report on climate change, they are actually doing something! But how come these people are still complaining? Is it because the government’s actions are not visible enough? Maybe something is wrong with how they inform the citizens on their plans?

Question: How come we are not ready enough for Yolanda and other strong typhoons when we already have the Republic Act No. 10174?

Submitted by Marian Sophia Cruz on

Despite the organizations and projects that help cure and raise awareness for climate change, most of the people still remain ignorant about it. My question is, why? Why most of us choose to be ignorant about something as horrible as this? How can people be so ignorant? With a problem like this, everyone is involved and affected. How can they live like everything is fine and still going to be in the future? If we don’t cure or at least lessen the impact of climate change then the world, us, and everything is not going to be fine after so many years.
Climate change is inevitable and it’s not just in the Philippines, but every part of the world. The earth goes through constant changes. It’s really good to hear that the government is actually helping and doing something to cure climate change. However, there have been so many projects and organizations out there that were not a success. That is because the implementation was not enough. If the Philippines really want to help cure climate change, it would do everything in its power to do so. One of those is strict implementation of the laws concerning the environment and surroundings. Moreover, it doesn’t matter if billions and billions of funds are put into these projects and organizations if the money would just be distributed to the corrupt officials or the money would not be used in the right way. This also gets in the way of actually doing something to help cure climate change, or in general, doing something that actually matters and helps the citizens of the Philippines.
If we really want to help in this fight against climate change, then I say remove all the things that gets it in the way first. Remove all the corrupt officials, have a strict implementation of the laws. Also, if change is really desired, I say, start with yourself. You cannot help your country or help aid a global issue, if you cannot help yourself. One thing that one can start doing to help is, let others know. Raise awareness and educate people. Let people know that climate change is a serious and inevitable global issue. Let them know what are the things that they can do at the very least to help aid the problem. Remember, even the smallest of actions can help in this such a big problem like this.
People should not wait for something very devastating and horrible to happen in the Philippines before they actually start doing something. Remember, regret always comes in the end, and never in the start. So before anything worse than the typhoons we had experienced in the past few years come again, do something now. Prevent it from happening by helping even in your own little ways. This is a problem that is becoming worse and worse each day and we should all fight against it. We should all help each other. We should all save this world of ours.
No matter how strategic or well-thought a plan or strategy to help cure climate change, if there are hindrances, then it sure wouldn’t be successful.

Submitted by Nikki Martinez on

Climate change as being experienced should have solutions to prevent further damage. As of for the record there are a lot of calamities that passed through the Philippines due to climate change. In fact Filipinos are getting used to it but still not ready for it, situations like these made our people stronger and resilient. It is devastating to know that our country is one of the most affected regions in the world even though we are minor contributor of global warming from the given report. It should not bring us down, otherwise be one of the reasons why we should find ways to uplift our current position. It is nice to know that our government officials are finally taking a step to help Filipinos prepare and adapt for climate change instead of doing “ bahala na!”. A relief that there is solution to one of the countries natural weakness , Forming Climate Change Commission (CCC),the National Strategic Framework on Climate Change and the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP)and passed the law of creating the People’s Survival Fund (PSF). I found the report very absolute and detailed, reading and analyzing it convinced me that our leaders are going on the right path regards to dealing with our problem. It just needs real execution!

I strongly agree with the 3 major areas of recommendation as follows:

1. Strengthening the planning, execution, and financing framework for climate change;
2. Enhancing leadership and accountability through monitoring, evaluation, and review of climate change policies and activities; and
3. Building the country’s capacity and managing change.

I would also like to add that we need our government to be the official sources of letting the public know of what is climate change to increase Filipinos awareness and what can be done to prevent it. We also truly need our government to be loyal, responsible and true to its people and not doing these actions for personal reason and satisfaction. As for ordinary citizen we should do our best to avoid climate change through our own little ways, always remember that a simple act can have a big impact on our environment and surroundings. We should not just rely on our government leaders but to ourselves. Fighting climate change is one of our environment greatest storms; it is up to us if we can survive it.

