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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 Omar W. Mekkaoui on

Climate change as a whole is a very tricky topic to grasp. It is a global problem that everyone has to face and will continue to be a problem as long as we are not prepared for it. There are debates out there as to whether or not humans are directly responsible for the change in climate (through the burning of fossil fuels which in turn, would increase the rate of greenhouse gas emissions). Some however, argue that the act of global warming is a ‘natural phenomenon’ and as a result, is something that we shouldn’t worry about. Regardless of who is at fault though, the fact still stands that in today’s world, climate change is a problem and we need to be able to adapt before the problems start to get extremely out of hand.

Philippines from a global perspective isn’t a country known for its excessive Industrial activity. Infact, it isn’t even among the top contributors to global warming. However, just because it’s not among the top doesn’t mean we shouldn’t also be doing our part. Overtime, as Philippines develops into a more industrialized country, the rate of greenhouse gas emissions would also increase.

This blog touches on this same idea and even provides some recommended measures to help tackle this issue. I don’t think those measures alone will be enough however. In my opinion, I think the Philippines should look into using renewable energy sources to counter the growing demand for energy consumptions. (Such as Solar energy or Geothermal energy.) Another thing that we can look at is recycling. Far too often I see trash being left around and not being disposed of correctly. The sad truth is however, not many people in the Philippines are educated on the dangers or the implications of climate change. However, it has gotten better in within the last decade. But, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in educating the masses on climate change. The more people that become aware of global warming's impact on the world as a whole, the more we can be prepared to adapt to it and potentially find a conclusive answer to the problems it brings at hand.

Submitted by tin valenzuela on

Disaster Management Orientation will be a big help for all of us to survive to Climate Change. The local government must be well prepared and knowledgeable on how to handle this thing seriously because as we can see, our government are just too aggressive at first only but cannot sustain it until the problem is totally resolve. For example, when Typhoon Yolanda or Haiyan hits the Philippines in November 08, 2013 wherein millions of families were affected and with huge count of casualties were reported, the government did not response immediately and until now all the donations from all over the world are not distributed to the victims yet. Most of the victims were survived on their own ways and up to now, they are still waiting for the help of our LGU units.

To prevent from suffering too much on every disaster due to Climate Change, we must discipline ourselves in all aspects. We are in charge on taking care of ourselves, our family, our community and our country as well by giving importance to our Nature. We should be a responsible citizen of our country. Most importantly, we shall have faith in God. We must love God above all so we can take good care of everything He made on earth.

Submitted by ERIKA MAE GUAZON on

Climate change hasn’t been easy on us. Recently, we’ve been pounced by deadly typhoons. And through these catastrophes we saw how vulnerable The Philippines is. We’ve been more wary after Ondoy but it was not enough. It was only until Yolanda came had we realized that we were not truly prepared. More projects poured in and laws have been strictly implemented. That was a great feat but I think something is still missing. Yes, the World Bank report is very promising. But it would only be rendered useless if people are not aware of the country’s effort to reduce the harmful effects climate change brings and will bring us. I think it’s best if we start from the top and try to orient the people about the state we are in now and the state we will be in after a couple of years. In that way, they would be more acceptable to the demands of the government and lessen conflicts. It is stated that the SAP will raise public awareness but will it be effective considering the mentality of the Filipinos today?

Submitted by Anonymous on

“Climate change is a development issue that threatens the gains and economic development attained in the past decades.”

I somehow agree with this statement in the article. Although development is not bad, the negligence of people towards the environment is. Today, in the modern time, we are too busy thinking about making new innovations, things we can use to make our life easier that we forget about its consequences and effects on our planet. There are new buildings, machines such as cars being built almost everyday… which I guess is a sign of economic growth, but little did we know that the environment is slowly taking its toll on us.

Here in the Philippines, we experience traffic almost everyday. In that traffic, there are like thousands of cars emitting greenhouse gases all at the same time. Hence, our country being hotter than the usual or maybe that ‘hotter than the usual’ is the new ‘usual’. All of this heat contributes to Climate Change.

I am quite sure that we are aware in this change in climate. As we can observe, the rainy season and summer moved in a different month. This has greatly affected the field of agriculture, but some scientists introduced new breeds or types of plants and rice that are sustainable despite the weather. Also, there are laws regarding the environment implemented to ensure the minimal effects of Climate Change. (ex. Clean Air Act) Nowadays, there are tree planting and cleanup activities conducted and I hope there will be more soon. It’s never too late to start making things that will help save the environment.

Submitted by Noel Jessie Aquino on

This blog was posted almost 3 years ago, but I think only few people are still aware how intense are the effects of climate change in our lives. We cannot blame common people because they're not given the right information for them to really understand what is happening in their environment. Who's fault is it? the government.

Yes, they have many plans and projects regarding climate change adaptation and mitigation but they are just fixing the effects of the roots of all problems were experiencing. They are not targeting the what started this climate shift. We should also know that we cannot stop climate change but we can lessen the destructive effects that comes with it.

The lack of dedication and affirmation to execute the laws regarding climate change is the weakest point of Aquino administration and/or any administrations that govern this country. Why? because most of the biggest contributor companies in the global warming are the biggest players too in economic growth in our country. And in reality once we go against this big players, we will be affected so much in this loss of investors.

Having that said, I still believe that Filipinos are wise and intelligent enough to know what we should do. Most of the people don't rely anymore to others just to prepare and correct all the wrong doings that will add more damage in our environment. They're all some government offices that are dedicated to lessen the hazardous effects of global warming and i think it is just right to acknowledge all their efforts. I've that National Greening Program (NGP) is extended and a new program regarding mangrove rehabilitation and coral reef protection and rehabilitation are on their way.

I believe that we should resolve this issue of global warming and climate change not because we are experiencing a bit of its effects right now, but we should resolve this for the generation that is coming, because we don't want to make the same mistake that the past generations did. If you'll let me share my dream, I want them to remember our generation to be the game changers and trail blazers in protecting our environment for the person in the coming years that we cannot meet and we will never meet.

Submitted by Louise Mabulo on

Our country has long been ravaged by tropical storms and easily affected by Climate Change. For centuries, our small Archipelago has been in the path of some of the worst natural weather conditions, experiencing the effects of El Niño and La Niña, typhoons and the like. In our conditions, where climate change is a factor that can only be 'cured' in long term plans, it is not surprising that the DPWH hold 52% of the climate appropriations, according to the World Bank Article 'Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines', due to the government's desire to find a way around the floods which so regularly occurs in most areas of our country.
The climate is a daunting world issue to address, much more finding a way to solve the issues it poses on our people. Our many Islands and their inhabitants as well small scale fishermen are continually at risk of sinking should a storm enter our area of responsibility; droughts pose a threat to the livelihood and agriculture of our farmers.
In spite of our year long battles against the weather, we see our citizens recover quickly from any natural threat, always persevering past any difficulties it caused, because of our resilience.

Despite this, with every oncoming storm, we become more and more aware of the effects it impresses upon the country and the individual people, especially with information-spreading technology, such as social media, phones, radios, televisions easily available, making the people more aware of the after effects.

I am extremely thankful that the Philippines is a democracy where the voices of the citizens can be heard, and more importantly, we have more ways to be heard and spread the message. I have always believed that we should take it upon ourselves to create a world for ourselves and our future. Now, more than ever before, small things like spreading a message to thousands of people is as simple as a few taps of a finger. Small tasks such as spreading awareness can lead to larger tasks, such as coming up with solutions.
As a people, we also have the power to elect the officials we choose, who uphold the same priorities and agenda for the country as us, and let our concerns regarding the climate be known to them. With one small task at a time, if each of us take the responsibility upon ourselves, we can make a massive change, create a better world and positively influence the generations to come.

Submitted by Alexandra Ysabel R. Manalang on

Climate change is a manmade problem. It is a product of our society’s endless emission of greenhouse gases. Whether we like it or not, we have to face its consequences and think of solutions. But despite solutions being proposed from everywhere by anyone, nothing is happening because of some flaws in society’s different sectors.

In the World Bank review, Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines, one gap in the government’s system truly struck me as I was reflecting on the review: funding for the Knowledge and Capacity development for climate change had been hugely underfunded from 2009-2013, when it should have been the government’s top priority. When solving a math problem, one cannot simply come up with a solution and a final answer without any knowledge of the problem itself. A person must study every supplied detail of the problem in order for him to arrive at one or many different kinds of solutions to it. This also applies to climate change. If the government would continue underfunding the Knowledge and Capacity development, chances are, more people would continue to do things (which they are not aware of) that contribute to climate change and make the necessary changes to mitigate it. Also, the Philippines’ little population of scientists and researchers who are in the lead of studying the problem would struggle in widening their scope for them to further propose and suggest different solutions to the public.

Although the government has its flaws, we, too, have many. In fact, the majority of our nation’s flaws are ours and we were the ones who created the problem. We have been continuously polluting our rivers with our garbage, the air that we breathe with our (excessive) means of transportation in our highways, our trees (that supply us oxygen) with our excessive use of paper, and the like. That is why despite the propagation of implemented laws/projects and groups assigned by the government for the prevention and mitigation of climate change, if our society would not make the necessary measures to prevent and avoid making the problem bigger than it already is, then progress would not be eminent nationally and globally. We must then be ready to face the consequences of our own doing. “What goes around comes around.” It must be known to us that we, too, are part of the environment which would face the effects of climate change, and that we are all interrelated. Our actions would affect someone or something somehow even in the bigger scheme of things.

Positive actions bring about positive results. One example would be choosing to be disciplined for the long term sake of our environment. Choosing to be disciplined means not buying another Uber car to be driven along our ever-polluted national highways, using alternative sources of energy, and even the petty things like not using light during daytime or not throwing plastics that would eventually clog our drainages come the rainy season. These actions would slowly, but surely bring about a promising future for our environment.

Submitted by jennilyn jimenez on

According to the World Disaster Report of 2012, the Philippines is the third most disaster-prone country in the world and Climate change is a key issue. Scientific assessments have indicated that the Earth is now committed to continued and faster warming unless drastic global mitigation action is put in place the soonest. Scientific assessments have confirmed that this warming of the climate system since the mid-20th century is most likely to be due to human activities or anthropogenic and thus, is due to the observed increase in greenhouse gas concentrations from human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels and land use change. Climate change has been a big factor in extreme weather events that have been affecting the Philippines. Such as heavy rainfall and typhoons which are becoming more common and have dramatic consequences, including major damage to infrastructure and agriculture and loss of human life. Coastal communities need protection from sea level rise and other impacts of climate change while upland communities must prepare for more landslides, mudslides and floods.

