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

Lucille L. Sering's picture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image courtesy of audiovisualjunkie through a Creative Commons license

Comments

Submitted by Janelle Lero on

This is a wide depth topic to discuss. I will state two purviews about this topic. First, we can consider it as, how a community, and society and as a whole Filipino community adapt to this change. And second, a much personal view and take about this topic.

BACKGROUND
Climate change is also called as global warming. It refers to the alteration of the average weather in a place. This change can cause hazardous happenings to the people.
People are the ones who took away the innocence of the environment. From deforestation to mining and quarries, wastes and pollution we incur, and other methods we use to achieve civilization and urbanization, these are the mere causes of climate change. Some believe that these developments are truly significant in this world that we live in. But on the other hand, the price to pay is the destruction of our nature and environment. Little did we know that even Earth has its own limitation.

FILIPINOS as a COMMUNITY
I believe that Filipinos, as a whole, do not really make immense adjustments on dealing with this climate change. By that, I mean, it is because most of us still live the way we do. Despite the tragic climate change and its after effect we experience, we still opt to live the comfortable and uncomplicated life we are living. Yes, we adapt when the calamities are there. When we already experience such tragedies that developed from climate change. But after, we come back to the way we are continuing our everyday lives.
Yes, there are several groups that promote awareness on climate change. Its disadvantages and possible threat to the community, but it will always be up to the person itself. If one person decides to help and adapt and change his way of living, then that would be a thing. Still, if the ratio would be 1:9, being one as the changer, and nine bluntly ignoring the threats, it will always be behind the fast-changing climate we are already experiencing now. But, if those golden hearts have touched each and everyone’s hearts and mind, that is a big thing. It will be the start of something and possibly, the change we need.
But this is not about whether yes or no – are you adapting to climate change. This is a question of how are we adapting. This comes down to an individual himself.

A PERSONAL VIEW
As an individual living in the Philippines and as a Filipino, I personally and honestly have to admit that I slowly adapt to climate change. I cannot precipitously change my comfortable life. But I am aware and thankful to the NGOs, LGUs or mother-nature-oriented organizations to their campaigns in helping the world, thus informing us on the rapid climate change, and its effects.
Considering these things, I conform my way of living by doing things, and some are as follows:
• As much as possible, I do not use plastic form stuff. Say, straw and plastic bags, etc.
There are also cities and towns that support this advocacy. They have been supporting the “No Plastic Policy”. It will be a great deal if the whole nation do this. (But that’s a lot of pros and cons – so we’re leaving it at this point)
• I exercise the segregation of garbage on our home. This practice is an organized way of having things that can be recycled, or/and things that can be used as fertilizers, lessening the things that can be thrown.
• Help in projects that plant more trees.
• I personally and purposely do not throw my trash everywhere. If I have to keep it in my bag the whole day, I will.
There is no definite way on solving the worsening case of climate change. Especially to us Filipinos that have been experiencing these calamities since ages. But for sure, we can do things that will not help in aggravating climate change. To help in not somehow quickly losing our nature and our world. Being ready to secure our families, our properties and others is the least we could do to prevent losing everything we have and everything we worked hard for.

In conclusion to this discussion, I certainly believe that the will to live safe and long is the key for us to have the peaceful community we ever dreamed of.

The best way to adapt on climate change is to be alert and be ready.

I www.italpinas.comalso want to share with you a blog that lists 5 ways on being able to adjust on climate change. It might be of help. See link below:

Submitted by CANDICE TIONGSON on

“Change is the only constant in life.” – Heraclitus

The degree of severity that our environment has come to is so great and evident that even the survival of the human species is being questioned.

I may have only lived in this world for a little of over 17 years, but even I can see how much damage we have caused to the environment. During my childhood, I can still recall being able to play outside with my neighbors—be it under the warmth of the sun or the chilly rain. Nowadays however, being under it in the wrong time and being exposed too long to the cancer-causing sun and acidic water drops can prove to bear dire consequences. Gone are the joys of just basking in the beauty of nature.

Nowadays—environment-wise—, the Philippines is being put under harsh calamities and catastrophes. Without a doubt, we are living in a hazardous world. Coupled with earthquakes, floods, El Niño, La Niña, and the like, all these have become a part of our country’s identity. The people—most especially the less fortunate—struggle not only in their everyday lives but they are most especially lost during the aforementioned hard times. And this should now prove to be a call for change.

Climate change is an issue that is used to be inactively managed or thought of by the population. In my humble opinion, that is where the issue truly lies in: our absence of concern towards this matter from the start, and our slow response/remedy now that we’ve suffered Mother Nature’s scorn. We frequently rely on the fact that we would always be able to stand up again and move forward. The statement, “better late than never”, accurately portrays the poor actions of our government to provide countermeasures or solutions to the environmental problems. I only wish it was that easy, though—for the government to say that “Ay, sorry we’re late. Pero n’andito na kami, kalma lang at tiwala lang, malalagpasan din natin ‘to.” But the Filipinos’ resilience is not enough.

I do believe, however, that not all shall be in vain. First and foremost, the people need to have awareness instilled in them. It needs to be a part of them. According to Mencius, human nature is originally good. If the nation emphasizes the consequences of abusing our surroundings, then it is possible to save not only our country but also the world. If, for example, they are shown the poverty of their fellowmen, then in their good human nature they shall sympathize and would not want to contribute to the already low situation. Furthermore, to support Mencius’ point of view, is that people have a sense of righteousness and would be ashamed of being caught doing something wrong such as being seen throwing litters on the ground (In modern times, for this reason, people look around before inconspicuously dropping their trash in public.). Not only that, I recommend that punishment be duly served for those found guilty of contributing to the destruction of our environment.

Yes, our environment is changing: for the worse. But who’s to say that we can’t turn it back around and start helping Mother Nature change for the better?

It is not too late. If even each and every individual would change himself and would start now, then I have faith that we would able to see a brighter future in our lifetime.

Submitted by Eduardo Davad on

Mitigation and adaptation

The devastation wrought by Typhoon Ondoy in 2009 was a wake-up call to Filipinos who regard climate change as some vague idea trumpeted by tree-huggers. Suddenly, Metro Manilans, who thought they lived in a place relatively safe from extreme weather disturbances, woke up to a scene straight out of the Old Testament, Noah’s time—impossibly high floodwaters no one has ever seen before.

Suddenly, the government is quick to respond to the threat, what with the seat of government having a front-row seat to the possible destruction of their assets—all kinds of laws were passed to address the problem, all kinds of government agencies were put up, and along with them all kinds of funds followed.

Something good came out of the tragedy, awareness among them. Now, evacuation orders are taken seriously. Now, people join town meetings conducted by the government and NGOs about preparedness. Now we know that a slight change in the ocean temperature is enough to increase sea levels, which, in turn, could threaten our human habitation and food sources, since we live in an archipelagic country. Now we know that climate change is a global problem felt firsthand on our shores. Now we are introduced to the word “mitigation, ” coupled with “climate change.”

Fast forward to 2013, when Yolanda, the biggest typhoon in recorded history to ever make a landfall, hit Central Philippines, killing thousands and sending the economy reeling. The same problems that were supposed to be addressed by all the planning, monitoring, evaluation from all the government agencies put up for this purpose are still evident—in fact, three years after the tragedy, thousands of families still live in shelters waiting for permanent resettlement.

We should have added another word to our tragedy lexicon: “adaptation.” All the laws and government agencies and funds are useless in the face of a lack of local action and coordination, and most especially implementation. More than having a simple reactionary response to disasters, reconstruction efforts must incorporate safeguards against future natural disasters. Our ability to adapt traditional practices to a changing climate is key to our survival against extreme weather conditions.

Submitted by Eleanor R. De Leon on

Climate change is the effect of global warming caused by human activities such as burning of fuels needed to operate both private and public utility vehicles and machineries used in industries like factories. Another cause of global warming is deforestation or the cutting down of trees which can cause warming of the earth. We know that the trees can help absorb carbon dioxide and methane gases which hold too much heat in the atmosphere. So these human activities increase the temperature and eventually change climate which affects us. This change in our climate is beyond our control, what we can do is to be aware and prepared to find ways to prevent if not be able to stop it completely. So I would like to share some ways to mitigate situation in our country.
1. Observe or overseer weather reports as much as often as we use our face book and any news report and other social media that informs people of the weather. Many of us really don’t read on weather reports and sometimes it’s not our regular habit to check the weather condition when we live our houses. So be prepared when the storms sets in and be aware of what is happening.
2. Examine our ways in which we live. Each of us has carbon footprint. We can certainly and absolutely relieve and lessen carbon levels by holding our personal and individual discharge or outflow. Do what is good and right. “Do not grow weary in doing well because in a proper time we will reap a harvest if we will not give up.”
3. Observe the strongly built of our houses. Since that we know we are prone to many calamities, we should check the durability of the walls and roofs against the more intense of the weather condition.
4. Plant more trees around our houses. It will certainly soothe down our houses, which will reduce or minimize the use of fans and air conditioners. It feels our environment cooler and fresher with more trees planted around the house. But for those without lawns, gardens or big area, good alternatives are potted plants. It will help the environment green and warm.
5. Let us observe and check procedure, operation or activity, for those who are working in the agricultural industry. To avoid destruction, let us apply the new method in whatever problems may occur. Try to initiate experiment or project into indigenous crop varieties that might not produce high yields such as their commercials counterparts but are durable and would be less prone to damages caused by intense weather.
6. Aside from that while staying in the house we can minimize the used of the electricity by unplugging or switching off appliances and other electrical devises if not in use.
In these ways we can contribute how to help prevent the cause of global warming and can help us not to experience too much difficulty when change climate occur.

Submitted by Darlene Libre on

As a Filipino I can say that I am very used to the unpleasant weather since I was a kid. I mean, you are not a Filipino if you really haven’t experienced heat and typhoons. We have extremely hot summer than any other country in Asia. We have heavy rains from months of May to August that are heavier than other countries. We were well accustomed to these that is why we have lived in a pattern; we learned what to do during dry season and what not to do during wet season. As the year passes by, population multiplies and industry grows, we are losing this pattern. The summer gets hotter with some acid rain and, surprisingly, wet season won’t even drop a rain.