Submitted by Christopher David Battad on

"Climate change is a change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns when that change lasts for an extended period of time (i.e., decades to millions of years). Climate change may refer to a change in average weather conditions, or in the time variation of weather around longer-term average conditions (i.e., more or fewer extreme weather events). Climate change is caused by factors such as biotic processes, variations in solar radiation received by Earth, plate tectonics, and volcanic eruptions. Certain human activities have also been identified as significant causes of recent climate change, often referred to as "global warming"." (Wikipedia)
According to EPA, the earth's average temperature has risen by 1.4°F over the past century. It is expected to rise higher from 2° to 11.5°F in the next 100 years. Changes in weather and climate are some of the clear evidences on this change like changes in rainfall, drought, flood and sometimes severe heat wave. The ocean has been experiencing changes as well like rising sea levels, melting ice caps and increase in acidity. Bigger problems will arise from these changes that would become more pronounced in the coming decades.
The Philippines have witnessed these changes that are happening to the climate, weather and the ocean. There are years where more typhoons visit the country. These typhoons usually come during the rainy season. But nowadays, they arrive even up to December, that did not happen before. These typhoons are stronger and deadlier like Typhoon Haiyan that had a total of 6340 casualties. Towns near the sea get flooded during the rainy season. This time, these towns are flooded the whole year round. Flooding happens in the city too like Metro Manila. At present the likelihood of flooding is expected even during regular rains.
The Philippine government have laws in place that protect the environment and prevent climate change and global warming. But I don't see these being implemented and followed by the people. First example is proper recycling. This will help a lot in protecting the environment by reducing energy usage, air pollution (from incineration) and water pollution (from land-filling) by reducing the need for "conventional" waste disposal, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Secondly, cars, trucks, buses and other vehicles still do not follow the clean air act to prevent pollution, reduce hydrocarbons and nitrous oxides in the environment. Thirdly, people still burn their garbage (in the provinces) and practice "Kaingin" to clear out grasslands.Finally, these are a lot of Filipinos who are still unaware of what climate change is, and how they can help out in preventing this. Education and awareness is lacking.
The Philippines have come a long way. Yet, we still have a long way to go. At this point in time, the first step is probably to increase awareness to the people so practices can change. So they can contribute in saving our planet.

Submitted by Matthew Darryl Del Rosario on

Climate change is inescapable. In the continuous strike of calamities in the Philippines, it is becoming more and more usual to expect that what will be next is severe flooding and landslides. Climate change is a natural disaster that cannot be stopped but can be delayed. The primary cause of this is a natural process that warms the Earth's surface. When the Sun's energy reaches the Earth's atmosphere, some of it is reflected back to space and the rest is absorbed and re-radiated by greenhouse gases. Causes to melt the ice on the Antartica thus, making the sea levels increase. Philippines is just a minor contributor of the minor contributor to global warming and even though they're just minor they're the ones who is taking the disaster. For short Philippines is vulnerable in every disaster. According to the world bank, "The Philippines is exposed directly to multiple climate-related hazards such as typhoons (in the northern and eastern parts), floods (in central Luzon and southern Mindanao), landslides (based on terrain), and droughts.", "As the third most vulnerable country in the world to weather-related extreme events, earthquakes, and sea level rise, the Philippines is already feeling the consequences of climate change." and many more. WE SHOULD ACT NOW before it's too late. A time will come that the Philippines will no longer exist in the Map if we do not act accordingly. I am very pleased that the government is making an organization and projects for this problem but the people must work together to delayed this disaster. To be honest, not only Philippines are affected on Climate Change even other countries as well. If we don't act. There will be no next generation.

