MANILA - Climate change is not a hoax, officers of the World Wildlife Fund in the Philippines said Tuesday, amid persistent claims that the dangerous phenomenon was not happening.
"Saying that climate change is a hoax is saying that earth is flat. It's the same denial of reality," said Vince Perez, Chairman of the National Advisory Council of the WWF-Philippines.
"In the last six years, we've had the hottest temperature recorded on Earth. I think every year, every month in April, May, it's always the hottest month to date. So it is happening. We cannot deny that it's not happening," the former Energy Secretary added.
WWF-PH Board of Trustees Chairman Aurelio Montinola said climate change is a real global threat, and has already been a "reality" in the Philippines.
"Here in the Philippines, it's the reality. You've got the typhoons, you can see the pollution, you can see the summers getting warmer...So from here, it's something that we really have to grapple with just directly," he said.
Perez emphasized that there is a particular area in the Western Pacific that has "abnormally high water temperature of the surface of the ocean over the last several years."
"That hot water temperature on the Western Pacific is the breeding ground of typhoons and the hotter that part of the ocean, the stronger, more fierce is the typhoon, and the biggest proof of that is Yolanda," he said.
The two asserted, rather than mobilize as WWF alone, they have clients or partners who help out in specific areas to spur local initiatives.
"We support anything that has to do with transforming communities and helping out where we can," said Montinola.
Among the private corporations they have partnered with, cited Perez, was the Bank of Philippine Islands, where Montinola had worked for 31 years of which the last eight years was as president and chief executive officer.