The World Bank Report states that Knowledge and Capacity Development has insufficient institutional capacity. “Insufficient institutional capacity, including limited access to knowledge, and the complexity of planning tools have hindered efficient execution of the climate reforms and Climate Action”. What can we do about this? How can we, masses, support the climate change problem if even the government does not have the sufficient capacity for the execution of the climate reforms and climate action? How could people do their part if institutions don’t have enough knowledge and tools?

I was not even aware that we have a 1 billion budget for climate change adaptation programs and projects at the local level. Information about the government’s projects on climate change should be disseminated very well to the public so that the people would know what part they can do about this. Media can help a lot to educate people on the effects of climate change and spread the measures to prevent it.

People lack of discipline that we always take advantage of our environment which we never think of what will happen in the future. We cannot just rely on the government or the policy-maker to solve the issue because all of us have our own contributions to climate change. If we start now and every one of us really try to help even in our own little way, then in the future we will see the difference.

Submitted by Katryn Anne Cailles Robin on

Natural calamities are among us, this is something we can easily see in everyday life. Tornadoes were never a problem in our country until a few years ago. The rise of sea level did not even cross the minds of many a decade ago. Yet, today, we face these threats not only in the Philippines, but in other countries as well. Global warming and climate change have become global issued which need to be addressed with haste. However, change can not happen over night. Change needs time. No matter how many projects and solutions we come up with, if we keep expecting them to take effect immediately, nothing will be accomplished.

Instead of trying to hasten things now, we should be patient and diligent in what we do. Water plants as frequently as possible, if you have enough space then try growing plants of your own. Let's not waste resources like fossil fuels in a matter of centuries, when the earth spent billions of years creating them. Instead, let us use renewable resources such as water (hydroelectrical), wind (windmills) and solar (solar panels) energies.

If more and more people began using these, then not only would non-renewable resources cease from depleting, we could also put a stop to both global warming and climate change. This way, we can assure a brighter future for the next generations to come.

Submitted by Zarina V. Ibanez on

Aggressive and Serious Implementation of Policies and Programs for Climate Change
I agree that Global Climate change is taking its’ toll on the Philippines simply because we are now experiencing the longest El Nino in the history of the Philippine climate. Fishermen are often experiencing fish kills and Farmers are experiencing draught, thus their products goes to waste due to lack or no water at all, no rain fall. But when rain comes floods are ruining their plantation also making them broke. In a small picture, It is also as simple as communities, especially in my area, are experiencing flash flooding which they don’t experience way, way back . As per their statement, it’s getting worst. And yet, I don’t see clearly how they do their share in battling climate change. Though the local government are making an effort through information dissemination (brochures, some seminars), some projects like MRF (Material Recovery Facilities), and ordinance on “No to Plastic”, still, it’s not enough. I also agree that Climate change are not being prioritized, for instance, have the local government ever been serious in implementing policies and programs to battle Climate change or make us more resilient and adapting to the ever changing world because of the climate change? Funding is one big hindrance, it seems that there is no enough fund to make the grass root more aware of climate change and how it affects their daily lives. In a bigger picture, we don’t contribute to lessen the greenhouse emission ( I don’t think they know how or don’t care), lessen the population growth and we destroy our environment just to put food in our family’s mouth, which aggravates the country’s climate vulnerability.
I believe that we should put more funds and more funds to educate community leaders and grassroots, to use in promoting projects that will lessen greenhouse emission, to put up programs and projects that will make our communities more adapting and resilient to climate change. We need Community leaders to monitor and help our local and national government to implement and monitor the climate change programs and policies. The National government as they were putting up a comprehensive and strategic climate reform agenda, there should be a strict implementation, strict monitoring and better plans in and for the grass root level. As it may seems, as per my personal observation, most if not some communities are not really serious about doing their part and are not really alarmed in what is going on around them. Though flooding are getting worst, they seemed to be used at and expecting it. I believe they have heard of the climate change, I guess the local government must do their job in vastly informing the communities “How climate change directly affects their daily lives”, as in how they will not eat because there will be no more fish in the lake, they will experience longer period of floods, Ondoy put some communities three months in flood, they must know that they may not see land in the coming years, meaning they will have to leave their house permanently. Climate Change is as serious as Programs for Education, Programs to give Jobs, Programs for Peaceful community, it seems that most politicians are forgetting about their programs on Environmental concern. Let’s teach the grass root, l hope the local government will implement Environmental Programs ( Climate Change Agenda)more seriously and aggressively.

Submitted by Lorraine Joyce Licera on

Filipinos are not the sole cause nor the main contributor to climate change, however, due to our unfortunate location, we can feel the effects of climate change. It’s good to hear that a commission focused on addressing this issue has been created; it shows that the Philippines is also joining the international cause to stop this global issue. CCC does not just focus on how to adapt to climate change but is also finding ways to contribute in the mitigation of this problem. However, a cause of huge disappointment for the Filipino people is the lack of progress on the projects. We can see an increase of more than 100% on the budget allocated to NCCAP since 2008 but there seems to be no successful project that has been reported.
Indeed, a small body composed of a small percentage of the country’s population cannot solve these problems alone. As citizens, we also have responsibilities to join the battle of climate change and fight for our survival. We cannot hurl the burden of our safety on the government’s shoulder. As individuals, we should take actions to at least reduce the factors of climate change no matter how minute it is, as small numbers, when collected can amount to a surprisingly huge figure. We should also take steps to adapt to the results of climate change to ensure our very own safety.
However, how can we fight an enemy we do not know of? How can we avoid a problem that we do not have knowledge? Sadly, majority of the Filipinos are not aware of the huge impact of climate change. Most probably, a lot of people do not even know what climate change is. Filipinos know that typhoons happen every year, and that it gets stronger as the time goes by, but not all can find the connection between the yearly disasters we face and this huge problem the whole world is facing. To help Filipinos adapt, they should first and foremost be informed and educated. This information should be repeated and drilled until it cannot be ignored. One solution for this is to use technology to forward the cause. Filipinos love watching television, why not create infomercials that would educate the Filipino population about global issues and their impact to our private lives? Actors and actresses can be used to connect to their fans and make them aware how serious our problem in global warming and climate change is. The government can make small steps in line with the big projects they have so it’s not only them that are fighting the battle, but they can have the whole Filipino community aiding them in adapting to and reducing the effects of climate change.

Submitted by IE Sindayen on

Thank you for the article and for the concern on the interest of the Filipino people in adapting to climate change.
In most cities in the Philippines, the use of private vehicles definitely puts an increase on greenhouse gas emissions due to the amount of time these vehicles are running because of the congestion of traffic. The government has been consistent in widening and building roads but I do not believe we need more roads or wider ones. I think we should have an effective electric mass transportation system that will discourage (up to eliminate) the use of private vehicles that emit these gases.
If we invest on mass transportation systems on main roads with electric trains and buses, there will also be space for a safe bike lane that will further promote conservation of energy and possibly also, healthy lifestyle for the population.
Widening and building roads, however, seem to topple the creation of mass transportation systems because of the cost of the technology and the Philippines will definitely need funding to pursue the latter.
My question is: If the Philippines is to pursue these efficient electric mass transportation systems, what kind of support can the Philippines expect from the World Bank in the fight against climate change and in committing to Working for a World Free of Poverty?

Submitted by Edgar C. Tadeo, Jr. on

Climate Change is perhaps one of the most contentious and pressing problems facing the world today. We as a species have never faced such massive threat to our existence collectively as a species since the ice age. In fact, scientists are now acknowledging that we are entering the sixth mass extinction phase, and it can be attributed solely to mankind’s doing.

Climate change is also a contentious topic because it somehow pits developed nations against developed and developing/emerging economies. Historically, Western Nations have generally outweighed developing nations in terms of carbon foot print. With the rising affluence of emerging nations in Asia as well as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South America) countries, we are seeing that other nations are catching not only in affluence but also with the increasing carbon foot print that comes with it.

The year 2015 is a seminal year on the issues of Climate Change. On December 2015, 196 nations met in Paris and ratified a treaty on Climate Change popularly called the Paris Agreement. This agreement aims to adapt an ambitious plan to help curb global warming. Specific points of the Paris Agreement are the following:

• Ambitious action plan before and after 2020.
• a strong legal framework and clear rules
• a central role for equity
• a long term approach
• public finance for adaptation and the low carbon transition
• a framework for action on deforestation and land use
• clear links to the 2015 Sustainable Development Goalsing:

The question begging to be asked then is who pays for it? The bone of contention among nations is the equitable division of cost. Should it be based on historical data? And if so, how do we quantify that the cost of such a program/s? What is the role of financial institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Asian Development Bank in the fight against Climate Change? Will the aid given to developing nations be given in the form of an assistance package or an interest free loan? How will we determine the amount to be given to every developing nation? More importantly, how will the Western Nations, and Financial institutions ensure that funds/loans/grants earmarked for climate change will actually reach their intended target market? What are the required audit/transparency systems required?

Above are only some of the questions that need to be asked in the fight for the reduction of Climate Change. One thing is certain however, something must be done soonest. Because the very existence of humanity as a species depends on it.

Submitted by Jethro Vergara on

Recent reports state that the population of the Philippines to be more than 100 million. More than 100 million Filipinos and here we are facing a problem that has been directly influenced by our very own actions. We obviously haven’t gotten a grip on climate change.

I don’t think that there is a conflict in awareness and information because the general public is well aware of the current situation of our country in terms of environmental issues. A quick Google search can give us reports about weather fluctuation in our country and a brief YouTube search can give us a visual on effects of inefficient use of natural resources. Facts and information aren’t a problem because I am quite sure that each and every Filipino knows of our environmental dilemmas. We have all had first-hand experience of the bothersome effects of climate change. From walking through flooded streets and the visible gray-colored smog hovering over Metro Manila’s skyline to the agricultural shortages we encounter during unexpected variations in weather; we are definitely experiencing the rapid destruction of our Earth’s natural resources. Yet why is it that the Filipino public seems to continuously exploit our environment? I think that we lack motivation and dedication in finally making things better for our country, even in the smallest way possible.

The Philippine government has implemented laws and created projects to alleviate this pressing problem which we should definitely commend such as staffing the Climate Change Commission. I was especially inspired when I saw the National Climate Change Action Plan and the objectives it has set to take better control of this looming environmental crisis. I do hope that the pillars they have formulated can progress into actual and visible implementation throughout the country. The overview on Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review by The World Bank has somewhat been an eye-opener and it has given me better insight on what has really been going on in the Philippines in regards to climate change. But aside from the steps that the government has been taking, we must also do our own part without needing to be regularly coerced by authority. While the administration continues to address and work out ways to improve our current environmental condition on a more economic and larger-scale level, we must take our own actions to help out.