They said last year was the start of climate change, I said No!, because climate change has started years ago when our mountains especially in Rizal, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, Zambales and Baguio changed from green to brown. It started when floods got worse in Metro Manila, when fish market failed to supply the demand and livestock started to have infections. Climate change isn’t natural, it is US. We cannot deny that we have our prints on those carbons in the air. Climate change is inevitable, as what they always say we cannot stop it but we can lessen it.

Filipinos are naturally adaptive to anything. We can easily adapt to dry season for the whole year just like last 2015 during the El Nino. We have started to be aware of the water scarcity and also have started to monitor the weather. Tree plantings are also a thing now. We have started to observe bin segregation, stopped illegal fishing and started to recycle the plastics we consume every day. Aside from the usual tree planting, water watch-out and weather monitoring, our government has also created new institutions and plans for a better adaptation on the climate change. Each LGU (Local Government Unit) has their own, environment protection program and disaster awareness program that they strictly implement. Though some has been successful, some has also failed perhaps due to the budget or the capability of the community. These institutions can do so much but without the individual initiative these will just be sadly kept in papers.

We have been thru Ondoy, Yolanda and a lot, And those has been are wake up call. Thouhg,I can say that the PPAs are better implemented now than before. All we need is the consistency within ourselves and the continuous government monitoring. I don’t want to say that these acts are too late because I am not pessimistic, instead I’ll say that this is a good start.

Submitted by Darlene Libre on

As a Filipino I can say that I am very used to the unpleasant weather since I was a kid. I mean, you are not a Filipino if you really haven’t experienced heat and typhoons. We have extremely hot summer than any other country in Asia. We have heavy rains from months of May to August that are heavier than other countries. We were well accustomed to these that is why we have lived in a pattern; we learned what to do during dry season and what not to do during wet season. As the year passes by, population multiplies and industry grows, we are losing this pattern. The summer gets hotter with some acid rain and, surprisingly, wet season won’t even drop a rain.

They said last year was the start of climate change, I said No!, because climate change has started years ago when our mountains especially in Rizal, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, Zambales and Baguio changed from green to brown. It started when floods got worse in Metro Manila, when fish market failed to supply the demand and livestock started to have infections. Climate change isn’t natural, it is US. We cannot deny that we have our prints on those carbons in the air. Climate change is inevitable, as what they always say we cannot stop it but we can lessen it.

Filipinos are naturally adaptive to anything. We can easily adapt to dry season for the whole year just like last 2015 during the El Nino. We have started to be aware of the water scarcity and also have started to monitor the weather. Tree plantings are also a thing now. We have started to observe bin segregation, stopped illegal fishing and started to recycle the plastics we consume every day. Aside from the usual tree planting, water watch-out and weather monitoring, our government has also created new institutions and plans for a better adaptation on the climate change. Each LGU (Local Government Unit) has their own, environment protection program and disaster awareness program that they strictly implement. Though some has been successful, some has also failed perhaps due to the budget or the capability of the community. These institutions can do so much but without the individual initiative these will just be sadly kept in papers.

We have been thru Ondoy, Yolanda and a lot, And those has been are wake up call. Though,I can say that the PPAs are better implemented now than before. All we need is the consistency within ourselves and the continuous government monitoring. I don’t want to say that these acts are too late because I am not pessimistic, instead I’ll say that this is a good start.

Submitted by Eli Vivero on

I join the many Filipinos surveyed by SWS in saying that I/we are now experiencing the effects of climate change. Interestingly, this blog was published months before Supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan) hit my hometown. Though I was not there when Yolanda lambasted Tacloban, I saw how the typhoon and climate change have destroyed lives and ruined futures.

I went back home a month after Yolanda, and I experienced living without electricity and depending on small solar panels and generators for power. While in Tacloban, I was introduced to an engineer working for a local NGO pushing for renewable/sustainable energy. They put up solar panels in remote areas that were not receiving aid/help from NGOs or the government. They also trained locals to drive and maintain e-jeeps. This experience proved that there are various sources of energy and we can cultivate them. I think that we (the government especially) should push for renewable/sustainable energy.

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One of the biggest issues related to climate change right now is the inauguration of a coal-fired plant in Davao City -- just a month after COP21 (aka 2015 Paris Climate Conference). The 300-megawatt power plant will generate additional energy for the Mindanao Grid. According to DavaoToday.com, the plant's "150-megawatt unit started commercial operations in September last year, supplying energy to more than 20 electric cooperatives and distribution utilities all over Mindanao."

At the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, 195 partiesm including the Philippines, committed to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions conditionally by 70% by 2030.

The inauguration of the Davao coal-fired plant is indeed a step back to Pres. Aquino's commitment to full decarbonization by 2050. At the same time, it goes against the goal of implementing the agreements set by the United Nations Framework on Climate Change to minimize greenhouse gas emissions to solve climate change.

What's more alarming is that 23 new coal plants are set to be completed by 2020, as per Rep. Martin Romualdez's statement in BusinessMirror.com.

Submitted by Lara Ann Patinio on

I think before anything else, the government should let the people know what Climate Change really is and how this can threaten our lives in the coming years. Sadly, most of us would only act when we are faced with a typhoon and a major flooding. Everyone seemed to be concerned and responsible in doing their share to protect our environment, but in reality we just sit comfortably until another disaster is heading us. After reading the World Bank report, I asked myself "who do we blame?" Do we turn to our government for allotting billions of pesos to combat the effects of Climate Change? or we blame ourselves for not being responsible enough to do our share? To start in our very own home, of segregating our garbage. I have to plead guilty to this, because it was only about 5 months ago since we started segregating our trash. To think that our home gets flooded every time Metro Manila experiences torrential rains. My community has witnessed and felt the effects of Climate Change, we live along Edsa in Pasay and every time there is a strong typhoon, the area of Edsa and Taft Avenue is submerged in knee deep flood. For over 60 years, our compound has not experienced any flooding. It was only until 2009 when Typhoon Ondoy flooded the whole of our compound and inside our house, reaching up to the knee. Everyone seemed concerned then, but as soon as the water subsided, the eagerness of our community flowed with it.
I think we should begin in the grassroots level, and ask the ordinary people what they really know about Climate Change or Climate Change for that matter. I think if everyone will understand what it really is, and the dangers we are about to face, things will be different. Planning and execution and sustaining climate reforms will be effortless.

Submitted by Aileen D. Domingo on

From the past years, numerous disasters had happened inside our country affecting tons of lives – as individuals, community, and citizens of this country. Seeing the effects of the Climate Change, disasters such as typhoons, floods, the rising of sea levels, etc. are often occurring. Not only did these devastating calamities destroyed infrastructures, it as well affected the economy of the country. Terrible as it may seem, these are the consequences of the misconducts and transgressions that the human race is causing to its home.

According to the World Bank report on Philippine Climate Change, the government had been developing programs and movement in creating solutions and alternatives to this global issue. Fortunately, the Philippine government is aware and is making actions to address this issue. They have the Climate Change Commission that holds its action plan in dealing to this problem.

In the current, contributors of greenhouse gases can mainly be seen on the roads – vehicles. Vehicles are said to be inevitable. Their roles are inevitable to the users – the society. What the government does to minimize the usage of vehicles (that are said to be emitters of greenhouse gases) they encourage the mass to use public transportations. In that way, private vehicles are reduced giving way to more space, reduce burned fuels, and less cause of air pollution. Moreover, e-cars/e-buses/e-jeepneys were promoted in several areas. However, a question arose to me in this area. Given that e-jeepneys are using electricity as an alternative to burned fuels, isn’t it that most if not all electric companies use fossil fuels to produce electricity? With that said, I think they do still contribute to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions.

Furthermore, I would have to agree with the survey conducted by Social Weather Station that Filipinos are experiencing the effects of a changing climate. Indeed we do. The weather here in the Philippines has been acting up like a roller coaster because based on my experience, the season that is usually cold seemed to be not that cold enough just recently. With that, I just hope that not only we Filipinos will be more cautious about the recent changing of climate that is happening. I bet we are all seeing posters and photos just like the polar bears in Antarctica being affected by the climate change. I suggest, we might as well become responsible and aware right now before it’s too late. Let us not be selfish in protecting our planet and in allowing the future generations to have a grasp on how beautiful our planet is.

Submitted by Reane April Rodrigo on

Climate change is indeed already upon us and if no action is being done, its impacts will only strengthen over time and the bigger the problem we have to face.

In line with this, I would like to share a few recent environmental issues in our city.

Last month, a coal-fired power plant was inaugurated here in Davao. The plant was developed to help solve the power shortages problem in Mindanao (yes we do have lots of rotational brownouts here), but coal plants are considered to be one of the biggest sources of carbon dioxide emissions. The President led the inauguration ceremony, however, ironically, November last year he attended the 21st UN conference for climate change or COP21. There he made commitments that the country will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a significant rate by 2030. So why are we allowing this?

Another example…

Also last month, the city council has just approved the amendment of City Land Use Plan (CLUP) which removes the 10% allotment of green space in 1 hectare (or more) of land for new and future development projects. A certain councilor said that the amendment will encourage more property investors to venture into the city. Some developers agree, of course. To them, less green space is additional space for structures (e.g. a row of single detached houses or another condominium complex), which is more profitable.

But less trees and more buildings – do we want this? Even elementary students know the benefits of trees - how they can reduce carbon dioxide in the air and how they can help lessen incidents of flooding. Also, according to the studies, every 10% increase in green space can contribute to the reduction in diseases which can be equivalent to five years increase in life expectancy.

Anyway, there are now less than 10 days left to veto amendments of CLUP; the Mayor is currently studying it according to the recent local news.

Nevertheless, examples like these are the reasons why I strongly agree with World Bank’s recommendations: strong framework, enhanced leadership (emphasis on leadership), and building country's capacity.

The coal plant may be the solution to providing sufficient power supply, but it also causes further environmental damages. Less green space may encourage more development projects but, again, it has its own share of environmental risks. We really have to think well before making a decision, otherwise it would only worsen climate condition. Sometimes a solution to a problem may become a cause to another problem.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I heard about climate change since I was in elementary which was back in the 90’s. I remembered how our teachers used to tell us the importance of caring for the environment. We only have one world to live at. Earth is the only place for us. If we will not start caring now, then we are leading this world to its early destruction.

