Syndicate content

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 Emerson on

Climate change as a consequence of global warming seems inevitable. We are already experiencing the effects of climate change based on recent inconsistent and unstable weather patterns in our country. The intense and scorching heat, devastating typhoons and severe floods are just some of the signs of how the Philippines is easily affected by these sudden changes in weather conditions.

Based on recent research, pollution is the primary cause of global warming and some of these pollutions are car emissions and toxins emitted by evolving factories. We can also count the excessive cutting of trees just to build commercial and residential areas in places where trees grow naturally. It is know that the Philippines is not a major greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter. However, due to the increasing economic growth of the Philippines, it is showing signs that more cars and factories will soon emerge in alarming numbers and may result in more unavoidable pollution caused by insensible people.

I strongly believe that our government should educate people better regarding the causes and effect of global warming. We could probably start by exposing and educating our students and teachers in all schools at an early stage of every school’s curriculum why this matter is everyone’s concern. We could teach our students how to seriously protect and preserve Mother Nature, how planting trees and protecting the environment can save millions of lives on earth, how a simple act of planting trees can eventually help maintain the balance on earth’s weather condition and how excessive pollution can soon make abnormalities to Earth’s natural ways of maintaining a sustainable and livable surface to living creatures such as us, humans. I hope that at least by doing such things, we properly educate our kids in growing up with an open and sensible mind in helping fight global warming and pursue sustainable development.

Submitted by Remar Dones Vergabera on

Now we cannot deny the fact that we are all connected. That everything we do correspond to a result equivalent to our actions. Typhoons, hurricanes and storms are all Earth’s natural phenomena. Throughout the ages from the time immemorial we had learned to adapt to the cycle of the Earth. And as we evolved are actions becomes less in harmony with nature does cause man made catastrophes and much worst we destroy the natural cycles of the Earth through the use of harmful chemicals and continues pollution's that now result to a devastating climate change. We had already seen many reports from all across the globe of the harmful effects of the climate change.

According to global chief Kumi Naidoo, an international executive director of the environmental group, in his observations we can now see the effect of climate change through the manifestations of destructive typhoons specifically in the Philippines. And he also pointed out those companies that harms the environment is the one to blame why the climate changed had worsened.

The great example of climate change is the typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan, international name). It is forever written in our history of how nature can affect us. Many people died and a great amount of casualties is left in just one blow of this destructive typhoon. It also shows that Filipino people need to strengthen its force in confronting this kind of situation and delegating more organizations that will help Filipinos when we have to attend to the aftermath of such phenomena.

In the article “Getting a grip on climate change in the Philippines”, by The World Bank, we can see clearly of the cause and effect of the climate change in the Philippines. And applying the knowledge given in “the way forward” section of this article we will have a great chance of surviving in such devastating catastrophe.

In conclusion, we cannot undo of what we had done to our dear Mother Earth but it’s not late to heal her. We just have to simply become responsible and be sensible with our actions towards nature and all in it.

Submitted by Jeremiah Librando on

The lack of awareness and sensitivity on the environmental issues of our country are one of the issues the government should prioritize in the making of climate action plan. The lack of knowledge about our environment has a great effect in fighting global warming. If every Filipinos has the knowledge or awareness about every environmental issues, it could open different doors of solutions and opportunities that could strengthen the action plan of our government in the issue of climate change. The masses especially the urban poor must always be on the top priority of our government in spreading and promoting the information about climate change and the benefits of a healthy environment. There are so many great infomercials (information + commercials) and advertisements that promote information about environmental friendly products, activities and designs that could be integrated in our daily lifestyles. One of the main players of green design (environmental friendly designs) are in the industry of architecture, engineering and construction. LEED ( Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) one of the key players in green design is a global mark of achievement in green building design is revolutionizing the world of construction and design. It would be amazing if the government connected with these big players of green design industry. It could be a great collaboration in promoting affordable and accessible green design for the masses. I think the key elements in promoting the climate action plan are affordability and accessibility for the masses. It is obvious that most of the advertisements and information about climate change are not reaching the urban poor or it doesn't attract the masses. Are the mediums or strategies of the government insufficient? I hope the government will have more than enough connections from advertising firms up to scientists that could help in promoting green and healthy environment.
"For knowledge, too, is itself power." - Francis Bacon

Submitted by Diana C. Mano on

Climate change has been a topic for every country for the past 10 years, especially the the biggest greenhouse gas emitter - United States of America and China. Since the Philippines is not included in the 10 top countries that had a huge contribution on the this climate change we are very affected with this changes. I live in Valenzuela City and CAMANAVA Area including Malabon Navotas and Caloocan seem to be a catch basin for waters that comes from the other city. Our local government is doing everything to fix this problem but as the water rises during rainy season most of its project goes to waste. Our city government cannot control the heavy storm and typhoon that passes to the country. We are indeed a very pitiful city when rainy season comes. Climate change is to blame for this situation. I know that green house gas can be controlled, but here in the Philippines I observe more and more green house gas contributors is being allowed. Vehicle is one of the major reason of pollution in the country. Its carbon monoxide damage our ozone especially old models cars. Why does the government allowed the car company and manufacturer to continue selling cars but they are not restricting old car to be faced out. They even sell it with the lowest DP so that it could be afford by so general masses. More and more traffic is created. More gasoline and diesel is consumed and carbon monoxide is the product of this scenario. If the government is finding out ways to control the climate change why not this simple solution cant be applied. It is a practice in Japan that vehicle more than 5 years should not run on their streets anymore or a higher insurance and taxes will be applied. This has been my question eversince.

Submitted by John kelvin on

Loss of any scale, of any kind can crush the stoutest of hearts. Overtime, our country has seen it happen. Thousands of people, billions of properties, millions of dreams, and the only hope that binds us together have been shattered because of the effects of Climate Change. And so I wonder: why do we keep on letting this happen?

I feel relieved that what we are tackling is not whether Climate Change is anthropogenic or caused by humans for I am way past that. It has been an old age question that I believe has already been answered several times. It also feels good to know that our country has already taken its baby steps in ensuring that our country will be ready should the detrimental effects of Climate Change knock on our door. I am elated that a great number of our fellow-men acknowledge this as a fact and not something UN's IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)made up. As what David Keith once said, "There is no disagreement among really anybody who is scientific in any way that the world is a lot warmer than it was 100 years ago".

More than these government initiated programs that were created to combat the effects of climate change or to make sure that we are a climate change resilient country; there should be an emphasis on how one's actions can aggravate the situation even more. It is just quite ludicrous to see that people just throw their litter wherever they feel like. Segregating our garbage has been a pain and burdensome for a lot of us. Our rivers have been our dump sites. If we can't start from the smallest unit of the community, how do we expect that there will be a tangible improvement?

Another thing is on how these laws that aim to protect the environment will live up to its description if we can't implement it properly? I am afraid that these projects that are worth millions of pesos will only just be beneficial for some greedy authorities. The government has to ensure that these laws are followed by everyone, and were not just made so they can add it on their impressive CVs.

Our country may be one of the lowest when it comes to the list of countries with the most GHG (Greenhouse Gases) emissions. But we should take into account that we are third on the list of most susceptible nations to Climate Change. We are the the ones who will reap what most developed countries has sown. This is very hard to alter (and to accept), but we need to focus more on what we can do, rather that what we have no control over. We got to work together in making sure that our earth is safe from humanly induced harm. This is our shelter. This is our home. No one will take care of it apart from us. So I do not think that it is too much to ask that we keep it in 'perfect working condition'.

Climate change is anything but unreal. One can say that our climate is changing because there are seasons, diurnal cycle, everyday changes on heat energy, etc. But these are trivial excuses that try to divert us from what really matters. Bottom line is: it is happening and we should do something about it! We have already held hands for what we believe is right several times throughout our history. Why can't we do it again?

So before we complain about the things that are happening around us; we perhaps should also ask ourselves, what have I done to contribute to nation building; what have I contributed in fighting the effects of climate change?

Submitted by Timothy T. Franco on

Climate change is a man-driven threat that can possibly escalate in making the earth uninhabitable. It could take hundreds of years before it could generate large scales of turbulent storms and weather conditions, or increase/decrease the global temperatures to global unlivable conditions, but we cannot deny that the “threat” is still there. Then why are we still doing acts that can supplement to Climate change?
The majority of the population still do not perceive Climate Change as a threat— if not an immediate threat. Simply put, we are not desperate or willing enough to act in preventing or stopping it completely. The majority of humanity, the governmental, or the influential and the individual people alike, only enacts on the reduction and “damage control” counter- measures. In other words, we are only “cutting losses” and “bandaging up damages”, rather than finding or acting on a solution “that can put an end to it all.”
Human’s dependency and frequency on the use of technology only grows more and more vehement as progress and time goes by. We couldn’t imagine the world in the next 20 or 50 years without the use of fossil fuelled technology. If no change is done, in the upcoming years, the usage of these technologies would only become more and more intense globally, increasing the process of climate change.
If we really wanted to prevent or stop climate change we should’ve stopped the main and prevalent cause of it all—green house gas (GHG) emissions. For example, we could’ve stopped the use of all the fossil fuel powered technologies and switch to non-GHG emissive alternatives, such as having electric powered mobiles, or hydro-powered and gyro-powered power plants. But instead we still chose the “more” convenient and cheaper methods (i.e. the use of fossil fuels, methane, etc.), rather than the “inconvenient” or less lucrative of ways of productivity (i.e. solar, hydro, electric, and gyro technologies).
What I am trying to point out is that society is currently indulged or set too much in motion. Even if we wanted to initiate a change, we cannot suddenly “throw them off the flow” and expect for everybody to stop using any GHG emissive technologies, on the excuse of “it could be threatening in the future.” Many economic, social, and cultural structures circulate on these technologies for a long time already. That is why whenever you want to induce change, the response we usually receive is “it cannot be helped” or “that’s just the way it is”.
Based on my observations, the proper action we should take to address this problem based on our society today, is by first influencing change on views and thoughts of the society as a start (raising environmental awareness), before we can act on actually “solving/ending the problem”(systematic and global transition out of the GHG emissive technologies).