Submitted by George on

Where and When should we start?
Excessive amount of greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere due to human activity causes climate change or what we call global warming. Not everyone is aware of the true meaning of this and its effect on our environment. First is that I think we should all be thankful for the efforts of the Government not only in the Philippines but all over the world, the different institutions who continuously help educate everyone to help protect our future. For example, the Philippines response to global climate change is its commitment to engage in multilateral efforts to address the global problem of climate change and achieve sustainable development. The most important outcome of such negotiations is (UNFCC) United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Also the efforts of the (DENR) Department of Environment and Natural Resources to work hand in hand with the representatives of the government agencies as well as NGO representative to harness and synergize the various activities being undertaken by the national government and civil society in response to the crisis posed by growing problem on climate change. All this effort are some of the few that we should be thankful for but again the question lies to -Why is it still not everyone properly informed of this kind of problem? Do we still have time to recover? Where and when should we start? To fight Climate change we should continue giving Quality Education in school at work, urban areas and even in our own home. There are already clear education agenda in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, which require new knowledge and skills and changing behaviors in order to manage the risks of climate change, we just have to invest in giving Quality education to combat climate change.

Submitted by George on

Where and When should we start?
Excessive amount of greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere due to human activity causes climate change or what we call global warming. Not everyone is aware of the true meaning of this and its effect on our environment. First is that I think we should all be thankful for the efforts of the Government not only in the Philippines but all over the world, the different institutions who continuously help educate everyone to help protect our future. For example, the Philippines response to global climate change is its commitment to engage in multilateral efforts to address the global problem of climate change and achieve sustainable development. The most important outcome of such negotiations is (UNFCC) United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Also the efforts of the (DENR) Department of Environment and Natural Resources to work hand in hand with the representatives of the government agencies as well as NGO representative to harness and synergize the various activities being undertaken by the national government and civil society in response to the crisis posed by growing problem on climate change. All this effort are some of the few that we should be thankful for but again the question lies to -Why is it still not everyone properly informed of this kind of problem? Do we still have time to recover? Where and when should we start? To fight Climate change we should continue giving Quality Education in school at work, urban areas and even in our own home. There are already clear education agenda in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, which require new knowledge and skills and changing behaviors in order to manage the risks of climate change, we just have to invest in giving Quality education to combat climate change.

Submitted by Maryjude Concepcion Zulueta on

Last summer, the weather was extremely hot. I think it’s the hottest temperature we’ve ever had! Sleeping during the day (because I work at night) has never been that hard. The best thing about summer (aside from going to the beach) is when you’re taking a bath (may it be the first, second, or third bath that day), you’re drinking the coldest water ever or if you’re going inside an air-conditioned room or building. It was that hot, in my opinion. You take a bath then few minutes after, you’re already sweating! How bad can it be, huh?

Many people are aware that Mother Earth is going through a tough battle versus Climate Change. According to the World Bank report “Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines”, our country is vulnerable to different climate-related phenomenon. It’s actually true. The super-typhoon Yolanda (International name: Haiyan) destroyed the province of Tacloban and several other provinces. GMANetwork.com has reported (according to NDRRMC) that as of April 2014, the total number of casualties hits a depressing high of 6,300, with 28,689 injured and 1,061 still missing. The amount of damages Yolanda left us with billions of losses and survivors are doing their best to get back up from what transpired as the deadliest Philippine typhoon recorded in Philippine history.

Why is this happening? Are overpopulation, lack of knowledge on climate change, and how to take care of our environment some of the factors why we experience climate change? Yes! According to the WB report, “Environmental deterioration and unsustainable development practices aggravate the country’s climate vulnerability.” It is suffice to say that the more we don’t utilize and take care of our environment resources better, the more we’ll have to deal with agricultural, construction, and economic losses in the future due to climate change. That’s why it’s important that we act now before it’s too late.

Several reform agenda and institutions were launched in order to have action plans regarding Climate Change. I must say that it’s a good thing knowing they’re trying to do something about the situation. These reform agenda, however, needed to be carefully strategized first and all stakeholders must communicate with each other in order to make the action plans effective and useful. Several hindrances such as the lack of coordination, clarity of the roles and responsibilities of each sector, as well as the tools to support the needs of the initiatives are described on the WB report as “often not mainstreamed and too complex to use.” And did it not also say in the report that these projects have been funded appropriately but Development Partners is heavily concentrated on DPWH with 80% of total support? What about the other departments such as DENR, DOE, and PAGASA? If you’re going to ask me, why do they put so much support on DPWH? The funds should be distributed accordingly. Where is the ‘flood control and management’ they’re putting so much focus on? I think the three other departments should be getting sufficient funds as well. If you’re going to put so many funds on just one department and leave the others with only as little, how are they going to effectively coordinate with the other sectors in order to make the reform agenda on Climate Change get its green light?