When I finished reading all the materials related for this assignment. I felt guilty towards my attitude for the environment. Just like many of us, I was unconcerned. I got caught up in the effects of industrialization, got busy proving myself that I can contribute to the success of this current generation. But then I realized I haven’t done anything to give back to the environment. Surely, I have done a lot of things that can destroy it faster.

Climate change is rapidly accelerating and lots of human factors had caused it. We can never deny the fact that man is the most successful living creature as we were able to adapt to all sorts of surroundings, we were able to change our environment to make life more suitable for us. We have created our own environment by building large cities, with our homes, buildings and offices. We have done great things to use and modify our environment. We have achieved such extraordinary success without foreseeing the long term damaging results we have caused.

Global warming occurs when harmful gases (carbon dioxide, CFC, etc.) accumulate in the atmosphere and act like a roof that traps the heat from the sun. The main causes are rapid industrialization and population growth. We have destructed our forests to be able to adapt to this fast changing world, we have converted our forests to agriculture lands and some were made as hotels and other recreational platform. We cut down our trees to make room for buildings to accommodate the great benefit of industrialization. Due to this, there are not enough trees to absorb the gas responsible for global warming.

It is such a relief that there are movements informing us about the current situation on climate change. Philippines may not have all the means necessary to stop this phenomenon but as long as people’s awareness is heightened, there are hopes that we may prolong its effects. Man has great contribution to climate change and I am 100% positive that if we start caring now, there is surely something that we can do about this problem. Simple act like planting trees, turning off air-conditioning unit when not in use and saving papers may do a little help. It always start with ourselves, we should all at least be concerned. Accept the fact that Climate Change is a global problem that everyone should face and solve as early as now.

Submitted by Gladys Evamarie C. Calosing on

Filipinos on Climate Change, Ready or Not Here it Comes...

The Philippines is at the point of its existence wherein major problems arise and seems to have no solutions. It is a never ending rollercoaster for the Filipino Government to be in a situation that many issues are arising in our country. Such as issues of corruption, poverty, natural disasters, disaster management, climate change, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and yet we can manage to put a smile on our faces of their everyday lives.

I have been observing that most of us Filipinos are not prepared for Climate Change although the government has been advertising some key points if ever a natural calamity would happen. We are mostly relying on the things that the government has been giving us. And most Filipinos that are in need must learn not to depend on the things that the government has given. Through the help of Media or Broadcasting companies, they can play a prominent part in promoting the government’s campaign towards our battle against climate change. When we see a TV Ad. on developing how to survive or preparing for a calamity or escaping those, we do not know the proper way to be ready or to stay clam once it’s happening and the tendency is that people will cram on what to do first. Filipinos usually do that. The tendency is that people would blame the administration of the wrong things yet, they have announced and warned the people through media reports. The government must take climate change seriously, it’s nice to hear their solutions towards the problem, yet the lack of actions that are giving, are not that enough to solve the issues. I am thankful for what this administration is doing to ensure the safety of the Filipinos. However, the teamwork is within its people to necessarily adapt to climate change.

We can't alter the fact that Climate Change is already happening. We just have to embrace it and make the impact slow in our lives. Indeed, it must start with ourselves in protecting our Mother Earth. Don’t let the climate change lost thousand more lives. Let us help each other, protect our mother earth and let’s do actions instead of making talks. Always remember, the responsibility always lies within our hands.

Submitted by Romelie Pintoy on

It’s good to know that our government has exerted efforts to deal with climate change and mitigate it’s impacts since our country is in the Pacific ring of fire and very prone to natural disasters such as typhoons, floods and earthquakes. By the initiatives created such as the study Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review or CPEIR by World Bank which monitors how the funds are spent in relation to climate change, as well as forecasting the effects of global temperature, the government’s efforts will not be put to waste.
I have observed that in the past couple of years, some cities also banned the use of plastics whether in the market, grocery stores and malls to lessen the production of this non-biodegradable material. Disposal of plastics in bodies of water led to clogging of drainages and waterways which results to flooding during rainy days and stagnant waters when the rain subsides. A lot of cities have adopted this great action plan and we begin to cope without plastics as time goes by, which led to other options such as paper bags or eco bags, which is more economical and nature-friendly since we can reuse the ecobags. Thus, it’s fair to say, that Filipinos are very flexible and can readily adapt through change.
Climate change is upon us, it has affected the Filipinos over the years, the last major impact was the Typhoon Yolanda that claimed thousands of lives. Nobody has foreseen how major that disaster would be, it was unexpected. People who survived still live with that traumatic event, thus I believe that our government must organize or implement proper education programs about the environment. In my limited knowledge, I’ve learned that there are only few institutions offering such education programs/curriculum, why? Isn’t it something that everyone should be aware of? In fact, it should start from small communities like the barangay. Often, we react to the effects of the damage when it should have been a strategic process in the beginning since we are in the midst of it and must know advanced survival skills, not just running away to elevated areas or cramming in evacuation areas where there’s limited food, clean water and sanitation.
Do we really empower our people? I believe that we have the right intention but we lack the execution and follow up. Isn’t it everyone’s responsibility to be part of addressing the impacts of climate change? If we’re having difficulty reaching out to people, then why not use the media and the dialect that majority can understand? Impose it on everyone, train everyone, invest in stronger infrastructures which can withstand the effects of climate change. The solution is never out of reach, it is possible.

Submitted by Camilla Ambil on

Philippines, being a Third World country, with all its financial constraints that goes hand in hand with developing countries makes it all the more evident that it is more prone and susceptible to the ever growing threat of climate change. While it has plagued the world for some time, it seems that every day the detrimental effect it will take its toll to humanity escalates by the minute. And the alarming thing is it keeps piling up to a gigantic heap of confusion way faster than man is able to come up with remedies and solutions. Many organizations with environment-based advocacies have long been lobbying both private and public sectors alike to augment the fight against it as well as hoarding as much information to answer the existential question on how to ride it out while ensuring little effect to mankind. No effort no matter how grand or tiny goes unnoticed from the watchful eyes who have been at this since day one. But it seems even the most thorough of plans brought up by the most brilliant of minds still falls short when disorganization besets amongst the bigwigs.
I live in a coastal town in the eastern part of the country. It is directly facing the Pacific Ocean. So when supertyphoons Yolanda and Ruby battered our province, we got so much more than we braced ourselves for. Sure, we have been in the constant ‘warpath’ of typhoons since time immemorial but experiencing storm surges is like no other especially if you have no idea what it is to begin with. But what sense is there in pointing fingers? There is no exact formula in combating climate change when you’re at the bottom heap and information doesn’t reach you. Information never runs out but be that as it may, it doesn’t change the fact that for a place as far-flung as my town, it is subjected to the harsh realities of climate change. We adapt with the only way we know how: we get battered, we get up, we learn. It’s the only cycle we know.

Submitted by Illona Lei Besa Callo on

How strategic is our government in addressing the problem of climate change?
I would like to just put one human related activity in focus that contributes to the climate issue which is the open-air burning of trash.

NCAR scientist Christine Wiedinmyer said, “The uncontrolled burning of trash is a major source of pollutants, and it’s one that should receive more attention.” It doesn’t take a thorough research to identify who does this activity? I wake up in the morning and sniff smoke coming from our good neighbour’s burning trash. Oftentimes I not only run to gather our clothes still hanging outside for fear of getting our clothes smell but I run to my neighbour feeling sorry that she woke up ahead of me I was not able to take out some sacks to offer my service to collect the dried mango leaves for our composting project before she strikes the match.

When I was smaller, I don’t have a total grasp of what my father is teaching us, his kids, about taking care of our environment – why do we not just do what our neighbours do? I thought it’s easier to strike the match and leave the trash to the fire than to collect the trash, segregate them and do composting. As I grew older, I began to see that my neighbour’s house has no extra space to do composting and asked: “Is that a factor? We only have a 3x3m space in the backyard to keep our compost in sacks for 3-4 months without stinking.” Now that I’m a grown up person, I understand better my neighbour and my Dad: My Dad is a reader; my good neighbour is a kind hearted lady. My Dad has foresight; my neighbour is a good housekeeper mindful of the present cleanliness of her small square foot space by the side of the village road. So my Dad is just one of a few who thought through what he does but my good neighbour is one of the thousands in our village who does what she has just been taught through… My Dad understood the times and the problem of the time and he’s taking the leadership to teach and pass them on to us, his kids, making sure that we will pass them on to our next generation which I’m sure I will do.

I really believe that if our government is to effectively and seriously address the issue of open-air trash burning they must start reaching out to the smallest unit of the society, the family, with the following as a must:

1. Effective information dissemination
• With this I mean making the people aware of what’s happening in the world, what are the government’s plans programs and supports available and educating them in every way possible, so effective that the government will be able to achieve #2.
2. Be able to get people’s enthusiastic and positive response.
• This means that the response was so positive that #3 will not be a headache
3. Consistent monitoring and follow through system
• This must be so to maintain what was already achieved and continually improve until it becomes a lifestyle that can be passed on from generation to generation.

My good neighbour is not well informed and she has no place to put his biodegradable garbage, stinking while it waits for the garbage collector to be picked up. So, I imagine a well-informed families segregating their trash properly and responsibly(biodegradable and non-biodegradable) putting the biodegradable ones for composting in a big transparent plastics with the right ratio of garbage(one part wet and four parts dry ones alternately, as my Dad taught me for a non-stinking process) that will then be picked up by, likewise, well-informed, responsible garbage collectors to be taken to a “composting land” not a garbage dump site like that of Payatas for future agricultural use.

How do you see this possible, Sir/Madams?