Submitted by Kirk Boniao on

Filipinos, how are you adapting to climate change?
When I was bit younger and even now, I loved to think about new ideas and climate change was introduced to me during my elementary years. It was during that time that I became aware of how my actions, however little its value may be, is significant in its role in climate change. From then on I believed that if we don’t want our planet change drastically, we, as individuals, need to do something now. As for the government, it’s “good to know if something is being done to address the problem.(Sering)” For the Philippine government has not really given me total confidence in its actions about climate change, so it’s good to know they’ve started. But is it not time for us individuals to do the same? Is it not time for the individual Pilipino to contribute to the betterment of the Philippines regarding its climate change?

How am I adapting to climate change?
a. First, I expect the worst. Whether I’m in the city where polluted air and streets makes you rethink in living there, or in the provinces where plastic waste litter every place people went, I expect the worst. I expect the high probability of heavy rains, humid temperatures, and the like. This is the ability to adjust with the weather.
b. Second, I prepare for the worst, if not always physically, but always mentally. I look at something like this: “I know that roof will hold for a year, but I’d rather fix/change it now than later.” “I know it’s expensive, but shouldn’t we just dig a well than buy a water tank?” “You know, those rice fields won’t produce a lot with these abnormal changes to the climate.” This is having a mindset that considers the future with climate change in mind.
c. Third, I do what I can to lessen the negative effects of human contribution to climate change: I try to lessen my contribution to what I called the “plastic epidemic” in which people use plastic, litter plastic and burn plastic wastes (plastic here meaning plastic bags, cups, chairs, etc. things that don’t decompose.) I try to encourage people, though unsuccessfully, to stop burning wastes that contribute to GHG emissions. This is having the will to contribute.
d. And last, but not the least, I believe in myself, in the Filipino people, in everyone. I believe that everyone can do their part, just only if their willing to. This is having the heart to move.

How can the Filipino people, as a nation, adapt to climate change?
Notice that my question is not how is the Filipino people adapting but how can the Filipino people adapt. I believe that the Filipino people has never really adapted, as a nation, in a shoulder to shoulder attempt to face climate change. A good thing though, is that the government (in particular, the Aquino administration) “has been very aggressive in its approach to address the problem of climate change” and even “requested the World Bank to undertake a study to review government expenditures related to climate change and institutions with mandates to address climate change.”
In the study, called Philippine Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review, it gives detailed review of the governments undertakings. It gives informative data on the government’s climate change agenda and policies. It shows the limitations and hindrances in the climate change planning and execution frameworks. It also revealed the insufficiency in its human and system resources. It presented the climate appropriations and expenditures: the increasing budget, unequal distribution of funds in different levels of government agencies on climate change. Furthermore it shows the need of improvement in its monitoring and evaluation in all levels. The study suggests goals on for the government to follow:
• Ensure that the enabling environment is firmly in place by completing and implementing the remaining pieces of the core climate change reforms;
• Formulate, enact, and support complementary sector and local-level policy and institutional reforms;
• Enhance design and implementation of climate programs, activities, and projects to improve their effectiveness; and
• Through the above reforms, increase efficiency of resource use and provide support for higher levels of financing.
In conclusion, the review will be truly useful only if the government completely implements its ideas and recommendations. But furthermore, our response and actions are needed to support the government’s undertakings and reforms. The government alone cannot do climate change action; we must follow the government’s lead to a hope for the future of climate change.

Submitted by Carol Estrada on

"Global Climate Risk Index...of 2013, ranked the Philippines as number one, followed by Cambodia and India"
It was the same year where Yolanda hit our country where a number of people died and caused massive destruction on economy, agriculture and environment.
Continuous rise of temperature and unpredictable large scale rainfall in the country post a big threat.
With all these catastrophes we have experienced for the last decade. Our country is still reactive to every events like this. The preparation we do seems to be futile.
The actions and implementation of change to reduce causes and factors affecting climate change feels very slow and passive.
I have never seen strong awareness action plan for education our people. On how to help, what can they do in their household to minimize the effect, etc.
* How do the government reinforce awareness on Climate change?
Climate Change Commission was established by Republic Act (RA9729) so we can be prepared and act on causes of cimate change.
* What has this agency acheived so far?
One of the biggest environmental factores affecting climate change is the emission of greenhouse gasses.
"The Fifth Assessment Report (2015) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows that commercial and residential buildings contribute about a quarter of the total global emission of greenhouse gases."
* How do the government make sure that all new establishments, residential or commercial comply to the Green Building Code set by DPWH?

References:
Ranada,P. (n.d) PH named country most affected by climate change in 2013 Retrieved from
http://www.rappler.com/science-nature/environment/76868-philippines-tops-global-climate-risk-index

Submitted by Judilen Eduvane on

After reading the report, I came up with 2 questions, which can be seen in my community, that might be helpful in the report’s 3 major areas of recommendations. Here are the questions:

Question #1: Over the years, our community have been fighting against the building of a coal power plant in Subic Bay. We are very much aware about the consequences with health and environmental effects of coal-power plants. If the current government is really making an effort to build resilience to climate change impacts, why does it support coal power plants?

Question #2: The Philippines is exposed to climate-related hazards such as flood. Improper garbage disposal also adds up to the flood level when a typhoon hit a certain area. I live next to an elementary school where every day I would see litters on our street, which I know were caused by the students. I’m not generalizing all the students but I know that proper information or discipline should be imposed to many children who are not aware on the impacts of what they are doing. What could be a more active role of the Department of Education/educational institutions in instilling information to students and parents about garbage discipline and conservation?

Submitted by Roxanne Fajardo on

The report suggests a SAP (Strategic Action Plan) which has 3 pillars - 1) strengthening 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 capacity and managing change. The first two recommendations I have no question, for I think I will have great involvement on the third pillar.

Under the third pillar, there are two objectives. First, "build skills and a knowledge-base on Climate Change". Second, is to raise public awareness on climate change. From my point-of-view, I am part of the public that should deepen her awareness of climate change and the actions being implemented to prevent it. I am fortunate enough to have access to media such as the internet, blogs, books and television for these relay these kinds of information to me. It gets me involved and to do my own research on how I can help or support the actions being done.

My question is, how will you implement the objectives in pillar 3 for the less fortunate who do not have access to these information or the means where these are delivered? They make up a big part of our population, and it would be unfortunate if we cannot tap as many people to get themselves involved. I hope that together with pillars 1 and 2 being implemented, call for action and awareness will be evident in mainstream media as this means reach a lot more people. I also hope that information will be presented in a way that the public can comprehend yet still be able to articulate specific concerns.

As a Multimedia Studies student, this is the first question that came into my mind for I am initially concerned with the nature of how information will be relayed, most probably because of the nature of my program. There are so many talented multimedia practitioners so let us capitalize on their skills to help implement the objectives of pillar 3.

Submitted by John kelvin on

Loss of any scale, of any kind can crush the stoutest of hearts. Overtime, our country has seen it happen. Thousands of people, billions of properties, millions of dreams, and the only hope that binds us together have been shattered because of the effects of Climate Change. And so I wonder: why do we keep on letting this happen?

I feel relieved that what we are tackling is not whether Climate Change is anthropogenic or caused by humans for I am way past that. It has been an old age question that I believe has already been answered several times. It also feels good to know that our country has already taken its baby steps in ensuring that our country will be ready should the detrimental effects of Climate Change knock on our door. I am elated that a great number of our fellow-men acknowledge this as a fact and not something UN's IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) made up. As what David Keith once said, "There is no disagreement among really anybody who is scientific in any way that the world is a lot warmer than it was 100 years ago".

More than these government initiated programs that were created to combat the effects of climate change or to make sure that we are a climate change resilient country; there should be an emphasis on how one's actions can aggravate the situation even more. It is just quite ludicrous to see that people just throw their litter wherever they feel like. Segregating our garbage has been a pain and burdensome for a lot of us. Our rivers have been our dump sites. If we can't start from the smallest unit of the community, how do we expect that there will be a tangible improvement?

Another thing is on how these laws that aim to protect the environment will live up to its description if we can't implement it properly? I am afraid that these projects that are worth millions of pesos will only just be beneficial for some greedy authorities. The government has to ensure that these laws are followed by everyone, and were not just made so they can add it on their impressive CVs.

Our country may be one of the lowest when it comes to the list of countries with the most GHG (Greenhouse Gases) emissions. But we should take into account that we are third on the list of most susceptible nations to Climate Change. We are the ones who will reap what most developed countries have sown. This is very hard to alter (and to accept), but we need to focus more on what we can do, rather than what we have no control over. We got to work together in making sure that our earth is safe from humanly induced harm. This is our shelter. This is our home. No one will take care of it apart from us. So I do not think that it is too much to ask that we keep it in 'perfect working condition'.