It’s also important that all of us, and not just experts, should be more informed about the causes and effects of Climate Change. It should be well-explained in schools and DENR and DepEd should coordinate in how they would be able to do just that. Also, DENR must be more proactive in educating Filipinos about Climate Change and its effects. But most importantly, the change must start within ourselves. Stop throwing trash wherever you want to, there are appropriate waste bins where you can dispose of your garbage. Don’t burn it, too! Also, stop using your car so much. Carpool with your friends! Or if you’re just going out somewhere near your area, don’t bring your car anymore, just walk! If you’re not using your AC, turn it off! One thing you can also do is to plant trees! If you can’t do it alone, you can join tree-planting activities. There are so many ways on how you can contribute in this battle. One small contribution is still a progress towards a cleaner and better environment.

We are all affected by climate change. We may not notice it a lot but we should be informed that it’s all because of our failure to take care of the environment. We live in this world, let’s take care of it the best way we know how!

Submitted by JP Suarez on

Based on this report the Aquino Administration has been aggressively working on the Climate change issue by staffing the CCC and making it functional, crafting the NCCAP and created the PSF with an initial fund of 1billion pesos. This may be true that strategic planning by the administration has increased, but unfortunately the implementation of solutions has not been successful. In the Philippines it seems solutions of issues and problems may be planned, but they are never fully carried out. The bottom line is that the people who end up needing help the most don’t receive it.

I will cite Typhoon Yolanda and how this was not only an environmental catastrophe, but also a catastrophe of how the government dealt with the situation. I believe that this was one of the first major typhoons that hit the Philippines after the government crafted their supposed solutions and as such should have reacted to the situation much better than it did. Instead it seems like the help was to little and to late and now, almost one year after the incident, the following information has been found though different auditing agencies:

• Local and International donated food were held at storage facilities or customs instead of being distributed to the victims. And now have been found to not only not reach the victims, but are found to have been sold.
• Hundreds of millions of donated funds intended for the victims were used for other Government Operations or are currently sitting in banks

The Philippines has a problem of climate change, this is evident. It even has been stated that we are the third most vulnerable country affected by weather related disasters. But, for me a problem much larger than climate change is the corruption and lack of responsibility we face within in our government. Regardless of what strategic action plans the government puts in place, the plans can never be properly implemented because of the corruption that circumvents them.

Submitted by Jamie Mendiola on

It was very good to know that the government knows the danger of climate change, thus, making way for the climate reform agenda and other impressive steps towards development. They have been efficient on delivering their point across the country.
Nowadays, Filipino citizens, although not all, have been more aware and alert of the climate to avoid any tragedies. The social media had also been useful in spreading the message.
But whether we like it or not, there are still some stubborn people who seemed to not learn any lesson from the previous storms and some authority figures who care more for their own lives than the lives of their citizens.
Aside from money and more effective laws, what the Philippines need is discipline and responsibility, not only for us, but also for the people in the government who were meant to serve us. In the WB Report I read, there are three recommendations that were emphasized.

“Strengthening the planning, execution, and financing framework for climate change;
Enhancing leadership and accountability through monitoring, evaluation, and review of climate change policies and activities; and
Building the country’s capacity and managing change”

Right on the first recommendation, there’s the word “financing framework” which is something difficult to achieve if our country’s funds are not being managed properly, or honestly. We, the citizens, can be more disciplined and responsible, but if the government will not set an example, then our desired development will not come soon.