Submitted by Eden O. dela Cruz on

GETTING A GRIP ON CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE PHILIPPINES
WHAT WE SOW IS WHAT WE GET!
Philippines is already getting the unpleasant effect of climatic change. No one has to be blamed on the climate change we now have. True, advance technology and science do good things to us, but as its effect, it also did harmful effect on our populace.
Thinner and thinner ozone layer is caused by too many pollution thrown into our air by factories, dirty smokes from vehicles, slashing and burning of our forests, and the like, bringing us too much heat and harmful sun rays. Our waters are likewise polluted by the irresponsible disposal of garbage and waste materials, causing our marine products suffer resulting to red tide as an example. Our fertile lands are being abused too much by the prominent illegal mining activities, bringing lean supply of staple food and root crops to our table, resulting to drought, both el niño and la niña phenomenon, and worse, famine . Our forest are lambasted by irresponsible and illegal loggers preventing us from breathing pure and fresh air, and also rendering our wildlife slowly massacred. These are all but the by-product of the irresponsible management of our vast supply of graces from God, and the disrespectful, ungrateful, and abusive use of it.
As a result of which, our nation suffer from calamities (earthquake, typhoons, famine) easily.
True, our government is taking steps to somehow cure these defect. But, corruption is really a piece of cake so sweet many would like to taste. A peso aid from the government (sometimes from foreign aid) in times of disaster/calamity, becomes only cents when it reaches the end-beneficiary, after it passes through those corrupt officials in our chain of government agencies.
Sad, climate change in the Philippines can no longer go back to the time when Adam and Eve were living their beautiful lives, abundant with natural resources. Our world is ageing and deteriorating. Caused by our careless and irresponsible use and abuse of our nature. We must, at least, do our share in minimizing, as it can no longer be stopped, in managing our use and abuse of our natural resources, responsibly.
Our government must be serious in addressing this problem. Give Juan what is due to Juan. A government is there and duty-bound to responsibly manage our resources and cause the appropriate discipline in strengthening the planning, execution and financing the framework for climate change, boosting leadership and accountability through monitoring, evaluation and review of climate change policies and activities, and building the country’s capacity in managing change. That is, if they are just, and only, aware the GOVERNMENT IS FOR THE PEOPLE and not for their own pockets and treasury! Wakeup, Philippines, and be responsible enough!

Submitted by Kat Santiago on

Thank you for this very informative blog post. My family is in the agricultural industry and we can indeed feel the effects of climate change. Our farm has suffered from crop, feeds, and structural damages as well as livestock illnesses and deaths due to the weather extremes, especially during Typhoon Glenda. We were able to recover somehow but other farmlands were completely destroyed. It's frightening knowing our food sources can be wiped out so easily! I'm thankful that our government is taking an aggressive stance regarding climate change as we Filipinos do need to learn to adapt and have the means to adapt to it. We're a climate change hotspot and desperately need to increase our adaptive capacity as doing so may decrease our vulnerability to the frightening effects of global warming.

Climate action can improve the quality of life and encourage growth in our country. For example, our little farm has been using bio energy to promote a green, sustainable agricultural cycle. Biogas made from our pigs' manure provides power to the entire farm, which includes the feed mill that produces food for our pigs and those of others. It decreases our greenhouse gas emissions and operation costs, benefiting the community. Everyone gets to enjoy the savings as employees receive not just the required social and health benefits and bonuses but also fair wages, private health insurance coverage, emergency loan access, and possible scholarships for their children (the last is a project we are still hoping to grow). And of course, the money saved and generated also contributes to the farm's disaster recovery funds. In a way, our pigs’ poop are both contributing to our nation’s climate change efforts and enhancing our farm family's adaptive capacity, huh? ☺

Submitted by Julianne Marie Leybag on

The Philippines is a highly diverse country and our ecosystem is teeming with life and creatures endemic to our country. This therefore means that we are at a greater risk when it comes to the impacts of climate change. If we are unable to protect our environment along with its species, then this means that the ecosystem will become unbalanced which will spell even more danger for us human beings.

One of the things that we can do in order to alleviate the effects of climate change is to start small, like throwing trash in their proper places, using eco-friendly materials, participating in clean-up drives, and educating other people with regards to the harmful effects of climate change and the ways by which we can prevent it.

The government already has various initiatives and organizations which help address climate change, and although this is a really big help for the climate change movement, I think that these programs are lacking in exposure, and as such I think that it would be really helpful if we would be able to properly inform people about these programs so that they would become aware with the various ways by which we can help out in alleviating the effects of climate change.

Submitted by Gabrielle Feria on

The entire world is aware of climate change. There are so many causes; greenhouse gases, biomass, deforestation, all kinds of pollution.This affects every living thing on Earth. Its effects are devastating; from rising sea levels to killer storms, melting polar ice caps, crop failures and extinction. Actions are being taken to prevent further damage, but we are not doing enough. The destruction is everywhere, but people choose to turn a blind eye. Climate change is one of the most important problems of the Earth.

The Philippines is in the center of this global catastrophe. With 7,107 islands, and water surrounding them on all sides, this country experiences most of its disastrous effects. One of these are intense typhoons. Typhoons are formed when there are warm sea temperatures, high humidity, and high and low pressure winds. This occurs more often than in the past, because of warmer temperatures and the greenhouse effect. Once a typhoon hits our country, floods occur and damages most of our barangays. This happens plenty of times every year. The Philippine government notices this, yet what measures have they taken to prevent more wreckages in the future?

Another problem would be deforestation. Trees are cut down to use as lumber and fuel, while cleared land is used for livestock or plantations. But with these things come severe effects in our environment. It causes damage to habitats, landslides, extinction, and climate change. It also causes warmer climates, because trees contribute to the moisture in our atmosphere. People cut down trees as much as they like for profit, but we should also consider our environment.

The worst cause to climate change is the Greenhouse Effect. This happens when greenhouse gases trap heat into the Earth’s atmosphere, making our planet warmer. These gases are formed when we burn fossil fuels. Lately, it’s been getting worse because there’s too much gases in the air as the effect of burning excessive fuel.

We, not only as Filipinos but as people of the Earth, should shoulder this responsibility and keep our planet livable and breathable as possible. Climate change is a huge deal. We should prevent it. There are a number of ways to do so: being energy efficient, reducing garbage, using eco-friendly vehicles, replanting trees. But while we prevent, we also adapt. We do this by building flood defenses, preparing for future heatwaves, and reducing our carbon footprint. We can also deal with floods by putting more drainage sewers under roads.

This is what the Philippine government should prioritize There are thousands of people at risk here; how long is it going to take before climate change takes more lives? Instead we, as citizens, protect ourselves. We move to higher lands to avoid floods. We plant trees and reduce our energy consumption. Because this is the only way to save ourselves. This is the only way we, as people, create a cleaner and safer place for our children and the future generations everywhere.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Environmental issues, such as global warming, are taking its toll on us. We can feel the changes happening everyday. The government should have a proper way of disseminating information regarding the pressing issue so that not only they can take action, but us citizens can be empowered to do so as well. Let us not forget that a part of these changes are caused by human activity such as urbanization. We cannot keep on bombarding our government to do something about it and depend on them to make a change alone. We, the root of these changes, should work together in making a better change and building a suitable environment for future generations to come. The government can only do so much. They may be a powerful group in our society but they are a small unit compared to the population of our beloved country. If they can implement change, then what more can we do if we work together? Rather than complaining about how hot it is getting, we should actually do something to prevent the matter from getting worse. According to the Foundation for the Philippine Environment,

“The country, in fact, bears the distinction of being one of the 17 countries considered to be “megadiverse,” by virtue of it being home to 70-80% of the entire planet’s biodiversity… In 2006, Catibog-Sinha and Heaney wrote that an estimated number of over 38,000 vertebrate and invertebrate animal species have been described within Philippine territory, with over half being endemic species. The number of plant species, meanwhile, ranges over 16,000 based on the latest data (as of February 2013) published by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Biodiversity Management Bureau (formerly the Protected Areas and Wildlife Burea). About 45% to 60% of these identified native vascular and non-vascular plants are endemic to the Philippines. Estimates are even higher for flowering plants found within primary forests, as 70% to 80% are endemic species.”

With this information in mind, we not only have the responsibility of protecting the environment for future generations to come but for all the diverse species situated in this archipelago. In a few months we will be electing new legislators. All candidates aim for a better future for the Filipinos. Most of their advocacies focus on the betterment of education, employment and health. But they fail to recognize that our environment holds a big factor in determining a positive lifestyle in the future. Without a good environment, we would have lost a suitable home where we can exist in ergo reforms for better education, employment and health would have been useless. Our future leaders must take into consideration all these factors so that we may have a positive outlook for what our future holds.

Submitted by Paola Dominique P. Baser on

The formulation of policies under the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) will be rendered useless if not properly regulated and upheld. Granted that all government agencies are to bear the policies in mind when contracting plans and policies, it is quite difficult to apply the guidelines without proper aid from the Climate Change Commission (CCC). The lack of coordination between government agencies and the CCC hinders the development in action against climate change. Moreover, the Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change (CCCC) and the People’s Survival Fund Board (PSFB) were created in lieu of the CCC being its center.

With no system to supervise and gather feedback from government agencies, there is no guarantee that the establishment of the abovementioned institutions is aiding the country in addressing the effects of climate change at all. It all stems down to the same root problem in our country – the lack of proper education. When it comes to the urgency of the effects of climate change, how well-informed are the staff and employees of LGUs? Does their decision-making impact the struggle against climate change? What can they do to address it? Are they given tools to aid them in supporting the cause? If so, are they knowledgeable enough to effectively make use of the tools provided? These questions all streamline to the effectiveness of the CCC. Regardless of the policies and guidelines established to promote the fight against climate change, if the implementation is ineffective, then the battle is already lost.

The Climate Change Commission is pushing negotiations with the United Nations for adaptation funds to pursue the fight against climate change. The concern was raised during the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) in Paris, France last December 3, 2015. To withdraw further burden from the already poverty-stricken country, the CCC is requesting that the aid in loan be given as a grant instead. The Philippine representatives in the CVF claim that the adaptation will enable the country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to below 1.5°C. It is important to identify what needs to be prioritized once the aid is granted. The most vital part, however, is making sure that the implementation is maintained until the promised results are achieved. Again, the most crucial part is the execution. Ultimately, the regulations established may be profound, the institutions may eventually be well-funded, but no matter how equipped the country is, success can only be ensured with proper implementation and execution from the part of all government agencies and the people as well.