Climate change is anything but unreal. One can say that our climate is changing because there are seasons, diurnal cycle, everyday changes on heat energy, etc. But these are trivial excuses that try to divert us from what really matters. Bottom line is: it is happening and we should do something about it! We have already held hands for what we believe is right several times throughout our history. Why can't we do it again?

So before we complain about the things that are happening around us; we perhaps should also ask ourselves, what have I done to contribute to nation building; what have I contributed in fighting the effects of climate change?

Submitted by Gella on

It’s good to know that the Aquino administration is already working on climate change. Honestly, I’ve never encountered a politician who included a climate advocacy in his campaign platform. So I see it as a good sign that President Aquino has made a move regarding this issue. It would also be helpful if the measures would also be reached out to local government or even better in barangay levels. By this, citizens would have more initiative in taking part on the issue.

Everything is just about a cycle. Worsening of people’s climate is because of lavish lifestyle. But as the climate worsen, they could not live a complicated lifestyle anymore. Most probably, the farmers and those in the agricultural sectors of the country are concerned with the changes in the climate. Those who are not directly affected are still contributing in the pollution. It is true that being science illiterate is never an excuse of ignoring the climate change issues in the Philippines. But some form of orientation is needed. In the Philippine television, climate change issues were mostly aired on national geographic channel. Local television could help in the awareness of Filipinos on what is really happening in the country’s climate.

Our country is very rich with natural resources. It is not yet too late to preserve these resources.

Submitted by Pamela Gallardo on

In my opinion, the key to this climate change case in not just in the hands of the government. But also, us Filipinos ourselves. Of course the government has all the resources and ideas on what to do, they have the budget to conduct something that would help the environment. But the problem is this budget is being misused at some point. Instead of using for the betterment of the country’s status, they are using it for their own good. That’s why we Filipinos should do something. “Be the change you want to see the world”, Mahatma Gandhi once said. These days, floods, typhoons, droughts, they are all just a part of our natural lives. It seems like these things happening around us are not a cause of our bad habits. But the truth? These are all because of the people’s doings. We are the reason there is pollution. We are the reason that the world is already in danger. And if we are the reason and we are also the ones responsible for it to be in a better condition again. Sad to say but it seems like it’s too late now. According to the WB report, the climate models show that global warming is likely to exceed the 2°C projections, with a possible 4°C increase as early as 2060, causing severe impacts to global, regional, and national economies and livelihood. And that in a 4°C warmer world, coral bleaching and reef degradation and losses are very likely to accelerate in the next 10-20 years, which could result in the loss of fisheries as well as having detrimental impacts on the country’s tourism industry. That is how critical our world’s situation now. The way the report said “severe impacts”, that is enough for us people to do something. There are a lot of recommendations that our country should do, as stated in the article. And it’s really important to raise public awareness of climate change. Because the people must be aware of what is happening and what could possibly happen in our country and the world in due time. To be honest, before, I myself, when I hear this “climate change” thing, I’m not really moved by it, because I think it’s not that awful at all. But after reading this report, my eyes were finally opened to what really could be the possible consequences of this climate change and that it is really that serious matter. So all in all, I suggest that let us make a move. Government can’t stop the nature. But all together, we could help our world to be better again.

Submitted by Riana Mercado on

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

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

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

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

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

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

Submitted by Judd Lucas C. Garcia on

It really is a bit refreshing that the Aquino administration strengthened and implemented the CCC. However, a major concern I have is whether or not their actions would be carried out in the long run. This is after all, a long struggle. A one-billion peso budget might seem enough for some but in my opinion, I strongly believe that a portion of that sum will eventually disappear "mysteriously" like almost all of the budget allocations in our country. Therefore, I strongly agree that we must keep strict records of all the costs that come from this budget. Strong relations by the CCC to different Oversight Agencies and Organizations, and LGUs will keep the budget running efficient.

Another point in The World Bank report is to broaden our skills and knowledge on what we can do to dampen the climate change crisis we face today. We are all taught that it is our responsibility to take care of our environment but how much do we really know besides recycling and proper waste disposal? We can all do so much more if only each and every one of us is enlightened properly on the wide list of methods we can do to really help save our environment. We all know climate change is upon us. I can attest that the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we consume is very different just ten years ago. The storms we'rent as destructive as the ones we consider now as "normal" storms. There is simply nothing normal about it and we must open our eyes to what is really happening around us. The next time we wonder why it's raining so hard in the summer months, we must see it as a reminder of a slow but disastrous change.

Submitted by Charlene Mae Joven on

Climate change has been affecting the lives of many Filipinos. Scientists say that human activities largely contribute to climate change. It is not only evident in the cities and it can also be felt in the provinces. My question is; is the entire Filipino people aware of what’s happening in our environment? If yes, what steps are we taking to combat climate change? From my perspective, I know that our country’s climate is increasing due to greenhouse gases emitted by the fossil fuel industry. But based from my observation, our knowledge on how to stop climate change is insufficient due to lack of education from the government.

We can feel climate change now. Before, when there is a typhoon, it just rains the whole day. Now, our typhoons are no longer ordinary ones, but are called super typhoons. Along with it comes strong wind and storm surge. Who will forget Typhoon Yolanda and the havoc it caused especially in Tacloban, Leyte? The El Niño phenomenon greatly affects our agriculture and food supply. Sea surface temperatures are expected to rise by 1 to 4 degrees Celsius and when that happens, warmer seas will kill corals and will decline fish catch, which is a great contributor to our food supply.

Sea levels are also rising due to the ice melting in the Antarctica. Studies show that our sea level will rise 4 – 6 meters and can submerge low-lying communities. Rainfall also intensifies and may cause more landslides in upland communities. As I have stated earlier, we can already feel that our climate is changing. Many Filipinos adapt to it as if everything that is happening is just normal. But there are more Filipinos who become aware every day of the climate change indicators.

Since we have Climate Change Commission (CCC) which addresses our issue on climate change, I hope they can also educate our people regarding climate change, its effects and how to fight it. They can partner with giant TV networks, create infomercials, or documentaries to open the eyes of the Filipinos who love watching television. For Filipinos who love to go on social media, they can post informative videos and photographs to educate the netizens on the current state of the country in terms of climate change. In partnership with different schools and universities, they can conduct discussions to inform the youth on how to contribute and save Mother Earth.

I believe that proper education which tackles its effects and ways to save the environment is the best way to make all Filipinos act to fight climate change. If everyone is well-educated on what the Philippines will be in the next century, everyone will contribute and it will not matter how small the deed will be. It is good to know that we have Climate Change Commission (CCC) on our side but their efforts will be put into waste if the people themselves are not helping to protect the environment.

Submitted by Regine Fontanilla on

After reading this topic, I formulated a couple of questions for the reason that there are some information that conflicts with what I know in regards to it. It says that the government or particular LGU is doing this or that, but it's not felt or seen by the citizens and there seems to be no change at all.

1. The report says that the Philippine government has put forward a comprehensive and strategic climate reform agenda that focuses on transforming the the climate policies and institution wisely. If this was really put forth, why is not being carried out? If it was, why is not effective then?

2. The report says that DPWH is accounted for 80% of the total support of the Development Partners' to support the concentration on flood control and management. If the DPWH is largely funded by Development Partner then why is it that our roads are still vulnerable to floods? On the top of that, they repair some roads but it's still not effective and is even causing heavy traffics which also affects the economy.

Submitted by Regine Fontanilla on

After reading this topic, I formulated a couple of questions for the reason that there are some information that conflicts with what I know in regards to it. It says that the government or particular LGU is doing this or that, but it's not felt or seen by the citizens and there seems to be no change at all.

1. The report says that the Philippine government has put forward a comprehensive and strategic climate reform agenda that focuses on transforming the the climate policies and institution wisely. If this was really put forth, why is not being carried out? If it was, why is not effective then?

2. The report says that DPWH is accounted for 80% of the total support of the Development Partners' to support the concentration on flood control and management. If the DPWH is largely funded by Development Partner then why is it that our roads are still vulnerable to floods? On the top of that, they repair some roads but it's still not effective and is even causing heavy traffics which also affects the economy.

Submitted by Mary Elizabeth Hulipas on

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

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

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

Submitted by Jardine Ianthe Asanza on

By reading through this WB Report, I am glad to be enlightened that our current government administration is doing this country a great favor. We all know that there are far more important issues that this country should be focusing on other than political issues and other economic issues. Our country is highly depending its economic stand through agriculture regionally, nationally and globally. Since our country is geographically located by the Pacific Ring of Fire, which contributes to the country’s vulnerability to weather-related extreme events like typhoons, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, drought, landslides and etc, and with these climate-related hazards it will really affect how Filipinos will live their lives before and after each phenomenon.

Filipinos, how are you adapting to climate change? In my perspective as a working student, I can tell that Filipinos have a hard time adapting to climate change. We all have an idea how we can help the world to be a better place because we need to start from ourselves, however most of us lack the initiative to start doing it. However if we have the initiative and we start doing it there are restrictions that are stopping people to move forward with the process. Not until a certain law will be implemented and will fine people who are not following the law, that is the only time that it will be an eye-opener to our fellow countrymen. Our congress had initiated a bill and the senate implemented the law regarding the use of plastic bags, “The Plastic Bag Act of 2013”, an act in which had already started the initiative to save the world from Global Warming. This is a good progress from the current government administration; they just have to ensure that there will be a proper follow-through by the next administration so that every detail in this recommendation will be done effectively. In this step-by-step progress with the initiative of our government, all Filipinos will have a better way to adapt to climate change and by means technology through multimedia, we can relay an important information on how everyone can be a part of this change, how everybody can work around changes, and each person who will be a part of this initiative can definitely voice out more ways and ideas on how we can work as a team, as one country to adapt toward this inevitable change.

