Climate advocates urge PH gov't to do more for environment, climate change

Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 13 2022 05:57 PM | Updated as of Apr 19 2022 02:57 PM

Members of the Bureau of Fire Protection BFP Region VIII
Members of the Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine National Police, Philippine Army, Philippine Coastguard and volunteers from the local government unit conduct a Search, Rescue and Retrieval operation at Brgy. Kantagnos, Baybay City, Leyte on April 12, 2022. The city was one of the areas hit by the recent Tropical Storm Agaton. Courtesy: BFP Region VIII

MANILA - Climate advocates urged the Philippine government on Wednesday to do more to mitigate the effects of climate change, ahead of Earth Day on April 22.

“Panawagan muli kay Pangulong Duterte at sa mga susunod na pamahalaan na hindi na sapat ang business as usual na pagtugon sa mga epekto ng mga sakuna na dulot ng pagbabago ng klima,” Ian Rivera, National Coordinator of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), said during a press conference.

“Napakasama na sa isang bansa na palaging binibisita ang mga bagyo ay hindi nagawa ng pamahalaan na ihanda ang mga mamamayan sa epekto ng bagyong ito,” he added.

One of the strong weather disturbances to hit the Philippines recently is Tropical Storm Agaton, which left at least 58 people dead either from landslides or floods.

Clarissa Cesar, a Leyte resident and part of KAGAWASAN Yolanda Women Survivors, recalled the experiences she and her family had during typhoons, including the one with Agaton.

“Nakakatakot na pabalik-balik na domino effect na ito maraming landslide. Baybay, Southern Leyte, dito sa Leyte maraming namatay. Sana ang gobyerno matugunan ito,” Cesar said.

As for Atty. Aaron Pedrosa, Secretary General of Sanlakas, the government must turn its attention to funding more climate change initiatives and focus on strengthening renewable energy and sustainable development.

“Wag nang magtayo ng maduduming planta. It only exacerbates the vulnerabilites of climate-vulnerable communities. Buhay na po ang nakasalalay dito. Needless deaths. Kung mayroon lang ginagawa dito ang gobyerno,” Pedrosa said. 

“Di natin mapipigilan ang landslides, pagbaha at pagbagyo. Pero ang pwede nating gawin ay tiyakin na ang mga komunidad ay kayang umangkop sa pagbabago ng klima,” he added.

The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 storms every year. In 2013, it was battered by super typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan), which left some 6,300 dead, more than 1,000 missing, and over 28,000 injured.

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