Submitted by Edlyn Barcelon on

Climate change is not a new technological innovation or new science discovery. It is a known fact. The climate change is being taught as early primary level of education. We experienced it first at hand where mother earth itself let us feel the changes. An average of 20 typhoons hit the country due to geographical location (nationalgeographic.com). It cost destruction of infrastructures, agricultural crops, cause flooding, soil erosion, death, which cause millions and loss millions of funds. More than 6,340 people has been recorded who died cause by Typhoon Yolanda which also known as ‘Haiyan’.

There is an existing campaign for climate change but it is not being effective. The Senate Bill No. 2759 – Total Plastic Bag Ban (http://lorenlegarda.com.ph/senate-bill-no-2759-total-plastic-bag-ban/) is not enough to maintain or to monitor the climate change. I believe the government should reach the media. Everyone should be responsible and concern to our environment. People should keep active on this campaign even though the calamity is not yet in front of us. We should do our intense campaign rather than dealing with the aftermath of the calamity just like what happened in Tacloban. Government should strengthen the weak campaign to reach the people. We have NGO’s, twitter, facebook, nature lovers who would be willing to join to protect our environment.

- Member of DIY Philippines thru facebook

- traveler

Submitted by Jonas Juan Bermudez on

How Prepared Are We For Climate Change? That is the question I have in mind whenever we talk about the Climate Change issue. Many of us may heard it and somewhat informed about it but are we really ready? The answer is, somehow.

According to the World Bank Executive Report ( JUNE 2013 ) the Philippine government is focusing on the Climate Change especially on PAPs (Program, Acrivities, Projects) as they set increasing budgets on these fields. PAP includes flood control protection and traffic decongestion, which is until now are considered as major problems of the Philippines. Way back then, as Ondoy hit us here in Bulacan as well as some parts of Central Luzon we knew it was an effect of Climate Change and deforestation. The heat these days are very different compared before when I was younger that resulted to heat stroke of several people which is not usual for some decades ago.

With the three recommendations mentioned from the WB Executive Report each every pillar is equally important but for me the authorities should focus on the third one : Building the country’s capacity and managing change. - as mentioned from page 64, "Weak institutional capacity and low public awareness of the impacts of the climate change can limit the effectiveness of climate programs, actions and projects." If we have strong institutional capacity then we will be able to go down to the public to promote the awareness that we have, because public awareness is very effective on how we will be able to prevent the effects of Climate Change.

I may say I cant see the full effects of the government's efforts despite of the large budget they allocated for the Climate Change programs, especially here in our province. I hope we have those programs that will aim to raise public awareness so that we as individuals can do something and be knowledgable about Climate Change before it's too late.

Submitted by Enrique Jose H. Velasco on

Cause and Effect

With so many policies already in place, combating climate change should be easy. The budget is there; the policies are in place; and programs, activities and projects supplement them. So why is it still a problem?

I think the problems lie in implementation and the society’s values.

Development is often equated with Modernisation – the more urbanized the place is, the more infrastructures there are, the more developed it was perceived. But urbanization doesn’t always go well with environmentalism. There lies the contradiction so the balance between the two should be met.

In Baguio, for example, a lot of trees are cut in order to make way for a large shopping mall. This happened in a lot of other rural areas in the Philippines, a lot of rural areas are being urbanized. The sales of automobiles also skyrocket in the past years. Consumerism is also prevalent. With the increase in production of goods and services, wastes products and pollution also increases.

I think that the Philippines is developing in such a rapid pace that the society’s values haven’t caught up yet. Proper waste segregation for example, the waste bins are there, policies are in place, but people still find it hard just to throw their trash in the right place.

Human beings are adaptable creatures. Evolution showed us that. With Philippines being a flood-prone, disaster-risk country, I hope these may serve as the catalyst for the Filipinos to learn about cause and effect. Throw garbage inappropriately then those will block the drainage next flood season. Cut down trees then the area may be susceptible to flooding and landslides.

Policies are inversely proportional with values (Flor, A. 2009). The number policies in place are indicative of the level of positive values an individual or society has. With the number of policies the Philippines have regarding climate change, this may aid in developing positive values within the society when implemented properly.

Flor, Alexander. 2009. Developing Societies in the Information Age: A Critical
Perspective. UP Open University.

Submitted by Michelle Paras on

We can all agree that the Philippines is now experiencing the effects of climate change – the weather has become more unpredictable wherein we are experiencing heavy rains during summer or warmer temperature in December, typhoons are much harder which causes flooding not only in the metro but also in the provinces, storm surges, landslides, etc. With this, we can also agree that human beings are the main contributors of climate change and global warming. I believe that this goes hand in hand with the advancement in our way of life. For example, during the old times, transportation are as simple as walking or using animals but now, we utilize all kinds of automotive vehicles which burn fuels and emits harmful gasses. Human beings cope up with the advancement – for example, people need decent places to live in so people cut trees, clear mountains and build subdivisions, etc.
According to the report, our government has been exerting effort to strengthen our country’s resiliency to the effects of climate change - resiliency in terms of having policies, funds, projects, better management – pre, during, and post event. These are some of the best practices around the world. However, apart from ensuring that we have enough funds and if the funds have been allotted or if plans are in place and if projects and continuity management are present, the people also needs to help stop if not control or delay the effects of climate change. Everyone needs to do their part. I agree that the first step is education and information on what we need to do, not to do, and look out for in terms of what will aggravate climate change.
Just like how we coped up with the advancement, we now need to cope up with the need to protect the place that we live in so that our generation and the next generation will survive.

Submitted by Jeremaine Tapiru on

Awareness on Climate Change

Human’s conscious awareness ignites the sense of connection to the world.

The primary and yet the biggest step that we can do in regards to climate change is spreading awareness. I must admit that I have limited knowledge in this aspect prior on reading the WB report or this blog article. I was overwhelmed with the wide scope of this two combined words, climate and change. I didn’t even knew that our country is ranked as the third most vulnerable country when it comes to weather related events or that there are determined organizations pursuing this advocacy. Where am I all along? And with the damage done, I know I am not alone.

As a human, we have this instinct of survival specially when it spells off danger. Once the whole picture is in front of them, they are able to react upon it. Therefore, spreading awareness in a wide manner can be the initial ingredient to build the sense of responsibility. Lets make it huge, like conducting seminars in every community, have a dedicated program in schools, upload informative videos in social media, use TV commercials or make it as a compulsory to all network companies to circulate an awareness. Consequently, make it compulsory to attend seminars whenever acquiring government documents such as police clearance, NBI, cedula, new passport or the likes. It is recommended to use native dialects or mother tongue for better understanding and to avoid any possible language barriers when discussing the scope of climate change. With the consciousness at hand, anticipate to witness self-sacrifices. A simple act of proper garbage disposal, responsible use of electricity and water, minimal use of vehicle that causes emission or planting trees. These small things when practiced by all individual will results into a massive action.

Seeing the continuous growth of the modern industry, there is no way we can put the environment back from its old self but we can definitely contribute something to preserve it. Spread the news. Ignite. Act.

Submitted by Ruby Adriano on

Just last year (2015) we experienced El Niño and still experiencing as of this moment which greatly affects the whole country (in terms of water supply) especially the farmers. According to the World Bank report the Earth became warmer that affect the marine life. Since the Philippines is surrounded with waters and most of the Filipinos rely on fishing farm, it will definitely decrease the number of fisheries or marine resources.

As the population increase the number of housing areas and industrial areas also increases. In the effect, a lot of cultivated areas decreased. As the result of rapid growth of population the number of vehicle also boost and it really affects our environment due to its emission. The urbanization of most areas in the Philippines is considered as drastic change for me and unsustainable development evidently seen in our surroundings. The effort of the government and different organizations to promote the advocacy and implement policies for the awareness of the people regarding climate change should not be disregard for the sake of every individual society.

Although there are hindrances with the coordination of different sectors in government and local institutions and limited access of knowledge, also limited tools they continue to find ways on how to improve its rules and policies for better implementation to increase individual concern plus the improvement of technology. Based on the report of World Bank they also deal with the budget regarding climate change for the support to improve and rehabilitate the environment.

Irresponsible human acts have obvious results during calamities. I am really scared seeing the mountain here in our town gradually disappears. The mountain covers and protects our town and nearby areas today from the coming typhoon but by the next few years when it is gone our next generation will suffer. I wonder why the very visible mountain seems not noticed by our local government and start doing something regarding this, to protect the mountain in this area. We know but we do not know how to act. It makes me worried.

Submitted by Jerume Urdaneta on

The Philippine government is to be lauded for its effort to assess, by way of the World Bank’s CPEIR, its capability and performance in mitigating the effects of climate change in the country. To affect a more relevant and efficient measures to deal with the adverse force of Climate Change in the country, it is indeed important to understand how effective the government and its agencies are in their undertakings to address the urgent issue at hand. It is good to know that our leaders are serious and taking the crucial steps to build our capability and help our citizens cope and adapt to the effects of a warmer world BUT we cannot deny the fact that it would take a lot more.

We must do our part and not put all the blame in the inefficiencies or shortcomings of the government. Yes, we need to hold them accountable (especially in how they spend the taxpayer’s money), but we must also examine and ask ourselves, what have we done to help? Do we want to be part of the solution or remain to be part of the problem?

According to NASA’s report, “Humans have caused major climate changes to happen already, and we have set in motion more changes still. Even if we stopped emitting greenhouse gases today, global warming would continue to happen for at least several more decades if not centuries. That’s because it takes a while for the planet (for example, the oceans) to respond, and because carbon dioxide – the predominant heat-trapping gas – lingers in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. There is a time lag between what we do and when we feel it”.

The sad reality is, “Climate Change is a truly global, complex problem with economic, social, political and moral ramifications, the solution will require both a globally-coordinated response (such as international policies and agreements between countries, a push to cleaner forms of energy) and local efforts on the city- and regional-level (for example, public transport upgrades, energy efficiency improvements, sustainable city planning, etc.).” This means, it takes the entire world to reverse Global Warming.

NASA suggested a two-tier approach in dealing with Climate Change:

1) Mitigation – reducing the flow of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere; and
2) Adaptation – learning to live with, and adapt to, the climate change that has already been set in motion.

