MANILA—Climate change is a day-to-day problem that can be addressed through the cooperation of states, President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday.
“Climate change is not a typhoon that visits your country once or twice a year. Climate change is a day-to-day problem,” Duterte said in his speech during the Asia-Pacific Healthy Islands Conference 2018 in Davao City.
Duterte said this as he called on governments that are party to the Paris Agreement on climate change to honor their obligation towards lowering the global temperature increase to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius.
Duterte earlier expressed his reservations in signing the Paris pact, saying this could impede the country’s growth, but he was prevailed upon by his Cabinet members.
In his speech, he also said he wonders why US President Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris pact.
“I have to fathom the reason or even the rationale of the withdrawal. Is it because it cannot work hand in hand with other nations? Or is it because Trump would like to do it alone?” Duterte said.
The Philippines is one of the most vulnerable nations to climate change. Just recently, the country dealt with heavy monsoon rains enhanced by successive weather disturbances in the Pacific.
The three-day event envisions a high-level discussion on policies, strategies and practical solutions through international cooperation.
Duterte said he hopes the event would enable countries in the Asia-Pacific to explore practical solutions to solve shared health problems and overcome common challenges in delivering essential medical services to the people.
“Those of us located in the region, especially to the many island countries like ours, are indeed facing a very complex issue when it comes to healthcare. Our geography has made establishing effective health systems that will be very difficult and costly. This vulnerability has become even more pronounced in times of natural disasters and calamities,” he said.
“Therefore, if we are to genuinely secure the welfare of our peoples in the region, a comprehensive and networked approach to delivering healthcare — employing the latest tools, innovations, techniques and solutions — must be adopted. We must harmonize our policies and strategies so we can build responsive, effective and resilient health systems that will not only withstand disaster but also assist our neighbors in times of need.”