Overall, I’m thankful that we actually have these strategies to make our country adapt to the climate change. But we still have a long way to go, a lot of citizens that need more knowledge about this, and there are a lot of other economic issues to solve. Hopefully, as time progresses, our country will also shift to improvement. That needed shift is starting now.

Reference: WB Report entitled Getting a Grip of the Climate Change in the Philippines

Submitted by MAAN MARUZO on

I think that pollution greatly affects climate change and it was brought about by highly evolving technologies which were supported by the government for effective transportation and mass production of goods. Say for example, machines in the factory produce oil leaks and other harmful chemicals which pollute not just the body of water surrounding it but the whole global ocean system.
Trees were cut down to widen roads for smoother land transportation and also to give way to increasing number of vehicles produce every year. What am I pointing out? We are the main contributor of pollutants and there’s no way to stop pollution since the great inventions of humans had become a way of life.
The only solution I can see is to lessen the damage by promoting balance. Say for example, if we can’t get rid of the machines that produces plastics and other garbage, then practice and promote recycling plastics and other recyclable supplies that would lessen the need for production of these non biodegradable materials. The lesser demand, the lesser need for supply which will also avoid these harmful machines from multiplying.
If there is a need for the government to cut down trees for enhancing our roads, then the government should also invest on planting trees that would absorb carbon dioxide produced by the vehicles also to avoid floods within the area. Therefore, I conclude that promoting balance is the key to a healthier environment.

Submitted by Nikoal Sare on

Climate Change is definitely upon us, it is experienced all over the world and it has taken thousands of lives. It is a threat to everyone; natural disasters can come unnoticed or noticed but preparations for such disasters are always inadequate. I’ve seen the news about the recent typhoons that has come across the area of responsibility of the Philippines and the problems faced by the government were always the same: insufficient shelters, supplies of food and other necessities to those affected by the natural disasters. And why is that? Why is that whenever such typhoons or other natural calamities occur, the government is always unprepared? They should at least prepare everyday incase such storms or other natural disasters happen. The people should also take part in preparing for such calamities, and start being active in climate change adaptation programs and projects formed by the government.

Submitted by Patrick Daniel Romero on

Climate change has been an issue in the Philippines for a quite some time now, especially at this point where the whole world finally considers shedding light on the subject. I, myself, have to admit that the amount of concern I have regarding climate change here in the Philippines is very negligible since the country itself, as how I currently see it, is unnecessarily embracing the consequences of being a victim of climate change.

However, learning about NCCAP and its intentions to go about a country free of climate change makes me want to re-evaluate my thoughts pertaining to the matter at hand. Although the thing that makes this extraordinarily hard to pull off is the process of its implementation to our society, because even if CCC plans to do their best at acknowledging every citizen of the Philippines regarding this, there will always be those who may, or even will, not cooperate mainly because of the following reasons:

a. there are the poverty-stricken people who lack knowledge about the truth that may even seem to them as a threat
b. a lot of people and companies depend on various things that heavily promotes global warming (e.g. fossil fuel)
c. some people, Filipinos in general, are just basically ignorant

Some of you are probably thinking that I went too far on the last one. Sad to say, it is true enough that almost everybody I know is agreeable to it. “What is the perfect solution to prevent all of this, especially the last one?” you may ask. Unfortunately, I do not hold the proper answer to suffice your curious minds but I do know one thing, a nation can change for the greater good if everyone in that particular nation has a significant amount of trust in one another.

Submitted by Jemalyn Labaco on

The Philippines is one of the most disaster prone country in the world, experiencing an average of 20 typhoons per year. Philippines is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. In fact, The Philippines is Rank No. 3 in the World Index Report 2013. With these, the government has been active throughout the year, educating personnel of various government agencies like Office of Civil Defense, DILG, PAG-ASA, and PHIVOLCS to name a few. Maybe these is the answer to the World Bank review with regard to "Insufficient institutional capacity, including limited access to knowledge, and the complexity of planning tools have hindered efficient execution of the climate reforms and Climate Action".
Various seminars and trainings were given by the national government with the participation of LGU's, being the objective is the formulation of LCCAP. Along to that seminars and trainings, they were ask to incorporate their Comprehensive Development Plans and Comprehensive Land Use Plan. All participants were given a certain period of time to discuss the hazards and vulnerability of each municipalities and cities and the implementation of their own LCCAP. They also came up with a Mitigation Plan. Which includes,
 Hazard Mapping
 Land use planning and legislation (flood-prone areas can be designated as parks and non-residential)
 Early warning system
 Flood Management
 Evacuation planning
 Reducing Vulnerability of Structures and Infrastructure (e.g. building resilient infrastructure)
 Public awareness