Think about how we can help in these areas today. No matter how small, our combined efforts will have great impact to the environment.

Allow me to leave you with Leonardo DiCaprio's words to sum this all up, “Clean air, water, and a livable climate are inalienable human rights. And solving this crisis is not a question of politics; it is a question of our own survival.”

Reference:

Global Climate Change: Evidence. (2008, June 15). Retrieved January 14, 2015, from http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

Submitted by Anna Katigbak on

From what I have learned in my readings about adaptation, the environment a person lives in affects their culture, society, economy, agriculture, and more. This environment, along with all the factors that affect it such as geographical location, kinds of landforms and water forms available, and climate and weather, greatly impacts the society. It affects our way of life, thinking, limits opportunities, and so much more.

Although, not all places are the same. For each kind of environment’s set of advantages, comes its set of disadvantages.
Take the Philippines for example. The Philippines is this beautiful island country blessed with rich soil, a wide variety of land and water forms, and warm weather. Despite all these, the country has always been struck by disaster after disaster; it being located in the Pacific Ring of Fire and being passed by typhoons. However, it is the effects of global warming (even if already started ages ago), such as climate change and the abnormality of weather, that keeps throwing this country off-course. It is the biggest threat that haunts and hinders this nation’s ability to become a great one.
In this country, since the growing effects of global warming have become apparent, the nation experiences extreme hot or sudden downpour of rain.

Climate change plagues this country with disease, drought, power outage, price hike, famine, and more. It throws off the rhythm the people have set. It too is an endless chain reaction. After one effect of climate change makes its appearance, another follows.
How are we, Filipinos, adapting to this? From what I observed, there a few government projects that have been started. Their effort in combatting global warming is visible to those who look. Although, it’s up to the implementation to make their time and hard work worth it.

Since the Philippines is an island country, distance has always been a barrier to reaching more remote places. Since this is the age of information, media, a fast way to send or spread information, productions have been truly helpful with this problem. In addition, ICTs have been made to make things easier for us.

Although, it’s not enough to just be aware. We have the information and technology, even if it may pale in comparison to others’. Still, we have these to further guide us. It is not an excuse for being helpless. The knowledge we have gained and the available technology we have will be put to waste if we do not use them.

From what I observed, and I myself experienced, we, Filipinos, or at least some, tend to just blame the government for inaction. As mentioned earlier, their work is only visible to the ones who seek it out. Also, if we cannot see action ourselves, why not be the one to instigate it? Why not take action ourselves? If we keep waiting on other people to do something about this, it will just be an endless waiting and blaming game for the effects we will have to suffer and are suffering. Since we have our brains, hands, feet, why not move ourselves? We have the man and brain power plus the technology (ready to be further developed), why shouldn’t we use it? It’s not enough to just voice it out. We have to back it up with action.

Submitted by Jan Lester Lambino on

Climate Change

This matter is obviously the most serious phenomenon that's happening right now. Yes, it's already happening. And after reading the WB report, I tried to ask people (those nearby my place, neighbors, etc) if they're aware that climate change is happening right now. Generally, those people said no. Therefore I think climate change reform agenda won't be that effective without the people's knowledge of what's happening around us, at this very moment. We should know better, each and everyone of us. As a normal person with no high power and position, I request the government to show up profoundly regarding the matter. Use media, all forms to enlighten everyone of what's happening. Because this is not only about people, this is about every living thing resided in this planet, and on a larger picture, this is about the future. We educate, we move, we save. Let's just put the simple situation: "I have my candy trash, therefore, I should dispose my trash in the proper bin." If all candy users will do such, that's probably a big step already. Easy but world-changing.

Submitted by Fritzie Gicale on

We Filipinos are not new to issues such as global warming or climate change. In fact, everyone from any parts of the world experiences this phenomenon. Our country encounters a lot of typhoons each year and we see news about flooding and landslides. These news are not only shown on our local television, but also worldwide.
It pleases me to see that the Philippine Government is busy with plans concerning the development of our country and how we can better withstand damages brought by natural calamities. However, as expected we do not really have an organized system in implementing these things.
The World Bank Overview stated a number of issues that makes the plans ineffective, such as the lack of clarity in roles and responsibilities of each institutions, the departments have an insufficient number of knowledgeable and skilled staff on climate policy, financing, and institutions and the unequal funding of each projects. These are issues that conflict the effectivity of these plan.
Our government must first fix these issues in order to make this project work efficiently.
Hopefully the future leaders of our country will continue with this project.
Of course we as individuals could also help in improving our country, we can make the world a better place as simple as having discipline and common sense. A good leader is useless if we refuse to obey simple policies such as not littering in public places or smoking anywhere.
The people from the government are not the only ones responsible with our environment, but also us for we are the ones living there. What we do will always have an effect on our surroundings.
Hence, we must always be critical of our actions and not just blame everything on the government.

Submitted by Jan Lester Lambino on

Climate change

This might be the biggest phenomenon that's slowly showing it's impact to our planet. We need to take this matter seriously. By the term "we", I'm pertaining to every single people residing in this world. After reading the WB report, I felt alive about the fact that higher officials are taking the first step about the situation. They need to. They have to. They have to start the movement regarding this matter because sooner or later, it might be over. And about climate reform agenda, I'm pretty sure that's gonna work if and only if each and everyone of us will participate. Because if not, it's like we're swimming in and endless pool. The government should profoundly state this matter to everyone. Everyday, in all kinds of media. Because this is not only about us human beings, but also for every living thing residing here on earth, and most specially, for the future. Let's put one of the simplest example solution: "I have a candy trash, therefore, I should dispose it in the proper bin." Just imagine if all candy users will do such, imagine how much it will help our planet get back on the sweet track. Reform agendas are nothing if majority won't cooperate. We learn, we act, we save.

Submitted by Jesse Angeles on

Having had a first-hand experience in Typhoon Ondoy, I am glad that the government starts planning and executing actions to further address and inform the Filipinos on the gravity of climate change - it was indeed alarming. However, I felt like the government can only act on certain level. They may inform and conduct activities for awareness. I want to challenge not the government and other agencies but the Filipino people itself. It would be interesting to determine what changes each Juan De La Cruz are doing to address climate change. It is one thing to be aware but to act for it is another.

So now I ask you, what is the most recent thing that you have done for our environment?

We Filipino people should be self-accountable for our country. Where do you throw your garbage? Have you tried recycling? As of this moment, are all the lights on even not in use? Advertisements are everywhere – telling each one of us to do simple things like that, but the question is:

Have you?

Submitted by Kimberlee Chelsea Balmes on

Climate change is a serious issue and our country is greatly affected, but most of us aren’t doing anything about it. Why? Because we rely on our goverment. We’re so caught up with our own lives, we disregard the fact that our country is not only the government’s responsibility but also ours. We tend to blame the government whenever we experience inconviniences but are we doing our part? Maski simpleng basura nga, hindi maitapon sa tamang tapunan. Us Filipinos, most of us, lack discipline, so why not start with that? Why not be the change you want to see around you. Start small, start with yourself.

Submitted by JG Gallardo on

These are all wonderful recommendations and I agree completely that the successful implementation of these plans can only improve life in the Philippines. I ask this though, how long do you think this will take to fully take form? Years? Decades? Because in the current state of the Philippines, these plans are still, dare I say, too ambitious. By current state of the Philippines, I mean that the country is having huge financial issues – and with the severe overpopulation case the country has been with for decades now, ‘cleaning up’ the country means we have our work cut out for us.
Don’t get me wrong, as I said, these are all wonderful ideas – maybe even the ONLY way to save the Philippines from natural disasters. It’s just that for years now, our country has been relying on international support to achieve anything that involves spending a ton of money: relief operations, infrastructure, military, etc. You did mention an improved budget planning agenda and several other approaches on improving expenditures but we don’t have any substantial data about that yet so forgive me if I am a bit skeptical. Anyway, my main concern really is whether or not a good portion of these plans will be completed before any natural disaster strikes again – just because making the country’s budget fit your agenda seems like a long ways still.

Submitted by Rory Anne Reyes on

Over the recent years, climate change has become the most talked about environmental issue not only in the Philippines but also around the world. There is no denying that the effects brought about by this have become more and more adverse. While it is a good thing that Filipinos still manage to put a smile on their faces despite being in the midst of a natural calamity, it also raises the question of whether they truly care for their environment. Do they realize that these are the repercussions brought about by their very own actions? Or do they merely blame all this on Mother Nature?

It is enlightening to know that the government has taken it upon themselves to begin intervention on this serious environmental issue by establishing the Climate Change Commission (CCC), and formulation of programs and action plans such as the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP). However, it is apparent that they have not done enough since they’ve barely reached their goal. Although it is understandable that they cannot solely focus on one problem considering the fact that a nation like ours has other problems they have yet to deal with.

The problem with us Filipinos is that we tend to remain ignorant of the issue/s at hand so long as it does not concern or affect us and that is what hinders us from preventing further damage to our surroundings. That being said, I don’t think that we are adapting. Nor do I think that we’re prepared to face the impending catastrophes that are threatening to strike us in the near future. One might think that after all those years of severe typhoons and its devastating aftermaths, we’ve learned from our mistakes but no. Despite knowing the extremities of these repercussions, some still continue to take advantage and exploit the natural resources lying about. Meanwhile, others lack sufficient knowledge to realize the harmful impact their actions have towards the environment. The probable reason as to why we still go back to our old ways does not only come from our lack of initiative, knowledge and self-discipline, but also from our lack of commitment and the fact that we rely on the government to clean up after our mess instead doing it ourselves.

It takes one man to lead a nation but it requires the cooperation of the citizens to run it. We must not depend on the government alone for they already have too much on their plate. Therefore, each of us must unite in order to promote awareness and to guide each other to the right path. We must also look for alternatives that would enable us to effectively utilize our natural resources.

Submitted by Luz Emano on

Human activities that causes the increase of temperature of the Earth's atmosphere is accountable for climate change. Climate change brings death, destruction, poverty, chaos, sickness and trauma to humanities. If you think of it, humans brought climate change to themselves, it is the result of their actions.
Since climate change is now upon us, all we can do now is to adapt and hopefully reduce the increase of green house gasses in our atmosphere. Fighting climate change is an international issue that needs every countries cooperation and its people.
In the Philippines, it is good to know that our government is taking an action to address the issue in climate change. Passing the Clean Air Act, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, the RA 10174 or commonly known as the Peoples Survival Fund, establishing the Climate Change Commission (CCC), etc.