We are already on the right track on how we are addressing this country’s way of adapting to climate change; we just need more cooperation from our fellow countrymen in pursuing the same goal that we have, try to save Mother Earth and we will save our future. I agree with all the comments here that the responsibility lies in our hands.

Submitted by Hans Marcon on

There are numerous reports of climate change being attributed to the rise in carbon emissions, and it seems that people are generally welcoming to solving climate change. How would one measure that policies to mitigate climate change are actually effective with the innumerable amounts of confounding variables that would go into such a study? It seems logical to attribute increasing greenhouse gas emissions from carbon dioxide emissions by man, but it seems wrong to measure the effectiveness of climate change policies just by looking at a regression graph comparing greenhouse gas emissions and a baseline temperature. Or is it? It has peaked my mind.

Submitted by MARIGOLD UY on

I honestly think the majority of the Filipino people have no clue whatsoever about the effects of climate change, despite the government’s efforts to instigate a move that will serve as a signal to the citizens that it’s time for a change.
Filipinos have the instinct to blame it on something or someone when they are faced with dilemmas. Sometimes even, they blame the supernatural. But do the general populace of the Filipinos truly know the reason for the typhoons? The El Niño? La Niña?
Do our common brothers know about climate change? Truly and hopefully, it’s not just something Filipinos can throw around so they could blame something.
Since the government has started the Climate Change Commission (CCC), things did change somehow. But the main problem for the countrymen is our knowledge on the dilemma. What should we do about climate change? People should be educated.
Whenever I travel to Manila, the air considerably changes, we can see the rivers being polluted by people who live beside them we can definitely observe the streets dirty with garbage. It makes one want to think. There are many people from all around the world who visit Manila, and yet for the Filipino people who takes pride in this country, this is what we show them?
No wonder the floods rise up to a building’s second level. No wonder we suffer the consequences of our actions.
Because some of us are not educated. Think of those who live in the lesser part of the community. Think of the people who throw climate change as a blame for every single problem without knowing what it truly is.
I sincerely hope the schools, the government, or anyone who has the knowledge to teach the people how to act to fight climate change. After all, it’s starts with oneself, and then the society follows. Isn’t it enough that we have Ondoy and Yolanda to open our eyes to the problem that is right here in front of our eyes? Do we really have to put the blame to the government always when we as a people don’t even act upon it ourselves?
Ah, Filipinos.
I believe that even if we do have the CCC, or any project of the government, their efforts will be all in vain when the people don’t act upon it.

Submitted by Michelle Paras on

I agree to this. Not all people are aware of climate change. They may be hearing about it or even global warming. But they really don't know what the long time implications are of climate change.

When I was in elementary it has been discussed for example that using of aerosol will hurt our ozone layer. I think that we really don't understand this.

Thorough education about climate change and global warming should be done not only to a number of Filipinos but to most of the population.

This is because whatever plans we have, whatever technology there is to help minimize, if the people are not in one with the goal of zeroing out/minimizing the effects of climate change, then nothing will happen.

Submitted by Jomar Samson on

"What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so," Gore quoted Mark Twain in An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary film on climate change and global warming. Although the Philippines was never mentioned, I think the film’s message would make one think of the various consequences global warming can inflict in this country. He stressed the public’s indifference to climate change, which is attributed to insufficient knowledge. Filipinos have little to no understanding of the catastrophic outcomes of their neglect of the environment, which they might have no idea too that they are doing so.

Even without the government’s aid in promoting public awareness, we should make ourselves mindful of the things we do that harm our environment. The littlest of things, such as segregating waste, unplugging electronics and appliances when not in use, biking or walking to and from work, make a difference. In addition, I think it should be imperative for everyone to watch eye-opening documentary films like Al Gore’s. I propose that the Climate Change Commission allocate a portion of their budget toward showing these films free of charge in cinemas across the country. Likewise, it would beneficial if it is included in the science curriculum in schools.

There are existing public policies on climate change but are being neglected. Revision or stricter implementation of environmental laws – such as Republic Act No. 8749 (Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999), which prohibits incineration among other things, and Republic Act No. 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act), whose backbone is segregated waste collection – should be pushed in Congress.

As a supplement to renewable sources, nuclear power should also be reconsidered as an alternative power source. At the recently concluded United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP21, held in Paris, nuclear power was contemplated as an important climate mitigation option. Generation of electricity through nuclear energy lessens the amount of power produced from fossil fuels, consequently lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
The increase of private vehicles is directly proportional to the increasing atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases. Metro Manila’s mass transportation system should undergo a massive renovation so as to improve air quality by reduced personal vehicle use and motor vehicle emissions.

Government action is and will never be enough. Stricter implementation of deforestation laws, government subsidization of electric vehicles, housing programs for informal settlers to unclog waterways and countless others are ways our government can help in minimizing, if not eliminating, contributors to climate change. But all of these would be deemed useless if we do not start action within ourselves. Not only should we get ourselves informed, we should also get ourselves involved. Vote for politicians whose advocacies include effective climate policies. Contact your local representatives and remind them that they are in their positions for a reason, that they are “representing” you and your community and that climate change needs immediate action.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “the ozone layer is healing and should fully recover by about 2065.” There is still hope.

Submitted by Sheila Cano on

If there is one thing super typhoons taught us is the knowledge that we are not ready when stroked with this type of calamities, and the realization that we are certainly not prepared for climate change. I have relatives in Western Samar and during typhoon Ondoy, most of them lost their homes and loved ones during the surged of the storm. The sad part was that the local government was almost a non-show in helping out the victims when donations are pouring in from all parts of the globe. The non-organized plan of action is highly evident. Also, the funds are completely misused making distributions limited. I think it is high time to reform our natural programs, because as it is, most of the funds are geared toward rehabilitation and recovery. The government should start looking at NGOs and agencies that have preventive programs that we can adapt and use. But most importantly, we should stop exploiting our natural resources.

Climate change is here. As our society advances, our environment is severely affected. With all these gases polluting our air from industrial plants, or when a century-old trees are cut just to give way for new roads, new malls and high rise condominiums are signs that our society’s thinking might be a little too self-serving. Only this time, it is affecting us in a way we never knew possible. We need to be proactive. Every individual can help reduce the greenhouse gases to lessen the impact of global warming. According to study 40% of what goes to landfills are leftovers, so never waste food.

But most importantly, be aware. Awareness is one factor that can change global warming and make every one of us contribute directly or indirectly in reducing the impact of climate change.

Submitted by Anton Garcia on

Based on my everyday observations, I believe that Filipinos do not really do their best in order to live a lifestyle that properly adapts to the issue of global warming. Every day, we can observe our fellow Filipinos who continue to pollute their environment by throwing their trash in rivers and the streets, driving smoke-belching vehicles in the streets, mining and chopping down trees in the forest without proper permits and much more. However, these are the same Filipinos who cry for help whenever a terrible landslide or storm devastates their area. We can safely assume that despite their first-hand experiences of the effects of climate change and various government projects regarding climate change, which were detailed in the World Bank report, most Filipinos still continue to pollute their environment. I can assure you that in the days that pass after my post, the Filipino masses will still continue to pollute despite the new natural disasters that will come their way. However, there is still a chance for this status quo of self-inflicted despair to change.
A key element that is required in order to properly address this issue is discipline. The Filipino masses require to be disciplined by the government in order to remember to continuously adopt an environment-friendly lifestyle. This is because it is obvious that most Filipinos are not willing to improve their ways on their own because we should no longer be seeing dirty rivers and streets if they were capable of doing so. In this light, it is imperative for the government to force its constituents to properly take care of their environment. If the Filipino people still continue to pollute their environment, they should be punished by the government through fees, which will be used for smaller offenses including littering, and imprisonment, which will be used for repeated or grave offenses including illegal mining. Even though it may seem absurd to use an iron fist when dealing with climate change, this methodology has been proven to be a successful one in the case of many countries. For example, Singapore is well known for its high fess against people who are caught loitering and its very clean city. If our neighbours can ensure a clean environment, we should also be able to do so as well because we are all human beings that are capable of improving. If the World Bank sets high expectations for the Philippine government to address climate change, the government should also expect highly of its constituents to do their share in ensuring a clean environment that can still benefit us and future generations. To summarize, I believe that it is important for the Filipino masses to change their ways by no longer polluting the environment if they want to solve climate change, and that the government should start taking stricter measures in order to ensure a healthier environment.

Submitted by Rachelle Realeza on

I do agree that climate change have already been showing its effects not only here in the Philippines but worldwide since a decade ago and we're just now experiencing its full wrath due to our ignorance towards actually making a difference in order to save the planet we're living in.
Here in the Philippines, although there have been legislations and laws pertaining to the saving of the planet and lessening the pollution we're experiencing and doing, many citizens still are very ignorant when it comes to the severity of climate change. I can still see a lot of people during my commutes who are unbashful when it comes to littering may it be something small like cigarette butts or something big like a whole garbage bag of junk thrown into the sidewalk. I think if the government implement a better pay or salary for the aids that cleans the streets and main roads here in the Philippines and post a higher fine countrywide for litterers, we’ll see a gradual lessening in street littering here in the country.
On the other hand, although it is easy to say that the Philippines should diminish its use of plastic when manufacturing commercial products, I think that it is not advisable economically as of right now. I think that what the government should do is implement an awareness to its citizens on what not to do with their trash, how to properly trash them, and advise them not to litter in public. These small things would lead to a bigger change and eventually the government can focus on the bigger changes to aid the environment in its dire situation right now.