It must be our own conscious decision every single day to be people who are pro-environment; to be people who think green. Small efforts such as waste segregation, choosing paper over plastic and participating in clean-up drives or tree planting projects could actually go a long way as long as everyone contributes. As the government does what it can to lighten our current environmental predicament, it is our job to hold our own end up and be the responsible environmental advocates and stewards that our Earth needs us to be.

Submitted by CM Noblezala on

The national government has done a lot to kick-start the efforts in ensuring a better environment through the action plans and initial efforts they have made. However, little has been done to influence the people towards the adaption of preventive efforts to better position us for the changes in our environment. I see this as one of the most important roles of the national government. As an ordinary citizen, frankly, I do not feel the level of seriousness of my government when it comes to enforcing policies to the effects or triggers of climate change. I strongly believe that to effect major changes not only in how we care for the environment, we have to muster enough strength and support from the communities as well. However, in my community alone, I do not feel or observe any efforts made by the local officials. I see garbage in the streets, no proper waste disposal, no policies to support garbage segregation and other efforts to control or curb GHG emissions. Bottom-line, this government has only made initial efforts to show that they have acted of this matter. However, does not have the political will to effect changes at a faster rate. While we cannot just depend on the government alone, the citizens must also take a stand and contribute to these improvement efforts, while the government needs to beef up education and awareness in the communities. We’ve seen local policies change - yes, but people are slowly adapting to these policies, perhaps because enforcement is not very strong and taken seriously. We need to strengthen our policies to make the institutions and communities responsible for their actions, and ultimately their environment.

Submitted by Charlene M on

Filipinos, how are you adapting to climate change?
The Philippines is an archipelagic country, which is one of the factors of why it is one of the most vulnerable country with the effects of Climate Change. We have been experiencing more intense typhoons that caused a lot of damage to different areas of this country. And yes, the government is doing something about it. There are Disaster Risk Reduction and Management per local government unit, which is a big progress and a great help especially for those areas who are often struck by natural calamities. Although these disasters are inevitable, I think they are preventable.
The government have created sets of policies, programs, and institutions for the communities and their health and welfare, and I think no matter how great these policies are, if people are not cooperative, this will not be effective.
According to budget secretary Florencio Abad, the appropriations for climate change programs have been increasing at an average of 2 percent yearly since 2009. In my opinion, if this increase of appropriations is really true, we should have invested this to renewable energy sources that would benefit communities, and not on another coal power plant. Investing on renewable energy would help this country a lot, and would also save up money since it would help mitigate the effect of climate change which leads to improvement of development, and it would also be in line with our oath to reduce carbon emissions by 2050.
Although the government is doing something to mitigate the effects of climate change in our country, how are we, as Filipino individuals, really adapting to climate change? We are aware that this is happening in our country and in the world, but are we conscious about our actions towards it? Do we make an individual effort to be environmentally responsible and actually contribute to change? It is predicted that by 2030 the emissions from the transport sector will double, yet we still use our cars even though it’s not necessary. Making people aware is the first step, but making them responsible is something that would contribute to change.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Geographically speaking, naturally warm water encompass our country. Because the water is generally warm, the heat trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases further enhances the sea surface temperature. Thus, resulting to a great amount of water being evaporated and tremendous heat being released. This would then lead to more frequent and stronger storms. These additional rainfalls contribute to flooding and other severe damages. Furthermore, because more heat is being trapped, polar ice caps in colder regions start melting, leading to a rise in sea level which would then result to greater storm damage. Since the Philippines lies along the pacific region which is near the Equator, the people residing in coastal areas are being threatened; putting various communities at risk.  
The consequences of such extreme weather could be felt especially by people engaged in agricultural activities. Most land in the Philippines is used for agriculture and a great number of Filipinos rely on it for livelihood. Having too little rain (period of drought/El Nino) or having too much rain (flooding/La Nina) could damage the crops and affect food production. Furthermore, the increase in carbon dioxide yields a favorably condition for the growth of weeds, which are harmful to crops. Thus, reducing crop production. People situated in rural areas also depend on the sea for livelihood. The frequent change in the pattern of rainfall can disrupt the fisheries and affect the aquatic ecosystems. The imbalance caused by the alteration of Ph levels could add to food insecurity because of the sudden loss of coral reefs. There is also an increase in the intensity of tropical cyclones. An example would be the super typhoon Yolanda, which claimed many lives and severely damaged properties, costing the country a total of 4% of its gross domestic product.  

Another impact that could be observed would be the intensified heat (heat waves), which contributes to human deaths and other health complications. It also sets the stage for wildfires, which could threaten not only the habitats of various animals, but also the homes and lives of people living in/near the forests. A lack of proper evacuation centers and poor relocation-planning also threaten the health of people. Those who are settling in under-developed areas after having their homes destroyed are exposed to various diseases carried by pests as well as freshwater shortage. 

In my opinion, I think humans are the main reason why these are all happening. The rapid increase of human population together with the frequent deforestation contribute to the increase of carbon dioxide. Since there are fewer trees available to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, an increase in carbon dioxide could be observed. Furthermore, human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels to supply energy and the emission of harmful gases by automobiles and factories, produce dreadful amount of greenhouse gases. We should definitely increase public awareness and promote ways to help mitigate greenhouse gases. Our responses towards climate change should first be based on local needs. This is why I agree with the "3 Pillars" presented by the World Bank in its report titled, "Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines." There should be proper planning on climate change in the government and it should be carried out effectively. The budget for the people should not fall into the hands of corrupt officials. What is meant for the people should be given to them respectively. It should not benefit just an individual, the budget allotted to the Filipinos should benefit the greater mass. The Filipinos in turn should help one another by raising awareness and by taking proper care of the environment; recycle, reuse, reduce. We first have to understand the current situation before we can adapt and prepare.  

Reference:
Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines - World Bank Report
6 way climate change will affect PH cities - Pia Ranada
How is Climate Change Affecting the Philippines? - The Climate Reality Project

Submitted by Miz Pah Faith R. Montejo on

Filipinos? Yes we are! We are those creatures who are regarded by many as brave and resilient. After a damaging catastrophe, why do Filipinos still wear a smile on their faces? Simple. It is because we are those creatures who are dominated by hope and traditionally high spirited to survive any disaster.

It is so sad to note that we had been damaged by typhoons in the last 10 years. Numerous typhoons had affect and displaced thousands of citizens around the country. The deadliest was Typhoon Yolanda who had killed 6,300 lives, displaced 4 million citizens and cost a damaged of Php 2billion. Sometimes we think if Filipinos are being cursed as to experience a deadly calamity. Do we really need to experience all these? Do we need to see our fellow Filipinos lifeless and hopeless?

Why do we experience such threats to humanity? Do we deserve to live peacefully and in harmony with nature? This, my dear fellowmen, a question that slaps our face gigantically. It hurts to see people dying out of certain catastrophic situations – typhoon, landslides, earthquake, La Niña, El Niño, Ocean Acidification and more. Guess what, if we had not experienced all these, do you think people will be enlightened? No, because we are selfish. We always think of how to augment our lives putting aside those creatures we harmed - only to get what we want and to answer our scream of greediness. Let us try to look at our forests, our seas, our farmlands. We could not anymore see a glimpse of yesterdays – the eyes of serenity. All we could see are the strong buildings of industrial plants – those industries that are using and abusing our natural resources to fulfill their thirst of industrialized country. Unknown to them are the negative effects of their produce to humanity.

The Philippine government had allocated commissions and funds to act against the increasing damage caused by climate change. But are the measures undertaken enough to heal our people and our mother nature? If only those in authorities would act, there is no healing to take place. Our mother nature needs everybody to heal. Mother Nature calls for everybody to embody within ourselves the spirit of discipline. We could not solve a worst problem with numerous constituents involved. This problem needs everybody to act. In collective effort, we will win.

All of us Filipinos should instill within our hearts the sincerity of saving our earth. We do not need large sums of money to solve the alarming climate changing occurring these days. By simply doing our little chores and activities at home, school and offices, we can help revive the blossoms of our Mother Earth.

Here are those little acts we surely could do to help prevent the occurrence of such natural disasters.

A. Planting more trees.
B. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
C. Conserve energy at home and at work
D. Conserve Water
E. Buy energy efficient products
F. Make wise transportation choices (bicycle instead of cars)

J.K. Rowling once said “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” Filipinos, my dear fellow countrymen, let us all unite for a brighter future of the generations to come.

Submitted by Mary Grace D. Falagne on

Hello Ma’am Miz! I do appreciate how you highlighted the Filipinos’ positive attitudes despite the numbers of catastrophe we have faced. These catastrophes that our country experience are not just coincidences. Climate change is a global problem. One of the causes (as The World Bank report stated) is global warming. It is happening around the world. And given the fact that the Philippines is an archipelagic country, we are highly affected by global warming—or in a greater depiction—climate change. Another aspect (or cause) that the report sighted is the country’s Greenhouse gas emission. Even if our country does not really have a major contribution to the global warming due to GHG emission, it is still disturbing to know that the said activity is “increasing rapidly” in the Philippines.

Having these information in mind, and upon reading your comment, I would like to add one (or perhaps two ;) ) act on your list: Make ourselves knowledgeable enough to know what causes climate change and be aware of its consequences. Moreover, let us spread these knowledge and awareness to the people around us.

Submitted by Maria Fenela Quilla on

If we analyze the global situation of our environment, we realized we are the one who caused all the environmental change. We destroy nature directly and indirectly. Using of technologies continuously can ruin our environment too. Technologies help us with our daily lives but as these technologies improve, they affect our environment. Paul Stern’s article, Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions, presented the variables that affect and cause environmental change. These are the population growth, economic growth, technological change, political-economic institution and attitudes and beliefs. The five variables have major impact on both society and nature. (Paul Stern, 1992) The Philippines is affected by changes happening in the world, be it economic, environmental or political, alongside with the other Third World Countries.

According to Lester Milbrath, “we have a crisis of human civilization. It was not until we became civilized and took more and more of the biosphere to serve our exclusive needs that we began to produce and consume at epidemic rates.” He also stated that the emission of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are beginning to change the way the biosphere works. (Lester Milbrath, 1998)

We all want to change for the better but sadly no one wants to start or take actions. Leo Laporte stated that the effect of one act maybe small, but the global efforts of every individual can make huge impact. (Laporte, 1972)

It will take us millions of years to restore the previous state of the nature but we can prevent it from getting destroyed further by sustaining what we still have and prevent it from further damage. Change comes from little things or actions but when combined together they give a bigger impact. The change starts from home and small communities by keeping the surroundings clean. Every houses should practice conservation of energy and recycling of materials. Our entire society must lessen the consume of carbons, burning of fuels, cutting of trees for housing projects, production of nuclear energy, dynamite fishing and other human and economic activities that affect the global environmental change. The management of the resources must find substitutes to avoid depletion. Waste Management based on recycling, redesign of production processes, and treatment of the waste of one process as raw materials for another can reduce the environmental impact of economic activity.