I do agree to the recommendations of the World Bank Report on Philippine Climate Change. First is strengthening the planning, execution, and financing framework for Climate Change. Second is enhancing leadership and accountability through monitoring, evaluation, and review of climate change policies and activities. And lastly, building capacity and managing change.
I do hope that these recommendations can be executed by our government with the help and cooperation of all Filipinos. Otherwise, using the previous plan will be a waste of time, resources, and also life of Filipinos again.

Submitted by AGBADA JOANNE RACHEL on

It is hard to act on something if awareness is low. Everyone have experienced the effect of climate change but most of us have limited knowledge of the specifics like what's greatly impacting it, how can we as individuals mitigate it, if we don't act now what exactly can happen. While it's great that there is already a government agency spear heading the change it is also critical that the people also knows they are part of this action plan.

The world bank report stated that the urban poor in informal settlements are one of the most vulnerable groups to climate-related impacts, yet I don't think they even talk about this. I would like to believe this is a lot more than a case of apathy, who wouldn't act if you were made aware that your own survival is being threatened? They probably don't have a clue on what's going on, Who is to blame? Information is not abundant when it comes to this issue. Personally, I don't see a lot of media contents/coverage about this. Even politicians campaigning for May 2016 elections does not have a lot to say about this (or maybe they have I just don't hear a lot of it in the news) so as a normal citizen you would be given the impression that the issue with climate change is not prioritized.

Also I think the CCC is not as stream lined as we hoped it would be due to a lot of factors. How we can start to save the environment if we can't even formulate the scope of the agency properly? We have a big issue ahead of us as it doesn't stop here. I am ready to act and help out how ever little the help could be including voting for the officials that will be most effective in allleviating the effects of climate change to my country.

Submitted by glenn on

For the past 6 years, we have seen a drop in the number of typhoons that entered the country but they were more intense, flooding was more frequent and the amount of rainfall was heavier than usual.

Remember that morning of September 26, 2009 when Typhoon Ondoy wreaked havoc in Luzon. Everyone was caught by surprise. Places were submerged in water. There were a lot of reported casualties. Many were left homeless.

Four years later, Typhoon Yolanda (one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded) caused severe destruction in the southern part of the country. A day that most people wish it had never happened.

These are all brought about by the global climate change which has taken its toll on the Philippines.

It’s good to know that the government has been doing the necessary approaches to address the problem of climate change such as the “Climate Change Act” however the lack of technical and financial assistance make it difficult for them to execute action items as planned.

While the government is going through reforms to provide higher level of financing, it’s high time that we also make ourselves involved and help the government in our own little ways. The easiest, least expensive and most effective way to create awareness is through the use of social media.

Like what Sec. Ramon Paje (DENR) mentioned in one of his speeches “But we cannot do all these by ourselves; no less of a concerted and broad-based participation is needed.”

Submitted by Francheska S. Mañapao on

Climate change is too broad to elucidate. Nevertheless, its broadness has a helpful effect. That helpful effect is approximately everyone has an idea about it even just a little. The report discussed the different things the administration did to deal with climate change. For example, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP). A lot of laws, policies and reforms are formed for climate change. BUT these paperworks, even if every one of these is put into action, it will still not be sufficient to resolve the problem. Promoting alertness of climate change is very important and should work simultaneously with these laws in order for these things being made by the administration about climate change be successful. The thing is the majority, if not every single one of Filipinos, are ignoring the hard work being done by institutions or other people in promoting alertness of climate change. Some deliberately ignoring while a few people take the initiative to have a closer look of climate change. One of the reasons why a number of people pay no attention to such efforts for awareness is because they just do not care and does not have a great deal of knowledge about the disturbing effects of climate change on their lives. What they do not know is climate change might be the one who will win their lives in the future, if these people won’t stop and take a look of what is actually climate change all about sooner. Even if they did know what climate change can do, some people are just too obstinate and preoccupied with their personal problems. They do not stop and reflect on what have gone erroneous that made them victims of climate change. They just go on living their life as if nothing happened. Several people took climate change for granted. Therefore, they suffer in the end. If people truly desire to work out climate change and take it seriously, even if no laws or policies made about it was passed, that initiative of the people is already adequate to reduce the awful effects of climate change.

Submitted by Selina Jo Z. Paredes on

Climate change is inevitable. Most people are aware of this while some just choose to ignore it; some people choose to ignore the fact that it is taking a toll on marine, land, and human life. Only a handful of people stand up for this cause because in reality, you really cannot have everyone “adapt” to making the world a better place. Only few people follow namely the segregation scheme, no plastic rule, etc. For our country, the Philippines, this is prominent.

Our country is overpopulated and this greatly contributes to one of the country’s greatest problems, pollution. Our roads are heavily congested thus resulting in traffic worsening. On another note, trash collection still needs a lot of improvement because not everyone segregates or even throw their trash in the proper receptacles. This is somehow related to overpopulation because there are people who live in the slum areas namely those under bridges and beside rivers who do not know how to segregate their trash and just dump their waste anywhere near the river. This can cause canals to get blocked and can greatly contribute to prior floods. Moreover, many people still illegally cut down trees and do not get caught for it, again resulting in floods. These are just a few examples of some of the dominant environmental problems in our country.

Our country may be developing as seen by the tall skyscrapers, road infrastructures, and ongoing construction of different implemented projects by the government or huge companies in our country, but the exact opposite is happening to our environment. Although these material things are a sign of progress, our environment has to suffer and in return we have to face the consequences. Just like during the typhoon Ondoy, my grandparents said that all the years they have lived in our village, never did that kind of flooding happen.

Us, citizens, of our country should start with ourselves by simply learning how to take care of the environment even in our own little ways because if more people start to do it then it could impact for a greater change. As for the government, they have been saying a lot about wanting to help alleviate our country’s environmental problems, but they do not focus on this much. I just wish that they would allocate funds for the betterment of the environment; it is kind of like how much they get from the environment to build these land structures should equate to the amount and effort they spend in rebuilding what they got from the environment. This could start with our president bringing light to this issue bringing forth the causes and effects of climate change and informing the citizens, but of course it really starts within one’s self.

Submitted by Maria Alexis Llaguno on

Climate change is irreversible. We cannot alter what has been done to worsen climate change for the past years that greatly affected our lives today. However, we could adapt to it and reduce the causes of climate change by doing drastic changes to our habits and routines.

No doubt that unlike the past few years, our weather changed, and calamities aggravated on our present time. The months for the season of rain became a season of scorching heat and vice versa. Also the calamities, such as intense heat and heavy rains, nowadays are worse than before. The heat in summer could cause skin cancer even in morning and typhoons could cause floods due to its continuous rainfall.

Yes, it’s really nice seeing the progress of the world through technology and transportation mobiles; these things really help us to live easier. However, these things are also the ones that could make our lives miserable in the coming years. Pollution that came out in the exhaust pipes of cars and motorcycles, and appliances can be one of the responsible for greenhouse gas emissions are some of the things that worsen climate change.

It’s good to know that the government is funding the projects and proposals concerning climate change. However, the financial support may not be enough due to climate change is a broad subject. Nevertheless, I just hope that for this year, proper execution of the projects will be held. This issue is more important than what other people think because the earth, the place where we live in, is at stake.

Submitted by Walfred Balicas on

Climate change has been a known issue not only in the Philippines but across the world and its effect has transpired frequently from the catastrophes that we had experienced from the past few years.
We may say that people from different country had different approach in addressing this concern, but what’s most important is on how our own motherland faces or tries to resolve this issue to contribute in at least lessening things that’s adding up on what’s causing the climate change to become more severe. Based on what we have read, there are a lot of government bodies and LGUs who were appointed and who had been volunteering themselves, to make steps in dealing with the climate change, however, this wouldn’t be enough to address the “dying” earth. Yes, it’ll make matter if some of us lead the way on letting everyone know of what’s the right thing to be done, but it’ll still be a matter of us as a whole , not only those who are concerned , to do what is correct.

As we all know, climate change is caused by human activities which would most likely include you and me at some points. We, therefore, should include ourselves in making difference to churn what’s currently happening to our mother earth to a somehow, much livable place. We don’t need a well funded plan to make changes as we are able to do our own little ways to save our world such as doing or following the 3Rs that we were made aware of during our elementary days, which is Reuse – Reduce – and Recycle.

Submitted by Janella Denise Y. Guevara on

Climate Change can't be stopped but we can try to reduce the pace of it by being more environmental-friendly and by being conscious of the little things we do that greatly affect the planet we are living in.

There are many programs by different organizations that can help us in adapting to climate change. I know the government already does studies about incoming typhoons or earthquakes, etc. But us, citizens, can do our own research and prepare by joining different groups that teach how to be ready during disasters and respond rapidly and readily in case of emergencies.

All of our efforts will be useless if do not have discipline. This is what i think filipinos lack. No matter how clear the instructions/rules are, if a person does not have any intention in following it or simply does not care, everybody might be affected. After reading this, I can say that we can adapt to Climate Changes, especially with the effort of our government and various organizations, but we need DISCIPLINE.

