DENR: Heavy rainfall is the 'new normal'

By Ira Pedrasa,

Posted at Aug 08 2012 04:56 PM | Updated as of Aug 09 2012 10:42 AM

DENR now working on bigger geohazard maps

MANILA, Philippines - There is nothing we can do but adapt to the heavy rainfalls, and subsequently, the long droughts, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said.

He said intense typhoons and weird weather have become the “new normal.”

“There is nothing we could do but to adapt to climate change and the only way we could be prepared for the impact of climate change is to accept that these recent developments in our country like intense weather disturbances, heavy rainfall, as well as long dry season are now the ‘new normal,’” Paje told government channel PTV-4.

He said the Philippines has already been identified as one of the countries that are most vulnerable to climate change.

Paje appealed to Filipinos to listen and follow directions from authorities to ensure their safety.

He noted that the area in Litex in Barangay Commonwealth, Quezon City had been identified as susceptible to landslide since 2002. Nine people died in a landslide there yesterday.

He said he will ask Quezon City officials to declare the area as a “permanent danger zone.”

He added the DENR’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau is now developing bigger geohazard maps with a scale of 1:10,000, which will be distributed down to the barangay levels.

The DENR previously distributed more than 75,000 geohazard maps with scale of 1:50,000.

Meanwhile, he said DENR is also working with the Department of Public Works and Highways in building small water-impounding dams in the uplands.

“If you allow rainwater to go down the watersheds it would result in flooding. But if you can impound them, the water becomes precious resource that you can use during the dry season,” Paje said.