Submitted by Abigail Christiane P.Viloria on

Whenever I come to Makati, all I see up in the air clouding the buildings is smog and I think everyone thinks it is normal. Seriously? When you see a house burning, would you think it’s normal? Of course not. But here again comes the thought, “I’m busy to think about these things right now” and maybe that’s what makes them think like that.

The problem with our country is that instead of providing money, which was pondered upon in the article made by the World Bank: Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines, these so called clean politicians make themselves wealthy from the budget that was made for the Climate Change Program therefore making the research less and less functional. Part of it is educating the Filipino people and without it, everyone will still continue on with what they used to. The thing is, traditional ways harmfully hurts the environment, and it’s time to change that and do something that will benefit the environment on a larger scale. Like maybe providing more eco-transport to the mass or educating the youth because really, in the end the youth will be next generation and how they learned things will be the sole basis on how they will take care of the environment.

I am also glad that there are certain organizations that started the trend on going for saving the world from its misery, and they used the World Wide Web in spreading these information – making the people aware about the never ending damage of what we all do to our environment, therefore resulting to Climate Change. But it’s still not enough because what the people do nowadays is that they fill their souls and minds about the current entertainment news about local and international celebrities, gossiping their way in to the social media. Why not fill your feed with articles such as these? Again, if people will not be educated, they will not conform to it. People are too distracted with things that aren’t even related to the environment or related to modern world problems. As a citizen, it is your sole responsibility to act for the better.

They say that the change needed for the society is the change of mind set, changing the way you think about things that would greatly and positively affect others and the environment. But what if the people aren’t ready or they choose to not change? I personally think that to start the process is for you to change, for us to change. Because as Justin Bieber’s song goes, you can’t say sorry when it is too late. Do you think it’s late to change right now? How far are we until we’re doomed for life?

Submitted by Carl Joshua De Leon on

It is no surprise that such calamities occur in the Philippines. Rising air pollution levels in Metro Manila scourge the air, causing an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, illegal logging and mining caused previous killer typhoons, and uninformed or environmentally unfriendly human individuals/ industries spread garbage that caused certain rivers to be "biologically dead" or "biologically inactive". Inconsiderate human beings are, most likely, the cause of the effects of climate change. The number of people uninformed about climate change outweighs the number of people acting to solve this issue; because of this I'm convinced that if our people know not of how climate change greatly affects our existence then it is quite likely that we cannot solve this issue. It is good that the government has taken action to prevent calamities caused by climate change, but if it lacks the manpower it will not be as effective as it is proposed to be.

The report stated that the Philippines "is not a major greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter," but will have an annual rise in GHG emission. I stated earlier that air pollution levels rise and cause GHG emissions; what is the main cause of air pollution? Motor vehicles. People are inclined to getting their own private vehicles simply because we are lacking public transportation. People who take the MRT suffer from enduring long queues and lack of space; and buses either blow up, fly off highways, or are taken by the local authorities.
Funny how this is greatly correlated to another great issue of the country. I've heard over the news that statistics found out that by 2020, if new car growth rate increases Metro Manila will be considered "uninhabitable" because of traffic. If Metro Manila were to be uninhabitable because of traffic (caused by growth in new car rates) then the Philippines will INDEED finally be a major GHG emitter.

One brilliant solution to reduce BOTH pollution and traffic jams on the road is to create a BETTER public transport system. Perhaps, with this new system, more people will be inclined to public transport and we'd have a decrease of motor vehicles on the road reducing GHG emissions.
Aside from this, I strongly believe that the government should look into educating the public about climate change. This is an effective way to invite individuals into supporting the government, and in the process it will hold a great sense of importance in acting to prevent the issue. People need to care for their country. It is absolutely vital for the public to know the stark reality which is that: we are in a dire state, considering the fact that we're an archipelago and that makes us more susceptible to natural calamities. People need to care for our environment, they need to know.

Submitted by Maria Carmencita Mella on

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

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

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

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

Submitted by Carlos Acaba on

Climate change is a global concern, since its damaging effect is generally felt worldwide by everyone regardless of what/who we are and where we belong. As a reminder, some scientific research reveals that the effect of melting icebergs [as a result of global warming] in Antarctica will, in the long run, increase the level of the seas and eventually sink the low laying areas where most are thickly populated like in some parts of Asia. In fact, we are always experiencing the horrible effect of climate change in our country like: typhoon, flood, landside, El Niño, etc. Hence, we could not get away from the dreadful effect of this apparently man-triggered phenomenon if we will remain heedless on this issue.
All of us may pay the price of being unmindful of our environment; but, it is not too late for anyone to take action and be part of the global solution of this pressing environmental situation. I still believe that any individual or group of individuals – regardless of whether one is poor or rich, can make change. But, of course, ‘it is not a climate change;” but to change the course of the situation. In other words, to reverse the direction of this environmental phenomenon, and let it goes back to its original condition. In our own little way, we can do something by just committing ourselves for this change, individually or collectively. But how are we going to do that?
We are fortunate enough, as Filipinos, to have a government that is seriously responding and/or monitoring the effect of climate change. And it is evident by its creation of the Climate Change Commission (CCC) that crafted the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) to serve as the lead policy document guiding the climate agenda at all levels of government. This is, more or less, a holistic approach in combating climate change in our country. Although, there are some parts of the plan that needs to be polished, as indicated in the World Bank (WB) report; but generally, we Filipinos are committed to contribute to the whole problem-solving process, and we are working hard to be part of the overall solution of the global environment issues like climate change.
How about we, as individual/s? At our end, what can we contribute to our government in fighting climate change? Is it good enough that we are aware of the situation? I think that we could contribute much, as individuals, if we could pass on the necessary information [awareness] to our children, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends everything we know about climate change. In doing so, we could avoid things that may worsen environmental problems like: burning garbage or throwing wastes elsewhere; using synthetic chemicals in our farms; unnecessary cutting of trees in our respective places; and some other environment-unfriendly human activities. But, of course, let us not forget to teach them of good alternatives.
Finally, these are simple ways, but important things, that we can do to help our government protect and preserve our environment. Thus, in committing ourselves in this fight, we could be assured of a smooth redirection of course of the climate situation to its original condition.

Submitted by Karen Bautista on

15 years ago, my father started his early retirement by planting trees such as mahogany, eucalyptus, white teak and mango trees in a piece of land he bought intended only for his tree planting project. At that time, he said, “15 years from now, the realities of climate change will bring themselves to bear on every surface of our country. As early as today, we should learn to adapt to that change. 15 years from now these trees will help us adapt to that change”.

My mother was in disagreement with my father’s actions. First, she said that it’s a waste of money. Second, she said, they might not be even alive anymore to see the fruit of their labor as trees need long time to grow. Even the neighboring landowners were not in agreement with what they see. They worry that their lands will become unproductive when the trees grow taller and the roots become longer. I was young then but I thought it was very charming of my father to dedicate much of his retirement fund to tree planting. To me, he was a hero trying to save the world.

15 years forward, my mother was right. We haven’t figured out if we would ever get back some of my father’s investments as he wouldn’t let us cut some of the trees. To a simple family like us, with not much money sitting in the bank, the land where my father planted trees could have given us more in short term. Our neighbors could also be right that the roots have now elongated and extended to their lands making it less productive than it used to be. But if there is something I am sure of, my father was right too. The trees kept the area cold and misty. The trees have attracted different types of birds. The mangoes started bearing fruits which are enjoyed mostly by passing kids. My grandmother refused to leave the farm till her last breath because the farm air made her feel alive. And since a single tree can absorb CO2 at a rate of 48 lb. per year, I reckon the thousand trees that my father have are absorbing over 21 tons of CO2 every year. Now that I am older, I now understand better than before. As a matter of fact, I remember that my father’s project in our barrio has inspired the barangay captain during that time. He has initiated tree planting along the roads in our barrio.

However, I can’t deny the fact that it takes years to grow a tree and ensure that a passing typhoon won’t tear it down overnight. Are there any other ways we could do to control climate change in a bigger and wider scale? After the super typhoon Haiyan brought havoc to our country and caused the lives of almost 10,000 Filipinos, our government must have learnt a lot. Are our laws now sterner in persecuting illegal activities like illegal logging? After 6 years of becoming a law, what Climate Change Act has done so far; an act that is supposed to mainstream climate change initiatives into the government policy formulations? Based on World Bank’s study called the Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review or CPEIR, climate change significantly poses a threat to our survival. If not addressed properly, it could submerge not just our coastal communities but also the big urban communities such as Manila. I do not want to believe that we haven’t learned enough even after years of fighting the effects of climate change in our country.

Submitted by Sherelyn Llupar on

The factors for climate change are natural and human causes. Natural causes in such a way that Philippines is an archipelagic country. It is vulnerable to natural disasters. It is in fact third most at risk from climate change in the world according to UN report. According to The Washington Post, there are 5 different risk factors: a rise in sea levels, extreme rainfall, events, extreme heating events, increased ocean temperatures and the disturbed water budget. On the other hand, human causes climate change. As this blog mentioned that our GHG will continue to increase in the years to come. The abuse on natural environment like deforestation which causes flash floods. The very complicated urban structure of Philippines makes it susceptible to floods in urban areas. Especially today that developments of high rise infrastructures is everywhere. Let us also consider the industrial wastes may it be through air or water. Those Edsa buses that emits smoke as dark as their souls. There are a lot of human causes to consider. Some may have small impact now, but definitely contributes to climate change.