Submitted by Jayson Valdez on

Proper Communication as Climate Change Adaptation in the Philippines
Having read the World Bank report on the overview of climate change in the Philippines, I believe it does represent a great understanding of the impending hazard of the phenomena and its assessment for the country’s readiness for it. Though not thoroughly discussed in detail, it provided sufficient insight on the Philippine’s position and its long term plan to align itself with global preparedness with regards to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Most of the report’s suggestive evaluation of the issue was focused within the government and its agencies. It clearly illustrated the Philippine government’s critical need to coordinate its efforts from within its branches, down from the local units to the national level. However, I believe that the real challenge lies with disseminating these information to the common people.
The Filipinos are relevantly adaptive, sociologically and environmentally. This is reflective with their resilience with the recent chaotic typhoons which are by far tipping the world scale for devastation. Transparent as the government is, most of these recent calamities were still met with problems which are mostly rooted to the lack of communication to its citizen. An example of this was the confusion brought about the lack of proper definition for “storm surges” which typhoon Yolanda did to the people of Tacloban. Most Filipinos were not aware of the term, and the government came late to clarify it. The effect was that, the media created an oversimplification of the term and compared it to tsunamis. Which, as Project NOAH director, Dr Lagmay claimed being “inaccurate and irresponsible.” This is only one of the significance of what proper communication could do to mitigate risks. More can be said if we put preparedness, coordination, and calamity evaluation into the mix.
The World Bank report predicted a global increase in world temperatures by 4 degrees in 2060. This in itself promotes a long term endeavor for the Philippines to up the ante with regards to planning. With regards to the issue of transparency, if the government could properly communicate its plan, proper urban planning could lessen the risk of its major cities from the onslaught of climate change. Private sectors can then reassess themselves to align with these plans, creating structures more resilient to unforeseen forces like earthquakes and typhoons. Rural areas in comparison, especially those belonging to the agricultural communities, need to device preemptive plans to counter destruction. Government should consider conducting sessions to better educate farmers, land lords and local government units on how to counter damages to agriculture and irrigation. This would then reassure the country its food security which is a major factor of adaptation according to the World Bank report.
In general, the Filipinos’ awareness for the impending damage of climate change would greatly help to counter the negative effects of it. With proper coordination from the government and its communication channels, I believe most, if not all of these issues can be mitigated. We all just need to be lead properly, and it needs to be firm and effective.

Submitted by Alma Mia M. on

Climate change is a big deal. It's something we should worry about and most definitely think about because it has an effect on our children's future. I think that we have a huge role in what's happening right now and I think we can also do something about it. We can help make it better in our way little way. We don't have to come up with millions of pesos to contribute in making it better. We should think about what are the causes and do a little something on our part. For example we should really refrain from littering and throwing our garbage anywhere. If we can't stop ourselves from smoking atleast let us throw our cigarette butts in the right place. Let's use boxes and paper bags instead of styro or plastics. We can help protect our environment with our own little ways. I do have one concern though about this coal power plant that will be implemented in Mindanao. It scary because it's coal. There is no clean coal. Coal is still coal. Ofcourse we care about our friends in Mindanao and they need electricity. I just hope that there are measures in place to ensure that there are minimal effects on our environment. I care about the environment and I worry about the future of my children.

Submitted by Marc Jermaine Pontiveros on

Insider’s Perspective on Adapting to Climate Change
To understand how we should adapt to Climate Change, it’s important to note that the issue is not merely a simple cause-and-effect and just by pruning out the cause, we would expect the effect to subside in the long run. It has interrelated causes and dependent factors thus it doesn’t have a clean cut solution, rather a multiple responses to the same problem.
Every Filipino and citizens of developing countries all over the world should start to participate with their little actions since incremental number of positive responses corresponds to big consequences. But it does not end by perfecting day-to-day practices; we have to change the rules of the game.
Education: Understand the Big Idea; Bridge from Knowledge to Wreck Bad Practices; and Take Action
It’s good move to include Disaster Preparedness and Risk Management as subjects to study in new K to 12 curricula. Informing is only the part and even though information is everywhere it comes with serious shortcomings: often the topic is too complex but we also have to apply what is known to increase overall capacity of our institutions to mitigate the effects of Climate Change. Knowledge gaps pose a serious threat for scaling up climate actions in several departments and LGUs.
The start is to ensure that the public have a good understanding of the big ideas such as climate change, how humans contribute to it, and in turn what else can be done to cease it. But it does not end with definitions, we need to apply it by learning imperatives, how-to’s and their advantages should be emphasized. The second is to bridge our knowledge to modify the ongoing practices and activities. With well-structured foundations on the topic there’s a better chances of preparing effective plans and policies that work not only in scenarios anticipated but in real world events. Moreover, a well-informed consumer would shop greener products that are less harmful to the environment.
But it does not end with selecting green products. Indeed, technological advancements have a share on solving the issue, but responses to climate change are socially complex and involve changing behavior. The last and most crucial is the actual commitment of Filipinos to mitigate the effects. Not only by avoiding detrimental activities such as deforestation, desertification, and overharvesting resources, but by taking massive action and influencing the entire social structure.
Citizens should exercise their power to build a more sustainable economy that is not focused in just generating profits, but taking account the welfare of ecologic and environmental systems. For instance, massive emission of greenhouse gases is one of the identified factors that drive climate. Filipinos can change the rules of the game by abandoning the sources of greenhouse gases and support instead renewable energy resources. This is possible through laws and policies, and implementing projects that would harness the said resources.
For the past years, adaptation proved its effectiveness for human survival – from physiological adaptation to actual learning to sow seeds to increase productions of food; specializing to improve overall products humans create over time; forming governments to oversee policies that work within societies. While we have multiple responses to adapt to Climate Change, what we really need is not to get lost to all of these efforts but we need a revolution that could overthrow unsustainable practices that result to climate change. We had agricultural, industrial, and political system revolution, and what we need is economic revolution that would forward the welfare of the Earth through implementation of sustainable practices.

Submitted by Marie Ysabel Tesoro on

It is very much still a doubt of mine whether climate change will recede with present efforts. Ever since I was in grade school (around 7 years ago, give or take), I had been made aware of this threatening phenomenon and how it can affect the future of the Philippines and humanity as a whole. While it is promising to know that our government has been making steps to mitigate the effects of climate change, it is quite concerning how it seems as if the consequences of this circumstance only rise in intensity. The extreme changes in weather such as the formation of stronger typhoons and the increasing heat index cause setbacks to the lives of many Filipinos: water shortage (and an overabundance of it), dry farmlands, and devastating storms – just to name a few.

Another problem we are facing is the lack of foresight and initiative of the many Filipino citizens to contribute to decreasing the effects of climate change. Even if the government exhausts its funds for a solution to climate change, it is will never be nearly enough. Even awareness is hardly enough anymore. We have been told how we can help several times – trash segregation, carpools, and more. The solutions have been present all this time, so why is climate change getting worse? Perhaps what is needed is a convincing reason, a compelling statement, something that will move even the most near-sighted of people.

Let us not leave this problem to the future generations.

Submitted by Aerielle Cano on

Indeed, the Philippines is already experiencing the effects of climate change and it will continue to become worse in just a matter of time. Its effects continue to double significantly, exceeding the numbers indicated in our predictions. Unless appropriate measures are done, Filipinos will continue to suffer from the effects.

To conquer the battle against climate change, I think that Filipinos should practice self-discipline. Even if we have programs & projects related to climate change and even institutions that address these problems, the execution of these solutions may not be fully effective if Filipinos do not practice self-discipline. They too, should be as committed as the others to do something about climate change. Because if not, we are fighting a battle we already lost.

Not only the Filipinos, but also the government should do their part in providing this country a better place to live in. Laws and orders must be studied and planned carefully before implementing it. Budgets and finances should be closely monitored to make sure that the money goes where they belong to.

The changes in our practices in order to adapt and fight the battle against climate change will be hard at first since we are accustomed to it. But in the long run, we will experience its benefits, making this world a better place to live in. As a nation, we must work together to achieve this goal.

Submitted by DE SILVA, ALEXANDRA MAE on

Climate Change in the Philippines

As I was reading the report “Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines” launched on June 25, 2013, I couldn’t help but feel some degree of cynicism. The document outlines the current situation in the country as it deals with the effects of global warming, the steps being undertaken by the government to address these problems as well as their failings, weaknesses and gaps at the time of writing. It also provides a neat framework of the future objectives of the plan, detailing the steps and activities that need to be carried out to meet these goals and giving an insight to where the government is taking this project.

But now, almost three years after the writing of the report, I feel like all these strategies and objectives have gone nowhere. I haven’t seen any updates on this plan; I know nothing about this complicated administrative stuff and so I can’t form an educated opinion about this report, but this is how I feel. And even if you give me the recent figures, tables showing the amazing progress this plan has achieved, I believe I will still feel the same -- that this report is nothing but pretty words, and has since remained as just that.

This is because I, as a citizen of the Philippines, don’t feel the improvements that this plan was supposed to bring. And I’m quite certain that many of my countrymen will say the same, especially the victims of the typhoons that have ravaged our country for the past three years.

According to the report: “at the national level, most of the resources continue to be directed to response, recovery, and rehabilitation efforts.” With that allocation, we would expect an efficient response to natural disasters and calamities by the government. Yet this has not been the case. In the past and even up to the present, I’ve been witnessing lots of livid Yolanda survivors airing their complaints and grievances in the television. We’d been criticized by a foreign TV station because of the seeming absence of relief efforts in the struck provinces, but instead of reflecting on it, some of the people responsible even dared to deflect the criticisms and defend themselves. If we can’t even execute proper relief and rehabilitation efforts and maximize the large budget being given to it, then how are we expected to go further than that, beyond disaster response and recovery and towards efficient and systematic prevention and mitigation strategies to achieve a well-rounded emergency management framework?

I may be too harsh in my judgment. But I feel like, as a Filipino, I should be honest when a promised change and growth is not felt. Of course, I shouldn’t just blame the government in this and hold them solely responsible in improving our situation. We, as citizens of this country, also have a part in this. We lack discipline and a sense of personal responsibility. I, for one, admit to my failings and inadequacies. Until recently, I felt distant from this issue. Living in a relatively stable and less disaster-prone area like Batangas, I’ve always seemed like a spectator, watching from afar as the rest of the country is suffering. At least until my own town was struck really bad by Typhoon Glenda more than a year ago and my family spent days draining water from the inside of our house and trying to save our properties. This is when I realized I haven’t done enough for this issue. Currently, I’m taking baby steps -- educating myself and examining my routines and customs, trying to be more environment-friendly and less wasteful in my consumption. And now that elections are nearing, I’m making sure that the candidates I am voting for are leaders who can effectively continue the efforts of the Aquino government to address the issue of climate change.

As they say, “we’re all in this together”. Together in destroying this planet. Together in fixing what we’ve broken. All of us. The government, the Church, schools, businesses, families. We, Filipinos are all in this together.

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