Milbrath had suggested that we must learn our way to a new society. Our journey may be difficult but it is the only way. We must face it optimistically with a deep understanding of the pace and character of social transformation. Every decision that could affect that future becomes a moral decision. We should not shrink from this responsibility.

Submitted by Ma. Luisa Miranda on

Climate Change, also called global warming, refers to the rise in average surface temperatures on Earth. An overwhelming scientific consensus maintains that climate change is due primarily to the human use of fossil fuels, which releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the air. climate change or global warming are global issued, that earth has experiencing ever since. And we need to do something to change it. Change may take a while, yet we need to be patient if we want change to be effective.

We need to start doing things, think solution about Climate Change or Global Warming, why not start doing things like water plants frequently as possible, or give a time on your schedule everyday, start planting trees and plants. These we think are simple things can help a lot.

Imagine if most of us are doing these things, we have a bigger change to lessen or completely stop Climate change and Global warming, and start a wonderful future.

Question: if you were to think your own solution about Climate Change, what would it be and why do you think it will help to stop Climate Change?

Submitted by Norman A. Balog-ang Jr. on

How I adapt to this Climate Change?

Since birth I am leaving on a high land here in Cordillera, I always feel the cold temperature every morning, noon and at night. At this time I feel the coldness that is why I always wear a sweater and use two blankets to sleep. This cold temperature, I hope that it will stay longer because our climate is now unpredictable. I remember when I was a kid I walk to school every morning I feel cold, I seldom feel sweaty it is only when I rush, every lunch break I return to our house and even the sun is shining brightly I do not feel hot until dismissal in the afternoon I still feel the coolness of air.

But years past by, I observed and felt the change, the coldness changes time to time. There is a time where all day is cold but there is also a time that you just do not like to go out especially in the noontime because it is very hot where you always need a tissue or towel to wipe your sweat. It is upsetting that why this change is happening, what is the cause and hoping that I can continuesly adapt to this change.

Another thing also that Cordillera must be proud of is the presence of Pine Trees everywhere, you can smell the scent of Pine Trees. Sad to say that today, little by little it is changing, trees were illegally cut down, cut down for business purposes and building of houses. I can see the change where I can see that some part of the mountains being covered by houses. Yes, to be fair there still a lot of places here in our place where you can still feel the breeze of the pine trees. There is a policy of DENR when they permitted you to cut trees you must replace it by means of tree planting.

One issue here in our City is the plan in the building of Parking Area in SM Baguio where a lot of people including me disagreed about this because a lot of trees will be chop. People tried to boycott S.M. Baguio, protestors, activist, nature ambassadors tried to stop this cutting of trees but at the end of the day, nothing happened. Then, news popped out that the trees were secretly cut down at night time and the building of parking is soon to be started. I was in a taxi going to the hospital for my check up when I passed by the area where I can see that the trees are not there anymore, it turned like an open vacant lot. That time I felt sadness and anger and asked why did our city allow this to happen. The promise of this establishment they will replace the trees in other location by a tree planting project, I hope that there promise will turn into nothing.

Another thing I observed is the rapid growth of the number of vehicles here in Baguio City, the burning of garbage not just dried leaves, pine needles even their own trash like papers, plastics and more is now a habit for some, that is why air pollution is now something to watch for, a problem that we must face and solve.

The damage was done all we can do is help our city, our country even in the simplest way to solve the problem. Throw our garbage, trash on the proper area, join some tree planting activities or even plant in your own area, be active in legit online petitions like no tree cutting in this area in our city and country, do the 3R Act which means Reuse, Reduce and Recycle observes the clean air act of our Government.

Sometimes we complain that the government is not using the given budget to solve the climate change for our country but try also to assess yourselves if you are doing your responsibility as a citizen in our country to fight climate change and to think all of us is the reason why this climate change is happening.

And to end, we all need to step up because at the end of the day we are the one who is going to suffer. I do not like that one day I experience erosion, floods and heat waves, I do not like to watch floods, erosions, people who lost their lives because of calamities on the television anymore. Let us all be responsible for protecting our Mother Earth, we must take this issue seriously and wholeheartedly.

Submitted by Norman A. Balog-ang Jr. on

How I adapt to Climate Change?

Since birth I am leaving on a high land here in Cordillera, I always feel the cold temperature every morning, noon and at night. At this time I feel the coldness that is why I always wear a sweater and use two blankets to sleep. This cold temperature, I hope that it will stay longer because our climate is now unpredictable. I remember when I was a kid I walk to school every morning I feel cold, I seldom feel sweaty it is only when I rush, every lunch break I return to our house and even the sun is shining brightly I do not feel hot until dismissal in the afternoon I still feel the coolness of air.

But years past by, I observed and felt the change, the coldness changes time to time. There is a time where all day is cold but there is also a time that you just do not like to go out especially in the noontime because it is very hot where you always need a tissue or towel to wipe your sweat. It is upsetting that why this change is happening, what is the cause and hoping that I can cope up to this change.

Another thing also that Cordillera must be proud of is the presence of Pine Trees everywhere, you can smell the scent of Pine Trees. Sad to say that today, little by little it is changing, trees were illegally cut down, cut down for business purposes and building of houses. I can see the change where I can see that some part of the mountains being covered by houses. Yes, to be fair there still a lot of places here in our place where you can still feel the breeze of the pine trees. There is a policy of DENR when they permitted you to cut trees you must replace it by means of tree planting.

One issue here in our City is the plan in the building of Parking Area in SM Baguio where a lot of people including me disagreed about this because a lot of trees will be chop. People tried to boycott S.M. Baguio, protestors, activist, nature ambassadors tried to stop this cutting of trees but at the end of the day, nothing happened. Then, news popped out that the trees were secretly cut down at night time and the building of parking is soon to be started. I was in a taxi going to the hospital for my check up when I passed by the area where I can see that the trees are not there anymore, it turned like an open vacant lot. That time I felt sadness and anger and asked why did our city allow this to happen. The promise of this establishment they will replace the trees in other location by a tree planting project, I hope that there promise will turn into nothing.

Another thing I observed is the rapid growth of the number of vehicles here in Baguio City, the burning of garbage not just dried leaves, pine needles even their own trash like papers, plastics and more is now a habit for some, that is why air pollution is now something to watch for, a problem that we must face and solve.

The damage was done all we can do is help our city, our country even in the simplest way to solve the problem. Throw our garbage, trash on the proper area, join some tree planting activities or even plant in your own area, be active in legit online petitions like no tree cutting in this area in our city and country, do the 3R Act which means Reuse, Reduce and Recycle observes the clean air act of our Government.

Sometimes we complain that the government is not using the given budget to solve the climate change for our country but try also to assess yourselves if you are doing your responsibility as a citizen in our country to fight climate change and to think all of us is the reason why this climate change is happening.

And to end, we all need to step up because at the end of the day we are the one who is going to suffer. I do not like that one day I experience erosion, floods and heat waves, I do not like to watch floods, erosions, people who lost their lives because of calamities on the television anymore. Let us all be responsible for protecting our Mother Earth, we must take this issue seriously and wholeheartedly..

Submitted by Sarah Minelle Bueno on

We are blessed to have a country that has rich and natural resources and knowing that it is slowly deteriorating because of our wrongdoings. Not only will climate change destroy the beauty of our country’s natural wonders, it will also our economy because we are indeed, an agricultural country. Based on an overview of climate change made by the The World Bank, one of the major issues of our country today regarding prevention of global warming is lack of support.

I must admit, I am one of those Filipino citizens who are aware of the climate change that is occurring in this world but not completely aware of how our country is finding ways to prevent this. However, I’m fortunate enough to live in an area where being environmentally conscious is part of the law. It has been almost more than five years since Calamba City since the ordinance prohibiting the use of plastic bags on dry goods was passed. We all know how plastic destroys our eco-system and leaves carbon footprints. Since then, everytime I go to places (like Manila) that still use plastic bags, I just use my own bag for the things I buy. Laws like this is hard to execute especially with its pros and cons. But, it still helps in some ways.

Personally, I think one of the issues that we are facing today is lack of knowledge and discipline. If every individual is knowledgeable enough to be aware of the existing effects of our global warming, specifically in the Philippines, we will become more aware of our actions in our day to day life. It’s saddens me when I see people who just throw their trash anywhere especially cigarettes smokers who do not care enough for the air and people around them, but do not care enough to throw their cigarette butts in the trash.​ If only people are disciplined enough, we don’t have to wait for the government to spend tons of money on projects to prevent global warming. This is our country, and this is our world. All of us have the responsibilities to protect what is ours and if we don’t, we will be the ones who will perish. I think the most important question here is: Filipinos, how are you preventing climate change?

Submitted by Sarah Minelle Bueno on

We are blessed to have a country that has rich and natural resources and knowing that it is slowly deteriorating because of our wrongdoings. Not only will climate change destroy the beauty of our country’s natural wonders, it will also our economy because we are indeed, an agricultural country. Based on an overview of climate change made by the The World Bank, one of the major issues of our country today regarding prevention of global warming is lack of support.

I must admit, I am one of those Filipino citizens who are aware of the climate change that is occurring in this world but not completely aware of how our country is finding ways to prevent this. However, I’m fortunate enough to live in an area where being environmentally conscious is part of the law. It has been almost more than five years since Calamba City since the ordinance prohibiting the use of plastic bags on dry goods was passed. We all know how plastic destroys our eco-system and leaves carbon footprints. Since then, everytime I go to places (like Manila) that still use plastic bags, I just use my own bag for the things I buy. Laws like this is hard to execute especially with its pros and cons. But, it still helps in some ways.

Personally, I think one of the issues that we are facing today is lack of knowledge and discipline. If every individual is knowledgeable enough to be aware of the existing effects of our global warming, specifically in the Philippines, we will become more aware of our actions in our day to day life. It’s saddens me when I see people who just throw their trash anywhere especially cigarettes smokers who do not care enough for the air and people around them, but do not care enough to throw their cigarette butts in the trash.​ If only people are disciplined enough, we don’t have to wait for the government to spend tons of money on projects to prevent global warming. This is our country, and this is our world. All of us have the responsibilities to protect what is ours and if we don’t, we will be the ones who will perish. I think the most important question here is: Filipinos, how are you preventing climate change?

Submitted by Sarah Baniqued on

It is good to know that our government is taking initiatives to address the problems we are facing in the calamities we've gone through and will possible experience as caused by climate change.However, there are still lots of questions that can be raised on this project.

