Vice-President Leni Robredo on Saturday said that after the catastrophic floods that hit various areas of Luzon climate change should be taken seriously.
" 'Yung climate change talaga kailangan nating seryosohin, kasi actually itong mga sakunang dumadaan sa atin ngayon pagrabe ng pagrabe," Robredo said in an interview on Teleradyo.
"Years ago, ito 'yung warning sa atin pag hindi natin sineryoso ay mangyayari. So nangyayari na ito."
(We need to be serious about climate change. These calamities that have been hitting us recently have worsened. Years ago, we were warned this could happen. And it is happening right now.)
The Philippines has been battered by a series of typhoons starting with Typhoon Quinta (Molave) last month and Super Typhoon Rolly (Goni) early this month.
Most recently, Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) brought heavy rains and severe flooding reminiscent of Tropical Storm Ondoy (Ketsana).
Villages in eastern Metro Manila and neighboring Rizal experienced severe inundation, with the Marikina River reaching water levels worse than its peak at the height of the 2009 storm.
Coupled with the northeast monsoon, Ulysses also submerged a majority of Cagayan province and the whole Cagayan Valley region.
"'Yung kagabi pinipilit kong intindihin kung bakit nangyari ito sa Cagayan. Mayroon akong nakausap na former official na nasa disaster prevention and mitigation, halimbawa, itong sa Rizal maraming lugar na dapat watershed area na pero kinonvert na subdivision nakapadelikado nito," said Robredo.
(Last night I was trying to understand what happened in Cagayan. I spoke to a former official of disaster prevention and mitigation. He said that, for example, there are areas in Rizal that should have been watershed areas, which were converted into subdivisions.)
She said lands in Cagayan couldn't hold water brought by the rains because it was already saturated.
" 'Yung lupa ang nag-aabsorb ng tubig. Kahit sa Marikina sa Rizal, masyado nang saturated. Ilang bagyo na ang dumaan kaya 'di na niya kaya. Kailangan nating irevisit na ang ating land use," said Robredo.
(Soil absorbs water, but in areas like Marikina, Rizal, it has already been saturated because of the number of typhoons. We must revisit our land use.)