I will have to agree on the report that sourcing of funds is one hindrance on the implementation of NCCAP or even more the formulation of LCCAP. Which I believe will greatly contribute to minimize the effects of these hazards brought by Climate Change and aside from developing NCCAP, based on the past events, like Super typhoon Yolonda, I think it is a “must” to review/update the building codes and retrofit structures not conforming with the design standards. Strict implementation of land-use zoning to restrict development in identified high risk areas will also a big help and let us not limit educating ourselves and other individuals about climate change."Right information at the right time – so people can take the right action"

Submitted by Soy Ruiz on

It is inevitable - climate change is not something we can fix in seconds. Climate change isn't something we can hide from; rather it is something we must learn from. Every year, the storms here in the Philippines keeps getting worse and worse. A lot of Filipinos find that there is nothing to be done than just watch and help with whatever is left of us – alas we are left with disastrous and terrifying remains. On the contrary, there is something we can do. And that is anticipation before things are too late. The Filipino Government has been funding programs for the preparations for calamities, and so far the funds have been used properly. Although we have programs to help in case of disasters, somehow this is still not enough. There isn't enough food, refuge, medicinal areas, and other needs for people who experience calamities like earthquakes and storm surges. Many families end up starving or dying of medical conditions.The reason for these unpreparedness is because we don't anticipate enough. But even if we do anticipate, it'll be difficult because you never know what kind of unwanted disaster might arrive.

Climate change is upon us. Why is that so? Is it because of pollution and global warming? If that is so, then we can lessen the change in climate by being more sensitive with our planet. That means we have to avoid using plastic and start using more natural products. Using of plastic and other unnatural products are known to be harmful to Earth. We also have to learn how to reuse, reduce, and recycle all that we can so that pollution will be lessened. Smoke emitted by our cars also give a negative effect to our air making CO2 and heat be harmful to our planet.

In a nutshell, it is not our decision whether or not to have climate change – but it is our decision whether or not to try and make the world a better place to live in. Hopefully, many people will cooperate to also save lives before lives are in danger.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I’m very delighted to know that our government has already recognised the issue of climate change and that by now they’ve done the first steps by including it in our national budget and commissioning experts that will supervise our country’s adaptation and mitigation programmes. Whilst being pleased by this news, I had mixed emotions upon reading the World Bank Report. I can quite understand some of the difficulties experienced by the CCC with NCCAP’s implementation, since many adjustments are indeed needed between the existing government agencies and CCC; but this is what has been bugging me – this report was done last 2013. Two years have passed, and I believe that would have been enough for them to straighten out whatever conflicts were preventing them from fully operating.

At present, we only see our government doing mostly reactive projects. These are usually done just a week or two before the forecasted natural disaster strikes and then once passed, as expected, rehabilitation projects would follow. On the other hand, it is very noticeable that support and concern of the government for mitigating climate change is languishing. The current administration continues to invest on carbon-intensive fossil fuels as power sources (prioritising it even in the current Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016), despite being presented with current studies and examples done on renewable energy sources by Mindanao University of Science and Technology (MUST), Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) and other institutions that promote mitigating climate.

As for our people, even though our government is very much lacking in execution, we must continue in doing our roles wholeheartedly. Sharing the information we know about climate change and how it is to be prevented is one of the major contributions that we can do. But spreading the word is not enough (or else we’ll just be following the example of our government), we should also do our very best to trim down our personal carbon footprints so as to help our country, the world and its future inhabitants.

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