According to a WB report entitled "Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines", climate policy reform eforts are only partially aligned with development plan outcomes. Not to mention, there's a lack of clarity in the roles and responsibilities accross insitutions. Having these said, has there been a standardized mechanism yet to make sure that the institutions involved are coordinated? This is greatly concerning because this definitely involves a budget that is, of course limited. This, as we know, will have impact to our economy as improper allocation may result to a limited financial resources and may noy support the implementation of other various programs and projects that best promote the development of the country. Also, the motive/agenda of this project will not be as effective as originally planned if this continues.

Furthermore, what steps have been taken yet to make sure that the departments, agencies, and LGUs are already knowledgeable and well-capable in managing and implementing the mission of this project? How then can they empower local people's knowledge in adapting to climate change if they themselves aren't fully equipped?

Another question I wish to raise is, why can't the government support the use of alternative energy sources, biomass and biofuels? My understanding of this is that, the reason why this is not supported is that this is costly. But then again, if we can spend on PAPs such as e-trike and organic agriculture, why can't we invest on infrastructures or equipments for these renewable energies when in fact, we have abundant resources to harness these? What exactly is restricting us? I believe the budget is available. We just need to realize that we have to prioritize the welfare of the mass than just the big companies.

Anyway, we can not all blame it to our government as our daily activities, no matter how small it may be, take part in the increase of the emission of greenhouse and also the increase of environmental pollution. Everyone is responsible for the climate change that's happening.

Submitted by Ajran Arsad on

In the village where I was born and raised, somewhere in Metro Manila, nothing much have changed except that population grew in number, and there were reduction in trees because people kept building houses here and there. I don't blame them because all they can think of is their survival and they have a right to that. What saddens me is that even after so many years, their situation hasn't changed. They still keep living in the same old makeshift houses. Because of the climate change, it gets cold, and hot, then cold again. It is especially cold during nighttime. I cannot imagine how they survive the night.

Moreover, until now, they don't have a direct water line that goes straight to their homes. Every day they go to the Barangay for drinking water and for their daily bath.

The situation is seriously bad. Every time I see them I pray and hope that during this current administration, nobody in the Philippines will be homeless anymore-- everybody will be living in good houses.

The waste management is also problematic. Garbage trucks come in unexpected days. Sometimes they come, sometimes they don't. What is bothering me further is that there seems to be no segregation of biodegradable, non-biodegradable, and recyclable trash. I worry they might all be thrown to Payatas again.

Exactly what have we been doing? Most of us only continue to wait for the government to address the issue, to do something about it, and to actually see to it that policies are implemented and funds go exactly where they should be. We have all the right to expect that from our government. But should we just stop at that?

The little things we can do are to consume only what we need-- we shouldn't be too greedy, to segregate the garbage (biodegradable, non-biodegradable, and recyclable), to keep planting, and so that it will create a bigger impact, raise environment awareness so that not just you but many other people are participating in taking care of the Earth. However slow the progress and small the effects, our efforts will still help the environment.

As Gandalf the Grey (of the Lord of Rings trilogy) had said, "Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."

Submitted by Aira Ysabel Mateo on

Taking Climate Action

As a global issue, the effects of climate change have severely impacted the Philippines along with many other areas of the world. The Philippines is a developing country, but despite minuscule contribution to the greenhouse effect, the Philippines is one of the most prone areas to natural disasters brought on by the impact of climate change. It is evident that even the smallest change in Earth's temperature can trigger large-scale effects that could potentially pose a threat to human survival. No aspect of our physical environment is more important than climate - it plays a vital part in our lives in that it influences where and how we live. It is highly crucial that everyone is aware and fully understands the issue of climate change, so that effective strategies can be formed and everyone can take proper action to make proper solutions.

But one observation from the World Bank report on Climate Change in the Philippines is that the Climate Appropriations based in the NCCAP for the Knowledge and Capacity Development sector is underfunded: the most they have been allocated is an estimated 7% of Climate Appropriations (based on figure 1, Evolution of Climate Appropriations, 2008-2013). This means that a majority of scientists in the Philippines who are convinced that the magnitude of the greenhouse effect is accelerating, would struggle to fund their studies and researches in order to further understand the impacts of climate change. The World Bank report also states the following: "Knowledge gaps and the lack of a knowledge management system have been key barriers for scaling up Climate Action in Departments and LGUs." So how can we find the right solutions if the Knowledge and Capacity Development is underfunded and we can't even fully understand this climate problem we are facing today?

Another observation from the World Bank report is that there is a need for a more organized leadership system - the climate agenda has indeed a very broad scope and because of this, there is a lack of agreement and coordination between Climate Action institutions: one way to approach this is to find common strategies which everyone can agree on and put them in place - similar to that of the Paris Agreement in 2016. Also, integrating climate action into local communities can be effective in that everyone in the community can be encouraged to contribute to making a change - that is, if everyone extends their full support and cooperation.

Overall, climate change is a geographical, economical, political and sociological issue that must be acted upon by everyone: not just the climate change organizations, not just the government and not just the scientists. The greenhouses gases, biomass, deforestation and pollution that are causing global warming and drastic changes in our climate are all products of human activity. Fortunately, solutions are not yet out of reach: I believe that with the right actions and proper strategies, we can change the future of our environment. The Earth is our home, and it is our responsibility to save it.

Submitted by Lenie Avanzado on

Devastating typhoons wreak havoc in the Philippines each year. The country’s geographical location, being bordered by the Pacific Ocean makes this archipelago vulnerable to typhoons. Climate change exacerbated the situation. The annual visits of several typhoons in the country are no longer new to Filipinos; however, the recurring incidents of super typhoons in the recent years raised anxiety particularly to those who live on low-lying coastal areas.

In 2013, the World Bank reported that aside from typhoons, prolonged droughts and impending sea-level rise are the other pressing issues brought by climate change. These droughts lead to decreased productivity in the agricultural sector, thus, posing threat to crop yields, predominantly rice, in the years to come. On the other hand, the concern on sea –level rise can result to decrease in fish stocks by 2050 prompted by fish migration due to ocean warming and acidification, and coral reef degradation.

Since the super typhoon Haiyan in 2012, more people have learned to heed warnings coming from the local government. Even the government has become cautious and quick in issuing notices and instructions to people. However, it is still necessary to raise our competence to respond to the occurrence of natural calamities. According to World Bank, the Local Government Units (LGUs) of Disaster Risk and Reduction Management were more focused on risk recovery and rehabilitation than prevention and preparedness. Financial and technical constraints were the main reasons. The government should never cease to find ways to augment the lack. Response to natural calamities does not only include distribution of food and donated clothes. Furthermore, the government should exercise strict measures or disciplinary action toward non-functioning LGUs. Moreover, all government officials must fulfil their duties as servants to the people in need and neither due to political reasons nor personal interests. Thousands of lives were lost due to Haiyan, not to mention the amount of properties destroyed in various provinces while climate change continues to threaten through emergence of super typhoons in the future.

The looming hazards brought by climate change are difficult to ignore. And, its tremendous effects for the past few years should be enough to awaken the Philippine government and the entire nation to exhibit a higher level of vigilance toward this threat. We should raise awareness with sense of urgency by educating various age levels in different sectors such as schools, offices, organizations, and households about climate change. We can also encourage more people to join various campaigns and foster collaboration in every barangay to confront the climate change issue through tree planting, recycling and other practical steps to preserve our natural resources. If we cultivate genuine concern to our environment, we can remain disciplined and will be able to inculcate the same values to others. On a larger scale, the government should implement procedures to assure that industrial companies conform to the rules regarding carbon emission. Vehicle owners and operators should concern themselves on this issue as well. Together with the government, let us work hand in hand to preserve the Earth, our only home.

Source:
World Bank 2013. Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines. Retrieved from http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/285281468296160884/pdf/787980WP0P1 3010e0Change0Philippines.pdf on January 30, 2017

Submitted by Mariel Francesca Reyes on

Ever since the industrial revolution began where factories and other technological advancements were made, Pollution became a serious problem in cities and countries up until today. Air pollution is caused by smogs from factories, water is polluted by wastes from urban areas, and trees from the mountains and forests are quickly reducing because of illegal logging, the growing population is also a factor since the needs or the demands of the people is also increasing, Pollution is one of the reasons why climate change is rapidly occurring. Based on the report by the World bank (2013), the Philippines is the third most vulnerable country in the world to weather-related disasters since we are located in the Pacific ring of fire, earthquakes, typhoons and volcanic eruptions can occur at any moment, Climate change is really happening whether you like it or not because it is an effect caused by ignorance and neglect for the environment. As the article stated climate change is a serious threat to human survival because it doubles the effect of the natural disasters occurring annually, especially in our country since we are vulnerable to these extreme effects. What we can do is simply to educate ourselves and do something, for example, segregate our wastes, plant trees and use environment-friendly products to reduce our carbon footprint because every little deed counts to lessen the effects of climate change and eventually save the environment. They say that change starts within ourselves and as the so-called stewards of nature should begin caring for our surroundings and be cautious of our actions before it is too late.
References:
The world bank. (2013, June). Get a grip on climate change in the Philippines. Retrieved from: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/285281468296160884/pdf/787980WP0P13010e0Change0Philippines.pdf

Submitted by Johannah Mae Ramos on

With regards to the implementation of plans and strategies about climate change, I do hope that Local Government Units (LGUs) would receive their much needed support. LGUs are much closer to the citizens and would be able to connect to them more often than the rest of the organizations related to the matter. But like the rest of the organizations and departments, LGUs would also need to develop the knowledge and capacities of their leaders and the people in order to ameliorate the whole situation regarding climate change.

Indeed, information and the dissemination of it are crucial in the planning, coordination, participation, and execution of climate change action plans by organizations and individuals. The hard part is that the plans and efforts of the government regarding climate change are not exactly mainstreamed and updated. For the general public to know how they could contribute and partake in activities, the details regarding such plans should reach them. This goal relates to raising awareness and educating the public about climate change.

However, in some cases, the value that must be raised is the interest of the people or groups of people for them to participate. Such interest refers to whether the matter of climate change is something they must prioritize immediately, or is a matter that they only need to act on if they are directly affected by its consequences. For such situations, the government has no direct hold on raising the interest of the public. The only hope is for the people to understand the weight of their actions and the possible consequences awaiting them.

Submitted by Fleurdelis B. Reyes on

In 2010, the World Bank (WB) presented a New Strategic Framework for Climate Change and New Assistance Strategy for the Philippines. This not only provided the groundwork for climate change activities, but the financial mechanics as well. The recommendations included the ff:

1) Implement the Climate Change Act & Strengthen Institutions & coordination
2) Focus Government Resources & Attention to Adaptation & Preparedness
The Philippine government has supported the integration of Climate Change into policies and programs. After the Climate Change Act (RA 9729) was signed into law in 2009, other policy milestones followed thereafter in alignment with WB’s guidelines.