With these factors, my question now to Climate Change Commission are: do they think it's not yet late to aid Philippines from the effects of climate change? How will they educate people on climate change? What are their future projects? Me personally just heard of the CCC during this class.

Submitted by King Kintanar on

The country is already experiencing the effects of global warming and climate change. The rainy season becomes more and more dangerous from Milenyo to Ondoy to Yolanda. The damage of these deadly typhoons is rapidly increasing. While the rainy season poses a threat to our country, the dry or summer season is doing the same thing as well. The summer season is giving us a hotter temperature every year. The threat of diseases to the people and the drying of the dams and crops is the same damage as the rainy season is doing to us. Climate change is inevitable but is the country ready for this? Are Filipinos aware of the threats of the global warming?

According to the WB report there are several recommendations that needs to be implemented in order to survive the climate change. But the question still remains, is the government doing something about this? This blog was posted several years ago (2013) and the report should have launched on June 2013. That was the same year Bagyong Yolanda devastated the Visayas region. How are we coping up to this climate change? Our bodies and the environment may be able to adapt to the changes but what about the threatening typhoons and earthquakes that we cannot control? It is good that the government is planning and researching and seek help from other countries, but we need to strengthen the government unit that is assigned to the climate change. Planning is good and preparing is better but the government should also allot time and budget to disseminate the information to the Filipinos who are unaware of our country’s current situation. It may be in the form of posters, tv ads, youtube videos that will inform the Filipinos of what is happening and what they can do to help the government and other citizens as well.

Submitted by Sean Jonota on

No matter how many agencies or laws are created or enacted here in the Philippines, if the Filipino people aren’t doing their part on slowing down climate change then those laws or agencies will therefore be ineffective and useless. With a simple throwing of your trash to its proper place can help and if there’s no trashcan better yet pocket it until you find a trashcan — these may be small things but it would really help our environment be a better place.

I remember my friend’s article, who was a delegate of the recent UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) held in Paris, where she criticised our president about his recently inaugurated coal power plant in Mindanao which was the opposite of what he promised at COP21 that the Philippines is cutting its emissions by 70%. “A sincere government would have started investing more aggressively in renewable energy, with or without help from foreign aid.” At the end of the day it is still up to us, citizens, to be a spark of change and to educate everyone to be aware and take part on the climate change movement.

One thing that irritated me the most is the recent ruling of the Supreme Court of the Philippines to declare and void the Department of Agriculture’s Administrative Order No. 8, series of 2002, which provides for the “Rules and Regulations for the Importation and Release into the Environment of Plants and Plant Products Derived from the use of Modern Technology.” That means that agricultural research in the country would stop and the dream of most agricultural scientists and researchers of providing a sustainable and progressive agriculture in the country. It is because agricultural advancements have a huge impact on climate change and therefore making our planet more sustainable.

Submitted by Chyrous Bautista on

Climate change is indeed one of the ongoing issue that WE are currently facing not only in the Philippines but all over the world. The adverse impacts of global climate change will be lessen generally if WE reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we're putting into the atmosphere and instead of cutting trees we need to plant more.

I have read the report “Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines” by World Bank and I was impressed on how they articulately quantified all the details and findings from the study. I was wondering if the recommendations were taken, if it was, I wanted to know where we at right now and since the recommendations are on a higher level, what other recommendations can we present on a lower scale?

Submitted by Kristhine Jane Ocampo on

Climate Change
 
There was a time when you would tune in or read the news and the term “climate change” was rarely discussed. These days climate change seems to be at the forefront of headlines in media due to its encompassing effect worldwide.
 
Climate change needs to take this place as the one of the biggest worldwide social issues because it has the potential indicate how our future will look like.

I agree with the World Bank report highlighting the government need to properly finance the climate change plan, monitor the implementation of the plans and build the capacity to establish the plans. Most of all to give priority on knowledge based studies.
 
Beyond the report of the World Bank and the policies given by the government, we should prepare and look at the society where the plans will be set in motion.
 
Locally, Filipinos are quite aware of climate change as we have been affected vastly and repeatedly for the past decade. The destruction that the super typhoons brought to several parts of the country cannot be forgotten, due to the large amount of property destruction and the lost of lives. Almost everyone in the Philippines can relate a personal story of how a typhoon or flooding caused trouble to their daily lives.
 
What we must remember is that climate change is not only a force that can create moments of massive destruction instantaneously. Silently and gradually, it can also starve us by making the water supply erratic, causing our food supply chain to be broken. These effects can already be seen in some parts of the country experiencing drought.
 
In my opinion, while government policies are well and good, the battle for climate change is fought by each and every individual on a daily basis. If everyone will do their ;part in reducing their carbon footprint by just a little bit, we would experience massive cuts in carbon emissions.
 
In this regard, I believe that there is a lack of information dissemination of active ways an individual can help. While climate change is always talked about in the local and foreign media, while we know that there is a problem and while its effects are not unknown to us, the typical Filipino is not aware of how they would do their part.
 
To many Filipinos, “helping the environment” is merely “throwing trash in a garbage bin” so that it doesn’t clog the sewage system. While this is helpful, it is merely one of the many things that an individual Filipino can do.
 
A nationwide education and awareness campaign, reminding the Filipino that managing climate change is in their hands by what they do on a daily basis, will have huge effects in reducing emissions. If every Filipino becomes aware of this fact, the plans, activities and programs to reduce emissions will eventually manifest itself in the transport and industrial sectors.
 
This is what I feel the government, education sector, the media and civil society can work together to start a positive change. Beyond policy, the call to get everyone involved through small acts in human behaviour will create a big effect. Through these step by step advancement, we give ourselves and the next generations a promising future.

Submitted by Nikko Hernandez on

Good day.

In my opinion, we are the main reason why we are experiencing climate change. With the rise of globalization, industrialization, and capitalism we overlook or disregard the importance of our environment.

Such an obvious example is that of the current society's consumption of combustable fuels for vehicles. It is clear that the air we breathe in today is not as good as what it used to be. We took for granted the use of petroleum and did not so much pay attention to the emissions that it created thus affecting our environment, especially in urbanized areas such as Manila.

Yes, the government devised a plan in controlling vehicles with bad emissions, but is it really that effective or implemented? With the current number of vehicles in Manila alone, there are still a lot of which produce black smoke from their mufflers and why is it? Does the government not take this seriously?

The above given example is just a small scale operation compared to that of what the World Bank is planning. Also a part of this plan is the increase of funds for the operation of the said program. How can we be sure that the monetary fund will be utilized for the sole purpose of the plan taking in consideration how corrupt the Philippine government is?

This is not a rant. I am only highlighting the argument for my point. My point is we all need to participate in preserving our environment. In order to do so, we must oblige to the rules and most importantly, the government and the people governing should be the first to follow it and hold it as their virtue.

Submitted by Louderick Mercado on

This World Bank article was written before Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck the country and caught the Aquino administration clearly unprepared. With thousands of lives and billions of properties permanently vanished and destroyed, and the slow rehabilitation of affected areas, I am now positive that the author of this article is now cynical on this administration’s commitment to address the problem of Climate Change. Simply institutionalizing the Climate Change Commission (CCC) who was tasked to formulate the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) is not enough. This is not enough because in reality, the NCCAP has no power at all because the results of its studies will only be taken as mere advises and recommendations by the government agencies that implement climate change strategies. Even the People’s Survival Plan (PSF), which was anticipated to strengthen the government’s campaign in increasing climate change adaptability, is also prone to corruption because it was designed using pork barrel mechanism.

Considering these realities, below are my three suggestions to genuinely address the climate change issue in the Philippines:
1. We can address climate change by urging our government to discontinue the liberalization of agriculture, mining, and other extractive industries. This will stop to the rapid depletion of natural resources, degradation of environment, and displacement of indigenous and proletariat communities in the country.
2. We can address climate change by urging our government to re-claim important public utilities and industries, such as the energy and transportation sectors, which has been privatized. This will stop the proliferation of destructive energy projects, ranging from coal- generated power plants to land-grabbing renewable energy projects.
3. We can address climate change by choosing pro-people and pro-environment leaders. The first two solutions will adversely affect the ruling elite in the country, only leaders who have genuine desire to serve will have the courage to implement them. Stop electing the same type of leaders who will only promote the interest of profit-driven capitalist and elite.

President Benigno Aquino Jr. delivered a speech full of lies in front of world leaders during the 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) Climate Talks in Paris, France last December. This is where he claimed that his administration has improved the disaster risk management in our country and made fictitious promises to address climate change. Indeed, to genuinely address the climate change issue in the Philippines, we must address the root of the crisis first. We need to totally change the system of deceit and corruption that we currently have!

Submitted by Juan Paolo Roque on

To adapt to climate change is to not only be aware of how the this change is rapidly changing our way of living (and actually threatening our very existence itself), but to actually do something about it no matter how minute or insignificant it may seem to us.