To name a few:

1) Creation of the Climate Change Commission

2) Formation of the Climate Change Office under DENR

3) Development of Climate Change Act Implementing Rules & Regulations (IRR) under Administrative Order no. 2010-01 that articulates the Climate Change strategy and action plan, strengthening the roles of sector agencies and local government units

4) Development of disaster risk management

5) Mandate LGUs to track climate change expenditures in the local budget.

Although we read about the aggressive approach of the government on climate change, results have yet to be seen and felt. Typhoons and flood are getting worse. Summertime on the other hand, is extremely warm that the water in our dams fall below normal level during this period.
Climate change is a global phenomenon, that is quite hard to surmount, even with global effort. There will always be entities protecting their interest in businesses affecting the environment (eg. logging, real estate development [for urbanization or leisure], mining, etc). There will always be negligent people violating rules and regulations. Perhaps, strong political will from the government, social responsibility for corporate entities and discipline among the citizenry are needed to mitigate the Philippines from further woes on climate change.

References:

A Strategic Approach to Climate Change in the Philippines
The Climate Change Act (RA 9729), and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR, Administrative Order No. 2010–01)
The Climate Change Office (CCO)
Climate Change Commission-Policy Milestones

Submitted by Sheryll Jacob on

Filipinos, how are you adapting to climate change?

Philippines are truly one of the countries experiencing the climate change and still happening. The difference calamities our country is facing and the immense impact on Philippine economic Filipinos are already feeling the consequences of climate change. We should take this seriously, we Filipinos should act now to develop the capacity, how we can strengthen on expanding the mitigation opportunities, the Philippines to avoid the rampant results.
All what is happening to our country from the past up to this present time, is no longer a natural thing. The gap on not being knowledgeable to care to help to fix this problem for the future will not help us at all. We should think our next generation who will suffer most if we do not do anything. The climate is changing rapidly for us to adapt. We should not forget that human activities are warming our planets and causing our climate to change. Imagine what will happen to our world if we will do drastic changes how we can stop this. Climate chaos on the other hand is something we have to deal with right away and there’s this ongoing issue when we will stop, before we learned the consequences of climate change to our life and to our planet.
The sad reality here, our government is not addressing enough about climate change. The World Bank research context, insufficient institutional capacity, including limited access to knowledge, and the complexity of planning tools have hindered efficient execution of the climate change reforms and Climate Action. The political issues unfortunately impeded to put forward sensible climate change policy¬.

Submitted by Mariel Francesca Reyes on

Ever since the industrial revolution began where factories and other technological advancements were made, Pollution became a serious problem in cities and countries up until today. Air pollution is caused by smogs from factories, water is polluted by wastes from urban areas, and trees from the mountains and forests are quickly reducing because of illegal logging, the growing population is also a factor since the needs or the demands of the people is also increasing, Pollution is one of the reasons why climate change is rapidly occurring. Based on the report by the World bank (2013), the Philippines is the third most vulnerable country in the world to weather-related disasters since we are located in the Pacific ring of fire, earthquakes, typhoons and volcanic eruptions can occur at any moment, Climate change is really happening whether you like it or not because it is an effect caused by ignorance and neglect for the environment. As the article stated climate change is a serious threat to human survival because it doubles the effect of the natural disasters occurring annually, especially in our country since we are vulnerable to these extreme effects. What we can do is simply to educate ourselves and do something, for example, segregate our wastes, plant trees and use environment-friendly products to reduce our carbon footprint because every little deed counts to lessen the effects of climate change and eventually save the environment. They say that change starts within ourselves and as the so-called stewards of nature should begin caring for our surroundings and be cautious of our actions before it is too late.
References:
The world bank. (2013, June). Get a grip on climate change in the Philippines. Retrieved from: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/285281468296160884/pdf/787980WP0P13010e0Change0Philippines.pdf

Submitted by Ronwaldo T. Pabua on

With the recent devastating typhoons hit the Philippines since 2010 (particularly Yolanda) which caused thousands of lives in total, millions worth of properties and infrastructures destroyed, Filipinos have learned somehow to obey the government for their protection.
The creation of the CCA and the passing of laws related to the climate change are efforts of the government to stood up in the challenge brought by the climate change. Climate change is what we created, and the blame will not work anymore to anticipate the devastation, catastrophes, and natural calamity it created but what we can do is to act and respond to the continued challenges. Believing the government is doing its best to help us protect to these calamities out of the limited capacity to finance and employ innovation can bring us no harm, besides obeying to the policies they created will lead us to safe keeping and probably the country at zero casualty when the calamities arrived.
The participation of everyone and not of the government alone in addressing the climate change is what we need for us to live a safer life. Cooperation to the local government units as to their plans and strategies during the calamity, engaging in discussion in climate change will help aware of the situation, discipline in segregation among household are among others that constitutes participation. Should we expect surprises when we know we are prepared to climate change? I don’t think so. It may easily be said than done, yet there are actual results that proved the effectiveness of practicing participation. The casualties of typhoon Nina that hit the Philippines last Dec. 2016 speaks the actions we learned from Typhoon Haiyan.
Filipinos are adapting to climate change and the government through their efforts, including the lessons that learned from previous calamities helped the people to understand the new normal situation we have. It is not perfect, there are still a lot of improvement, studies and participation needed for us to embrace the inevitable changing of environment, yet if we continuously open our mind and hearts, and respond accordingly, then the safer place for everyone will soon be achieved.

Submitted by Mary Gladice Igmedio on

Undeniably, the climate change is happening in the Philippines. It is one of the most ultimate challenges ever to confront our civilization. Its adverse impacts are already being seen and may deepen over time if nothing is done to reduce further emissions of greenhouse gasses. The current scientific evaluations have even confirmed that this warming of the climate since the mid-20th century is most likely due to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and land use change which led to increasing the greenhouse gas concentrations. Current warming has progressively posed quite considerable challenges to the Filipinos and the environment and will continue to do so in the future.

Few impacts of climate change include warming temperatures, changes in precipitation, increases in the frequency or intensity of some extreme weather events, and rising sea levels. For example, is the damage from Typhoon Yolanda, the world’s strongest storm in recent history which hurled and tore through a large portion of the country. The cruelty of these health risks due to such calamities will depend on the ability of public health and safety systems to address or prepare for these changing threats. These impacts also vary on how well we and our community are able to adapt to change.

Therefore, the more we learn about how climate change will affect us and our environment, the more we can see why we need to take action to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change. Philippine greenhouse gas emissions are relatively small, accounting for less than 1% of the global total. But with a population of closely 100 million demanding to a well-improved access to energy, the government is under pressure to completely upgrade our electricity supplies. For instance, according to the Global Coal Plant Tracker, there are more than 50 coal power plants in several stages of development and construction are across the country and they could run for decades.

Meanwhile, under new Duterte administration, our President himself said that global warming was a top priority.

He stated, “Addressing climate change shall be a top priority but upon a fair and equitable equation. It should not stymie our industrialization. In the area of environment, the military is directed to intensify its support role against illegal logging, illegal mining. I have to protect the country… The interests of the country must come first.”

As an outcome, the Philippines was among the 195 states that accepted the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change December last year. Under this deal, our government projected their own climate targets of 1.5°C warming cap, with developing countries, promised financial support to green their energy systems and prepare for future extreme weather events. Also, it cited that the reductions will come from energy, industrial processes, agriculture, land use change and forestry, and waste except for agriculture and transport.

However, even with this promise, the government remains to increase its dependence on coal-fired power plants, which are major greenhouse gas emitters. Greenpeace past reported that the Department of Energy approved over 20 more coal plants, which will start operations by 2020. President Rodrigo Duterte said the Philippines will continue to use coal in power generation but will implement new technologies to minimize emissions.

“But for as long as the most viable fuel is coal and cheapest so that the power can also be delivered the energy to the people at a much lower price, then we’ll have no other alternative except to upgrade the technology to its fullest―to limit. And to be worrying about pollution, well, we just have to come to terms with that in our time, in our generation, it is really what it is. There is nothing you can do about it,” Duterte said.

Our country’s weakness is made worse by poverty, its lack of knowledge and means to protect itself, and its inability to cope and manage its surroundings. That level of weakness has serious implications: damage to the economy, food insecurity, loss of livelihood, and deaths.

Now we come down to this question: how do we slow down climate change ourselves? The argument on climate change could be stretched significantly. Though the government is urged to find ways of preventing irreparable damage, people itself have always had a huge effect on the environment. Hence, we individuals should contribute to this change ourselves. Small good deeds we can do to our country, to our environment rather, will contribute a huge change to the whole. The great majority of people all over the world must be determined to seek improvement for our environment.

Below are the few things we can do to reduce climate change:
• Reduce energy. Make it a habit of turning off the lights as you leave a room. Also, replace standard light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. Turn off your computer and unplug electronics when they are not in use.
• Change the way you think about transportation. Walk or bike whenever possible. Take public transit.
• Make every drop count. Conserve water by fixing drips and leaks, and by installing low-flow shower heads and toilets. Turn off the water while brushing teeth.
• High-efficiency appliances. Appliances with ENERGY STAR ratings, typically utilize a minimum of 20 % less energy. This means savings for you and the environment.
• Recycle. Make recycling part of your daily routine. Recycle all packaging and consumer goods that you can. Aim to purchase items with minimal and recyclable packaging.
• Repurpose. Rather than discarding or recycling clothing and household goods, give them a chance at a second life. Gently used clothing can be donated to charity or exchanged with friends and family. Through repurposing, the amount of waste being sent to landfill sites is reduced, there is no need to use energy for recycling, and others can benefit from your used items.
• Plants, our new best friend. When gardening, select plants that are well suited to your climate and require minimal watering and attention. Better yet, plant a tree, and it will provide shade and soak up carbon from the atmosphere.

On the whole, fighting climate change has not been easy. Since the environment belongs to society and not to us individually, we tend not to care for it. Although there is a dispute on fighting global warming, the methods for doing it are in a serious argument. The increase of our populations and the severe use of land appears to be paralleled by a rise in the number of extinct species. However, as stated by Valerio on Man Role in Changing the Physical Environment,
“It is apparent that with the technology available to us today we need to keep a watchful eye over our fellow creatures with whom we share this Earth. We must not forget that animals and plants are non-renewable, irretrievable resources.”

Truly, our environment and all natural resources around us are irreversible, we must take care of it before it’s too late. Let’s keep the Earth beautiful to live in, for us, for our children, and future generations to come.