My family owns a farm and as such I am quite aware of the many adaptations farmers are implementing to be able to yield large harvests. The staple food for the Filipino’s is rice. Rice is a very delicate crop to grow. From the moment that it has been replaced to the rice paddies until the grains are already showing and almost ready for harvest, one must take note of the weather. With the climate change however, farmers are having a hard time determining when to start planting. With huge downpours that lasts for days (and are not caused by a typhoon) now it always seems to be a gamble as the weather is almost unpredictable.

Hybrid Rice, and other innovations in farming are being introduced. But then all of this is not enough if the climate change will continue to get worse. Rice being the staple food of the Filipino’s will have a huge impact on the country’s economy.

In the end perhaps the best adaptation to climate change, is to do something with our lifestyles and to not only slow down, or prevent the change, but also to aim to eventually return it back to how it used to be. And for this cause, each and every one of us in this planet we call home should be made aware of what we can do, no matter how little it may seem in contrast to the billions of people out there, to fight climate change.

Submitted by Hannah Roa on

Climate change, as pointed out in the report, is a global crisis, and the Philippines is among the most vulnerable countries to it. However, the report’s results also show that the national Government of the Philippines has not fully prioritized preparing for climate change. I know that in order to successfully deal with climate change, everyone, whether great or small, has to help out. However, how can we expect the common people to organize themselves into dealing with climate change, when the Government itself is showing signs of major disorganization? The answer, we can’t. Which is why most of what I am about to say has to do with flaws in higher places.
I believe that the government is a little too soft or ‘lenient’ in implementing policies regarding climate change. The report said that a major hindrance is that some Local Government Units (LGUs) do not fully cooperate with the Government’s plans/policies for climate change. But instead of waiting/asking for their support, the Government should just give them an ultimatum: ‘All LGUs must support the national Government and its policies regarding climate change, and LGUs that do not comply will be disabled (unless they can state valid reasons).’ This way, everyone will be made to see the urgency of our situation.
One of the ways the Government has decided to ‘deal’ with climate change is by creating more and more national institutions to ‘deal’ with it. Effectively, the Government is passing on the responsibility of dealing with climate change to these other organizations. And sadly, even these organizations are not too sure of what they are doing; the report clearly states that there are overlapping responsibilities, action plans, and policies, especially between the CCA and the DDRM, and because of this, coordination between the two organizations is hindered. Having more organizations does not necessarily mean a greater chance of solving the problem, as pointed out, a lot of the organizations are principally doing the same thing. Why not just merge similar organizations to remove conflicts regarding responsibilities and duties? This makes for a more united front for dealing with climate change, and also saves time in coordination and communications because there is no need to have to formally address another organization, pass through all of the formalities, and then finally state the main message to the recipient.
Another clear sign of disorganization is the lack of united standardization. According to the report, existing Monitoring & Evaluating (M&E) systems do not all follow the same standards. Different M&Es have different ways of reporting and collecting data, this makes comparing data unnecessarily more difficult. Instead, the Government should clearly define what all M&Es are purposed to do and exactly what data is to be collected, doing so generates a sense of uniformity among all M&E systems and will guide them in gathering useful data. Another example of lack of united standardization is that there are development plans that are only partially aligned with climate reform efforts thereby reducing their effectiveness. The Government should not allow the passing of any development plans that are not fully in sync with plans for climate reform; it should be stricter, once again showing people how dire our situation is.
Another major flaw highlighted in the report is the incompetence of most employees working in these national institutions that deal with climate change. It was made clear that most employees were clueless about climate policies, financing, and institutions, this is probably due to a lack of proper training. And on top of that, the report’s findings indicate that the employees do not have accessible ways of gaining more knowledge, so they remain insufficiently informed or trained. To fix this, the institutions should properly orient their employees, giving them the information necessary for them to work competently. And in case they have questions, the institutions should have enough capable staff on hand to answer them.
And lastly, the Government should strike a balance between remedying current losses and preparing to mitigate future ones. The report highlights the fact that regarding damages caused by climate change, the Government has dedicated more funds to fixing damages already caused by flooding and other climate-change-related disasters compared to funds for preparing for the future. There is nothing wrong with that in itself; after all, it is a completely necessary step. But as the popular saying goes, ‘Prevention is better than cure.’ By preparing for the future, we greatly reduce the potential deaths, and save the Philippines from massive costs in damages.
I am not saying that this is all the national Government’s fault. After all, the above adjustments and suggestions are easier said than done, all I am saying is that there are other, more efficient ways to deal with climate change. And hopefully, under the Government’s lead, we will be able to amply prepare for the inevitable.

Submitted by Allan del Rosario on

Human civilization has been paving an imminent climate change, in fact it’s been (gradually) happening since. I always put the majority of the task to the Philippine government when it comes to climate change or global warming awareness for the Filipino people. Unfortunately, and I think it’s pretty apparent (to date) that failures does exist both within the government (i.e., officials/staffs) whom are supposed to be the one championing addressing the problem with climate change, corruption here and there, nothing new, and Filipinos themselves (perhaps including myself). If we (Filipinos) will only have selfless officials (or at least less corrupt), there’s a great chance that awareness will be properly and efficiently rolled to public, likewise if we (people other than the government) would only care to listen and obey/follow the plans that the government has set, we (as a nation) would be able to adapt global warming. Whether we like or not, climate change is inevitable and the warming will continue to progress as we (Filipinos) are not the only occupants of the world. But despite this, we can still make a difference (regardless of the size) if we Filipinos will make a way to do so. Perhaps it is not by eliminating earthquake, flash floods or typhoons from happening but at least we could do something to lessen the bad impact, and being prepared to such scenarios would make a difference and thereby sustain and/or saves Filipino lives. Though we typically having budget issue for the most part of the plans, strategies and actions, however I always believe that, above all, knowledge or proper education is the key to climate change adaptability for us Filipinos.

Submitted by Joel Santos on

Residents of Davao City have experienced the most unlikely floods and heat waves and their first storm signal no. 1 in the last 5 years. As a resident of Davao, it has been difficult to accept that our city is not anymore as much as the land of promise as it has always been touted to be. I cannot find any other reason for the changes that we have been experiencing in our city other than climate change. Resilience being primordial in every Filipino, Davaoenos have been able to adapt easily to the changes that they have been encountering lately. Our local 911 service have procured rescue vehicles for the forth-coming storms and medical equipment that can be used for people whose health may be affected by the abrupt changes in the present weather conditions. Due to the unpredictable temperature surges in the last few weeks, members of the lower to middle class groups have found refuge in air-conditioned malls while the affluent upper class groups have the luxury of staying in the comforts of their air-conditioned houses and bedrooms the entire day to beat the heat. What is bothersome about what the people of Davao have resorted to to be able to adapt to this new culture or situation that we have been force to adjust to is that all these contribute to further destruction of the environment which leads to the greater ill-effects of climate change. The city's 911 team motorised vehicles' carbon emission will contribute to the pollution and the prolonged use of air conditioners would increase the demand for electricity that is supplied by a coal plant that is known to likewise damage the environment. Given the above-mentioned situation, it scares me that we do not seem to have better choices as to how to adapt to our present day situation anymore because all the choices we are left with lead to the destruction of the environment. It is good to know however, that the present administration is serious in dealing with the problems that climate change has brought at hand. It may take some time before both private and government agencies will be able to polish their policies regarding climate change. However, if each one who is a part of the agencies take by heart their roles in helping our nation in facing the problems brought about by climate change I don’t think it would take that long before they are able to formulate better policies and guidelines that would greatly benefit our country. Given what World Bank had said in their report, I do think that the Philippines is on the right track except for the fact that there are people in our government whose motives of being part of the agencies are very questionable. I cannot help but doubt why some projects which could not have passed the provisions and requirements of our present environmental laws were approved by certain government agencies. It is sad that some people would take advantage of their position for their personal gain at the expense of the country’s welfare. While it is true that we should trust and rely on our government to lead and guide us but given the kind of corrupted culture prevalent in our government right now, I do think that it will be best to start relying on ourselves first. Why don’t we all just find ways by which we can help address climate change on our own. It wouldn’t hurt if we sacrifice certain comforts to lessen our contribution to the problem and lead by example and not wait for others and the government to do their job.

Submitted by Raul Osila Jr. on

Everyone is Responsible

Everytime you open the television, read the news paper, or listen to the radio, you will hear news regarding global warming or climate change; however it is not until the recent years that we felt its effect.

Over the last five (5) years we have experienced typhoons that devastated our country and decimated entire cities in just one night. Even a torrential rain can cause floods recently which made our government take global warming seriously.

Today, the government has made some steps to address the problem by creating Climate Change Commission that is tasked with planning, execution, and financing the framework for climate change. Even local government has acknowledge that they too will need to make some steps address climate change issue by passing a government ordinance that will ban the use of plastic which is now implemented in most cities in the Philippines.

However, all these steps by the Government will be for naught if we as citizens of the Philippines will not do our part as well. We need to acknowledge that global warming is real and it affects us one way or another.

In conclusion, everyone is responsible in addressing the climate change problem. All the planning and financing of the government with regards to the issue will yield no results if "WE" don't play out part as well.

Submitted by Domingo Burayag - VIII on

We must act now!

Upon watching the BBC’s two-part documentary about Climate Change, entitled, “The Truth about Climate Change”, presented by David Attenborough, then that was the time, I would say that I am aware about what it is all about.

These days, when we talk about Climate Change, we tend to mean changes that we, the human being, brought about. In contrary, according to him, we all know that the climate of our planet has always changed from the pasts cause by some natural phenomenon such as cosmic events.

Some of us are aware that the earth is being transformed, but not by natural events, we mentioned above, but by our activities, an action that results to unleashing the forces of nature by altering the climate. We all know that we don’t have power over nature, but that’s not the case of Global Warming, with our actions, we are gradually changing the amount of energy that the earth is received from the sun, but how we all asked?

The protagonist slash antagonist of the story is the infamous Carbon Dioxide. It is one of the many gases that we have to take into account with the Global Warming or famously known as the Green House Effect. Once it’s in the atmosphere, it simply traps the sun’s energy, keeping the planet warm. But before that, hundreds of millions of years ago, the forests took so much Carbon Dioxide out of the atmosphere and they reduce the GH effect, and cool our planet down, and when the trees died, they were buried with the CO still within them.

To continue, those buried trees became coals and what we called fossil fuels. Now, in the present time, the coals are being carried up to the surface to be burned, to maneuver our Power Stations which provide us electricity. Oil and Gas, like coal are also types of fossil fuel, when such fuel burned, the Carbon, recombined with Oxygen, going back to the atmosphere as Carbon Dioxide. The more CO we have in the atmosphere, the further our planet becomes warm.

The key is that atmosphere is shaping our climate.

The domino effect of that phenomenon, results in unprecedented collapse and melting of the glaciers in Greenland, which lead to rising sea level globally. Climatic extremes such as Drought, cause by the disruptive rain pattern, affects our agricultural land. The rising sea temperature can dissipate more vapors resulting to more powerful hurricane, not to mention the impact of severe and frequent Coral Bleaching to the thousands of species associated with it because of this kind of sea temperature.

I believe it is not too late, or should I say, we must act now, before it becomes too late.

Thank you for creating the Climate Change Commission to address this very important matter, we are facing now, and with the comprehensive analysis and report of the World Bank, entitled, Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review, we are confident to take the right path to implement what is necessary, and use that report as the strict guidelines of each action plans the CCC needed to achieve, and serves as a backbone of the said Commission’s logistics as a whole.

Now, as an individual, we have to enforce our contribution to make all this happen, starting from living efficiently with our everyday lives, such as; disposing our garbage accordingly, avoid unnecessary trips using fossil-fuel induce vehicles, on a short distance travel, walking or riding on a bicycle is the most effective way to resolve that, and last but not the least, effective usage of the electricity.
To the government, please educate us, please expose us, and make our fellow citizen be aware of what is happening right now, of what Climate Change is.

This is not just for us, but for our kids, our grandchildren, and great grand children who will inherit the earth, and bear in mind that we have a responsibility to answer them what we have done during our generation, have we really take an action to save their future?

-Thank you.

Submitted by Marie Paz Aromin on

Pope Francis addressed one of the major problem that we are facing today about climate change. He said that "Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political, and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day“ (Chapter 1 paragraph 25, A campaign of the Regeneration Project)

We are experiencing the effect of climate change due to our own behavior.
Indeed human behavior is very subjective where researchers used this to study psychology in an objective and systematic way. We should all be concern about climate change/global warming by educating people around the world. Its now time to educate our children about climate change and its effects.

In order to effectively address global and reduce the disaster risk in the country, the Government should have additional mitigation actions towards climate change . We should ask help from government official to be more efficient and to take more responsibility for their action.

To protect our planet, changing our behavior will help reduce the human impact on the climate and this is essential for future generations.
How many "YOLANDA" are we willing to take before we do something.
It is NOW time to ACT globally before its to LATE.

Submitted by Keizer Philip B. Ancajas on

Climate change is one of the biggest world problems that we are facing today and as you said, it is upon us. I mean you are right in stating that we don’t need a scientific mind to know this, you can just observe it nowadays. The problem is we are taking blows from typhoon that are empowered by this climate change and most of the people are not doing anything against it, they are more likely to blame God, Karma or bad luck than just themselves.

We are the reason that this is happening, and sometimes most of us can see it. We are the cause of the pollution. We are the ones who are power hungry and we are the one who tears up to forest for money. The government is doing whatever they can do just to preserve our environment; they are most likely willing to pay a lot of money just to raise awareness.

We just don’t need to raise awareness, there are a lot of people that are aware of what they are doing is wrong. They chose to do it because they are hungry. One of the main reasons that deforestation is amidst our country is because of poverty. They are doing this because of their families, they are hungry, they need money for their survival and they are willing to do anything. We don’t need to raise awareness anymore, what we need to do is to take action on the people. We need to get rid of poverty so we may stand chance against it. We can prepare and protect everything but they will get in. No matter what we do, because they need to survive. We can give this people jobs, it’s what they need lets give them the opportunity to protect our nature as their job. They will do a better job than the others and they can also be subjected into tourism.

So far we have raised the awareness for the people to know, we have launched different programs or projects for us to adapt to this climate change and prevent it. We must give our people the sense of responsibility in the most rewarding way, they will be positively reinforced and they will be encouraged to do it again. We can’t just raise the basic salary, and I just stated that these people don’t have any jobs more or less skills to have one. But we can give them opportunities.

I know that we are not that much of a contributor to the world in terms of dealing with climate change but we know that all big things started small. For being an individual that is part of a growing society, we must make a difference; we need to start now before it’s too late. We must make every person accountable of what is happening. This is our world, we are all affected of this problem, thereare no safe havens or anything. It’s either we preserve it or we die with it. As an individual who is part of the world, it’s our choice.

Submitted by Diana Tan on

I think climate change is happening around the world and not only in the Philippines. The only difference is people from other countries are prepared in handling such situation as soon as they know typhoons, floods, hurricanes are coming to hit their country. The problem in the Philippines is that the government keep on having these plans of doing this and that...budget for disaster program, budget for every government agencies they can think of and they do that after the calamities have passed already and a lot of people have died. Rains and typhoons hit the country many times in a month and floods has been an issue but they don't do anything to fix the drainage issue why is it flooding with just a few drops of rains. They should use the budget they say they have for the specified program and show something and not just talk about it when its happening. Our government doesn't have a proper evacuation centers for people who are affected by the typhoons or floods at least create a decent and livable surroundings for the people just like how Japan had when they were hit by Hurricanes/Typhoons. Implementation and provide teachings to public and not just chit chat to show off on television to make them look good. We need to plant more trees to help prevent flooding because of people cutting down trees and not replacing them creates a bigger issue in the environment that causes climate change, dispose garbage properly and recycle what can be recycled. We can't stop climate change but we can do something to lessen the chaos or destruction it will create when it comes. We are the one who are responsible for the changes in our environment and now by being irresponsible individual the problems came to us ten folds. Let's help each other and one another to make it place to live with for us and for the new generation that's coming.

Submitted by Allysa Mae Valencia on

Our country, the Philippines, as being vulnerably exposed in disastrous weather-related events such as typhoons, drought, and the like, one must assume that the government and its citizens are aware of the continuous change of the climate and knowledgeable of how and why we need to prevent these ever-changing circumstances of weather conditions. However, seeing the current state of our country today, I believe I can say that not enough awareness is shown in our nation and not much action is being done. Nonetheless, as I have read the World Bank report about the climate change in the Philippines, I have learned that our government is aware and is taking action in managing and monitoring reduction and prevention of plausible risks of disasters. They have centralized in making new institutions like the CCC (Climate Change Commission), which harmonizes departments and agencies on all climate policies; and acts such as the Climate Change Act, which “represents priorities from mitigation to adaptation”. They are also conscious of their weaknesses regarding the insufficient number of knowledge and staff towards climate policies and institutions; thus, their plans and obligations in strengthening the aforementioned. In summary, the government is doing well in handling environmental deterioration and climate change on their part. But how about our part, the individuals? To save our country in the consequences of climate change, the actions of the government is not enough; we must also be aware and knowledgeable about what is happening to the climate of our country — we also have huge obligations as citizens of this nation. Protecting our environment does not merely mean “not littering” or “avoiding the use of vehicles from time to time because of gas emissions”. We, the individuals, need to know more about what and how we can do on our part — plans, preparations, obligations, etc. — and not just always rely on the government preparing and fixing everything for us. Awareness and more knowledge in this matter are what, not just our government but all of us, need to possess for a better well-being of our nation for the present and upcoming generations.

Submitted by Anne Bacomo on

In the midst of all the issues in the world and in the Philippines, it is commendable that institutions have been formed in order to maintain the effects of climate change and to prevent further damage. However, it must be stressed that the penchant for “ningas-kugon” in the Philippines is unacceptable for such a significant movement. The government and the people must follow through if a sizeable change for the better is to be achieved.

To prevent further damage to the Earth, the political issues, greed, ignorance, and laziness must be put aside to give way to a cooperative attitude towards plans against climate change. Instead of more plans on how to adapt to climate change that are, most often than not, propelled by thoughts of profit gain, the various industries in the Philippines must incorporate maintenance and preventive measures in their business strategies. Instead of delaying proper implementation due to political disputes, a united political stand and action on climate change must be established. And, instead of donning metaphorical horse blinkers, citizens of the Philippines must raise their awareness and willingness to cooperate. After all, everything that we know and do and everything that we are and the comforts that we are accustomed to will all prove to be trivial if the Earth becomes inhabitable.

I sincerely hope that the next administration will continue to abide by the Climate Change Act, improve and effectively implement the National Climate Change Action Plan, and support the programs and institutions that take action. Furthermore, I hope that society will attain an increased awareness and cooperation before it’s too late.

Pages

Add new comment