References:
http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/07/25/duterte-addressing-climate-change-is-top-priority-for-philippines/
http://thestandard.com.ph/business/227971/duterte-backs-coal-plants.html
http://www.climatechange.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=D27052CE-1
Valerio - Chapter VIII Mans Role in Changing the Physical Environment

Submitted by Ratilla Paola Andrea on

Given the severity of recent catastrophes brought about by climate change, I think the initiative to mitigate its effects could not come sooner. We have abused the planet we live on far too long. It is now time to deal with the consequences.

Personally, I don’t feel the currently implemented programs are making much of a difference. Companies are still greedy, disregarding future impact in exchange for instant profit. Take SM’s fiasco in Baguio for example, where they chopped down a large number of trees to make room for a new mall.

Traffic (and therefore the pollution caused by it) continues to get worse, and despite much publicized attempts to introduce electronic vehicles into the mix, our country is still largely reliant on fossil fuels. Not to mention, the state of our public transportation system makes it very unreliable, forcing many people to turn to less environmentally friendly options.

Illegal logging is still rampant. I live at the foot of Mount Makiling and with each flood comes evidence of trees having been partially sawed, despite a lack of permits. This has led to unprecedented flooding in my area, which destroys property and sometimes even claims lives.

Ultimately, I think it all boils down to a lack of knowledge. I think that if more people were aware of the impact their day to day actions had on the planet, it would be easier to have them act more kindly towards it.

I also think we are still lacking in accountability measures. This was mentioned in the report, and I think it has only marginally changed for the better. The shutdown of environmentally dangerous nickel mines was a step in the right direction, but larger companies continue to get away with worse.

That said, it does seem a bit unfair that the Philippines, due to unfortunate positioning, is paying for the mistakes caused by the greed of larger, more industrialized countries. However, until Elon Musk finds a way to make Mars habitable, this is the burden we’ll have to carry, we only have one planet to call home. We should treat it with the respect it deserves and hope it regards us in kind.

Submitted by Sahadeva Das Ladyong on

What can an individual do to help fight against climate change? How can the individual do minor things to make a big impact?

Back in my high school, we had this piggy bank. Each student can donate at least 1 peso a day. We had 30 students in our class, so a day we can save 30 pesos. In a week, at least 150 pesos. And in a month, we had 600 pesos, and that's if students only donated 1 peso a day. Some donated 5-10 pesos a day, and we would usually get about 1000 pesos per month. We were able to use that money to improve our classroom, or for class projects and other things if we needed the money.

Is there a way we can use that system to help in climate change? Have the individual do small things, like throwing trash in the right places and other minor things. Small things that can make a big impact if everyone is doing it.

The next problem is how to inform and ensure that each and every person is doing their part to help. How do we have people do these things as part of their daily lives? How do we make sure that each and every person is responsible enough to help?

Submitted by Sahadeva Das Ladyong on

What can an individual do to help fight against climate change? How can the individual do minor things to make a big impact?

Back in my high school, we had this piggy bank. Each student can donate at least 1 peso a day. We had 30 students in our class, so a day we can save 30 pesos. In a week, at least 150 pesos. And in a month, we had 600 pesos, and that's if students only donated 1 peso a day. Some donated 5-10 pesos a day, and we would usually get about 1000 pesos per month. We were able to use that money to improve our classroom, or for class projects and other things if we needed the money.

Is there a way we can use that system to help in climate change? Have the individual do small things, like throwing trash in the right places and other minor things. Small things that can make a big impact if everyone is doing it.

The next problem is how to inform and ensure that each and every person is doing their part to help. How do we have people do these things as part of their daily lives? How do we make sure that each and every person is responsible enough to help?

Submitted by Marilou Sandique on

It’s a momentous day today 31 Jan 2017, as the document signifying the Philippines' ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (the first-ever deal binding all the world's nations, rich and poor, to a commitment to cap global warming caused mainly by the burning of coal, oil and gas) has been submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for his signature.
The President was very open for his comments about not ratifying the Paris Agreement earlier last year because Philippines will need to limit its carbon emissions. The President claiming it unfairly constrains the economic growth of developing nations because emission-heavy industrialization is needed to grow the economy. In conclusion, the president conceded because most his senate cabinet members voted to approve the agreement.
From the perspective of greenhouse gases emissions, the Philippines is a relatively minor emitter, but highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change especially by natural disasters. The impact mostly affected are the low-income people. Contemplating that the alarms should not be limited to government institutions support only, we, as a normal average person, should do our share too.
I’m thinking the ways and means on how to contribute in my own little way to reduce global warming. The lists were amusing and I never realized the effects it had when I was still not aware. I will share some points which I promise to do and will try to encourage others to do their part too
1.Reuse, Reduce and Recycle (plastic bags, PET bottles, foam lunch boxes, garbage composting to name a few…)
2.I will use washing machine only when needed or full. I don't use the washing machine dryer as I prefer air dry using the Clothesline.
3.Covering the pots while cooking for less energy requirement.
4.Choose or replace home appliances with more energy-efficient products
5.Replacing the CFL bulbs with LED bulbs as its more cost efficient and better quality, cheaper too.
6.We will try to use mass transport during personal travels for less gas usage. Biking and walking will be preferred for short trips
7.Will eat less cow’s meat and more of veggies. Fresh food will be preferred than frozen products.
8.No air condition usage when the weather permits. Open the windows for a more natural air.
9.I vowed to plant a lot of trees in my area when I go back home.
10.And will try to encourage others to do the same by sharing further information.

As per Neil Armstrong quote “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”.

Submitted by Jamie Angeli Chan on

Having read all these information of how our national government and local government are acting upon climate change in our country, I have to say that there was a lot of thought put into it, but there was not and there are not enough action yet. I am glad that an institution was created to focus on this issue, namely Climate Change Commission, but it is frustrating to know that it doesn't receive much support. The people of our country are not the only ones facing the trouble of limited access to knowledge about the climate actions, the institution itself lacks knowledge about it since it is not funded and supported enough by the government.

Although it is sad that we had to experience some of the worst case scenarios in our country, I am glad that our government is starting to take action about the situation, even though I think it's insufficient and I believe they could do better in taking additional preemptive measures and educating the citizens about the climate change and climate action. As individuals in this country we should also do our parts in helping so. Acts such as planting trees, saving water by closing the faucet when brushing your teeth or by recycling or by just simply throwing trash at the proper places. If we learn to incorporate these small actions into our lives we could help not only ourselves but also a lot of people.

Submitted by Jamie Angeli Chan on

Having read all these information of how our national government and local government are acting upon climate change in our country, I have to say that there was a lot of thought put into it, but there was not and there are not enough action yet. I am glad that an institution was created to focus on this issue, namely Climate Change Commission, but it is frustrating to know that it doesn't receive much support. The people of our country are not the only ones facing the trouble of limited access to knowledge about the climate actions, the institution itself lacks knowledge about it since it is not funded and supported enough by the government.

Although it is sad that we had to experience some of the worst case scenarios in our country, I am glad that our government is starting to take action about the situation, even though I think it's insufficient and I believe they could do better in taking additional preemptive measures and educating the citizens about the climate change and climate action. As individuals in this country we should also do our parts in helping so. Acts such as planting trees, saving water by closing the faucet when brushing your teeth or by recycling or by just simply throwing trash at the proper places. If we learn to incorporate these small actions into our lives we could help not only ourselves but also a lot of people.

Submitted by Anonymous on

As the saying goes, the only constant thing in the world is change. It is evident not only in our country that climate change is taking place. Every year we hear news about the devastating effects of the natural hazards occurring in our country. Typhoons and storms causing floods and landslides and many other unfortunate events caused by these hazards are getting more frequent. On summers or dry season there is the worsening problem of drought. It is no doubt that we are strongly affected by climate change. This is a worldwide issue. All countries all over the world experience its effects and is now taking actions on how to address the problems it cause and minimize its effect. In our country, we have the Climate Change Commission institutionalized to cover up the issue. Other departments such as Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change(CCCC) and People’s Survival Fund Board (PSFB) are also created. The National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) was formulated to set standard policy as guide to creating climate change agendas. All of these institutions exist and i just came to know about them. I must admit that i am one of the Filipino citizens who is naive about the government’s program about climate change. And i believe many are just as unaware as me about this fact. How so? I think there is a lack of action on educating people about them. How is it that when strong typhoons hit our country, the aftermath last for so long? Isn’t it that there is this PSFB which should support or sustain the victims? Maybe i am just unaware how they give these helps or if there had been any. One of the most talked about issue is the conditions of the victims of Yolanda. I think until now many are still suffering after the said strongest typhoon hit our country. Moreover, to what extent should we be involved with the government’s program? With the funding dedicated to it, it was presumed that employment will increase creating new possible jobs and position to contribute on climate activities. But is all of these actually being implemented? On my opinion and personal experience i do not see the actualization of the climate change programs. The government, i think, should spread information about the programs down to local levels. Because i believe that when we are well informed we will all participate. We should stop preoccupying only of our own business and start collaborating with what will be good for our country. We are called one nation and so we must be one on this.

Submitted by Shiela Marie Tumamao on

As the saying goes, the only constant thing in the world is change. It is evident not only in our country that climate change is taking place. Every year we hear news about the devastating effects of the natural hazards occurring in our country. Typhoons and storms causing floods and landslides and many other unfortunate events caused by these hazards are getting more frequent. On summers or dry season there is the worsening problem of drought. It is no doubt that we are strongly affected by climate change. This is a worldwide issue. All countries all over the world experience its effects and is now taking actions on how to address the problems it cause and minimize its effect. In our country, we have the Climate Change Commission institutionalized to cover up the issue. Other departments such as Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change(CCCC) and People’s Survival Fund Board (PSFB) are also created. The National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) was formulated to set standard policy as guide to creating climate change agendas. All of these institutions exist and i just came to know about them. I must admit that i am one of the Filipino citizens who is naive about the government’s program about climate change. And i believe many are just as unaware as me about this fact. How so? I think there is a lack of action on educating people about them. How is it that when strong typhoons hit our country, the aftermath last for so long? Isn’t it that there is this PSFB which should support or sustain the victims? Maybe i am just unaware how they give these helps or if there had been any. One of the most talked about issue is the conditions of the victims of Yolanda. I think until now many are still suffering after the said strongest typhoon hit our country. Moreover, to what extent should we be involved with the government’s program? With the funding dedicated to it, it was presumed that employment will increase creating new possible jobs and position to contribute on climate activities. But is all of these actually being implemented? On my opinion and personal experience i do not see the actualization of the climate change programs. The government, i think, should spread information about the programs down to local levels. Because i believe that when we are well informed we will all participate. We should stop preoccupying only of our own business and start collaborating with what will be good for our country. We are called one nation and so we must be one on this.

Submitted by Ann I. Escalante on

As stated from the World Bank’s report on climate change, the Philippines is greatly affected by this environmental issue and will continue being affected by this issue if left unattended. Whether it be in the mountains, the seaside, or the farms, the country is already experiencing consequences of climate change, such as landslides, slowly degrading marine life, and droughts. Unfortunately, as our world advance in technology and machinery, not everybody seems to be aware that it has a big effect on our planet. Carbon emission and greenhouse gas emission is steadily making our planet warmer, causing global warming.
Because of its horrible effects, the government and other organizations are setting up programs in order to battle the negative effects of climate change. Some of these are setting up solar and windmill farms. Unfortunately, also as stated in the report, finances are terribly lacking on these projects, which hinders our attempts to nurse back the environment.
Nonetheless, there are still other programs that attempts to help in their own small way like planting trees and switching to alternative power supplies. Even in normal situations, there are simple ways to help such as conserving water and energy supply and keeping a clean environment.
A question that we must ask ourselves is “Do we really know how severe global warming caused by climate change is?” Some people are not quite educated about climate change, thus they do not make any effort of fixing the environment. Secondly, “How willing are we to save our planet from its ongoing damage?” A place called Tamayong Prayer Mountain in Mt. Apo, Davao City used to be a barren wasteland, but after being planted by hundreds of pine trees, which are nature’s most efficient air conditioners and air purifiers. A few years later, it is one of the most beautiful places in the Mindanao area.
Many people, including me, are thankful for acts like these. However, if climate change has been occurring for a while now, we must also understand that healing our planet will take years to be revived too. That is where how willing we are emerges. If we plant trees, it is our responsibility to take care and nurture them until they grow and be able to purify the environment.
That is how us Filipinos should adapt to climate change.

Submitted by Marilou Inciong on

What is climate change? Global warming? Ask an ordinary citizen and you will discover the sad truth – ignorance. Now ask them what should we do to at least not add more to the damage. How will they react if they don’t even know what it is? What should we do?

Educate. Wipe away the ignorance. From school children to out of school youth, mother, father, grandparents – let them have a deeper understanding on the simple things that they contribute to this phenomenon. Let's not make it too vague for them. We can use simple terms in their vernacular to make the learning meaningful.

Involve. Let them be the part of the change. Make programs that everyone can participate in. Organize tree planting, gardening, garbage segregation campaign, recycling, etc. Give them tasks and motivate them to become active participants and new leaders.

Spread the word. Don’t stop the information campaign. Let climate change be the talk of the town, the revolving, exaggerated "gossip" in the community. Let us talk about it in every opportunity that we have.

Appreciate. Give them what they deserve – recognition for their efforts. A simple token and certificate of appreciation will make them feel important. It is necessary to ignite the fire in their heart to do more. Be generous in appreciation. A whole community with all its members being individually appreciated for every small effort they contributed to the realization of a goal is highly recommended. Don’t just select a few. Note everyone's contribution and never forget to mention them.

Follow-up. This is not just a seasonal project. It is for life. Remind them again and again until good habits are formed - until it becomes their way of life.

This is a long journey, but in order to get a tangible result, we must persist and be patient. This is not just the responsibility of the government, this is everyone's responsibility. But yes, we need strong and sound leadership, along with our collective efforts to reap our goal – not only for our own benefit but most of all, for the welfare of the next generation.

References:

Ted.com, Climate change is happening. Here's how to adapt, Oct. 5, 2015, Alice Bows-Larkin, Climate Scholar

Greenlivingideas.com, TEDx Honolulu, Ian Monroe, Connect with the world to make change, best ted talk on climate change

TEDx Talks, A simple and smart way to fix climate change, Dan Miller

The reality of Climate Change, David Puttnam, TEDx Dublin

Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines, www.worldbank.org

Submitted by Ethan Ocampo on

According to the report, the globe is on the state of climate change and if were aren't able to find a solution it could spell dread for all of us. True that the Aquino administration has created the CCC to help ensure the country's safety and wellbeing regarding climate change and the calamities it has brought over.

I'd like to believe the CCC and their programs like the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) and the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) have indeed helped the country. Unlike previous calamities where casualties are on the high, it has actually lessen compared to the present.

There's a lot of questions that arise when it comes to Climate Change but the question that has stuck to me the most is this, what would be the best way for students like us to help with Climate Change? Alone, it would seem rather impossible to make a difference but all of us together, that could really make a change.

Submitted by Curry Calix on

CLIMATE CHANGE AS IT STANDS IN THE PHILIPPINES
Having said that climate change has a direct and immediate impact on development as well as to the welfare of communities in high-risk areas I believe that the strengthening the planning, execution, and financing framework for climate change is a strong set of approach to address these major effects.
Given all the bodies of organizations and committees framed to support the funding and planning of the execution to address this global phenomenon what else is needed is the support and cooperation of individuals. Studies show that we are to expect more intense typhoons, higher sea levels and storm surges which means we are also expected to be aware of what we can do during these times. Making recycling and practicing wastes segregation a habit is a way of minimizing pollution. The government can organize more groups to be sent to vulnerable areas to educate its people of the cause and possible effects of climate change aside from nationwide television advertisements should be taken seriously as part of their planning. This step may sound very basic but could make a big difference. We have seen most tragic events in the past, thousand of casualties along with loss of properties were results of ignorance and unawareness. Our government should be wise in spending the allotted budget by selecting not costly but very effective projects to maximize the funds. Corruption must me stopped, the budget must be spent to where it is supposed to go and not in their pockets making their lives more lavish leaving the welfare of the community at risk. Funds should be made available at all times. Expenses should be reasonable. This reminded me of the Yolanda typhoon. Its aftermath shocked the globe, forget the tangible properties just think of the thousands of casualties. Dead bodies where everywhere forcing the government to bury them altogether leaving their survivors in deep sorrow. This has left the Philippine history a deep scar. How the phenomenon was handled had been the center of attention of the whole world. How the government responded to the tragedy was questioned. I believe this has left a deep scar not only to the victims but also to humanity. Unfortunately we cannot turn back time but we can always learn from what happened. As the saying goes; “prevention is better than cure”, being ready is one way of being resilient. Government can initiate relocating communities in vulnerable areas to safer places and higher grounds near schools, hospitals, churches and markets permanently with livelihood means provided to them as part of their execution. Shelter is just one of man’s basic needs. They also need to earn in order to put food on their tables, send their kids to school, avail medicines whenever they are sick. Rebuilding a community itself would generate jobs for them. Communities in vulnerable areas must also do their part. Efforts of the government and the helping bodies would come to waste if they will not coordinate. Evacuate when asked! Life more than anything else is one’s wealth. They can enriched whatever is given to them and not just leave everything to the government. Im sure we dont want another Yolanda aftermath

Submitted by Rosevelle Deriquito on

My question is: As citizens of the Philippines, how can we lessen the impact of climate change?

Well, action starts with knowing. Climate change is definitely a deleterious threat to human survival or any living thing’s survival. We are the ones who are responsible for the changes in our own environment. As the population increases, the chance of having changes in our environment also increases. These changes are necessary for survival. Growth in population can lead to an increase in release of carbon dioxide as well. Carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases (GHGs like water vapor and methane) that absorbs the heat energy and in turn slows down or even prevents the loss of heat in the planet. GHGs induce global warming, which is one of the main causes of climate change. Due to climate change, the glaciers in the arctic or any parts of the world are somehow being melted, so in effect, sea-level rises.

To fuel the economy, Philippines needs to be globalized and industrialized. If there would be more investors, more companies and jobs would be released and more people would be benefited. Lots of natural resources are often required to be destroyed in order to produce big establishments. Later on, most (if not all) of the remaining towns might turn into Cities with many infrastructures. Those manufacturing firms/factories are mostly expected to release harmful gases which also contribute to the global warming. This however, is an inevitable process since the demands for job opportunities continually proliferate.

In order to somehow help in the prevention of further destruction of our environment and in adaptation on climatic change, each individual should be well-oriented and disciplined. Some of the ways to help are: reduction of energy use, implementation of the usage of electronic bicycles or the traditional bicycles rather than motor vehicles (especially when the distance to travel is not far enough), increase the practice of tree planting, conserve water, etc.

Philippines is amongst the developing countries prone to natural disasters such as typhoons, floods, landslides and droughts. Everyone should be aware of the possible means of preparations in case unexpected disasters happen. Numerous associations and organizations have been handling and strengthening the planning, execution and financing of the projects under climate change. However, all these efforts will be wasted if proper implementation will not be done. Anyone can donate millions, or even billions of pesos; but all of those will be put to waste when the government officials themselves are not trustworthy enough or not willing to spend all of those amounts for the sake of other people at risk. Also, when people at risk are being told to evacuate, some of them are not willing enough to comply which sometimes lead to a bigger tragedy. In instances where climate change is challenging us, everyone should have cooperation and willingness to do our part. We all know for sure how to contribute in our own little ways, so we should act now before it’s too late. We have new sets of government officials now, so let’s hope for the best and claim that CHANGE IS really COMING.

Submitted by Rayn B. on

Based on the World Bank report, it shows that we still have a lot of things to improve on. The report has 3 recommendations that we should take a look at and as Filipino citizen it is our shared responsibility to at least provide ideas and suggestions.
1. Strengthening the planning, execution, and financing framework for climate change.
- On my understanding on the report, we still lack the coordination between government agencies on how to have one approach to deal with climate change.
- So it would be better that each government agencies, bureaus and departments should work hand in hand and should have a more specific scope of responsibilities. This is to give each of them priorities so each problem can be addressed. There should also only one agency who will oversee all of those involved in planning, execution and financing.
- Invest more on projects and research about the impacts and how we can prepare more for climate change.
2. Enhancing leadership and accountability through monitoring, evaluation, and review of climate change policies and activities
- The government should of course support the stop climate change. It also needs to ensure that people involved or appointed are well-equipped and well-trained to handle these initiatives. People that have more knowledge about climate change and not be influence by personal agenda.
- It also about time to pass the FOI bill. This is to ensure accountability and transparency among government agencies and departments involved. Our economy is already losing from the destruction brought by the impact of climate change; we can’t afford to lose again from the corrupt politicians.
- The president also needs to think again about stopping the Project NOAH. This agency has helped a lot when it comes to disaster risk reduction and management.
3. Building the country’s capacity and managing change
- We also need to invest on public awareness and knowledge about climate change. The more people are aware, the more we care about our environment. Simply telling our friends to keep our electric lights off when not used will be a great help.
- We must also start it with our self. We should be a good model and inspiration to all.

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