Philippine sea levels rising '3 times faster' than global average, says PAGASA

Raffy Cabristante, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 23 2022 07:18 PM

This photo taken on Jan. 11, 2019 shows houses on bamboo stilts amid encroaching bay waters in Sitio Pariahan, Bulacan. Noel Celis, Agence France-Presse/File
This photo taken on Jan. 11, 2019 shows houses on bamboo stilts amid encroaching bay waters in Sitio Pariahan, Bulacan. Noel Celis, Agence France-Presse/File

MANILA — Sea levels in the Philippines are rising at a rate higher than other parts of the world as a result of climate change, an official from state weather bureau PAGASA said.

PAGASA Climate Change Data Chief Rosalina De Guzman said the country's seas are rising 3 times faster than the global average, citing a joint study with the United Kingdom's Hadley Centre.

This has a huge impact on the country's coastlines, as 70 percent of the Philippines' municipalities are located in coastal areas, De Guzman said. 

Coastal towns and cities may experience frequent flooding, especially in low-lying areas, as a result of the faster rise in sea levels, she said. 

"Ito po ay puwedeng mag-cause ng inundation ng low-lying areas, especially po iyong mga kababayan nating nakatira sa dalampasigan," De Guzman said in a public briefing. 

(This could cause inundation in low-lying areas, especially for our compatriots living in the seashore.) 

Watch more News on iWantTFC

Video courtesy of PTV

De Guzman also noted that due to rising temperatures brought by climate change, tropical cyclones passing through the country and the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) are becoming stronger.

"Nakita natin iyong frequency ng bagyo ay medyo bumababa at nakikita po natin na iyong mga [bagyo na] greater 170 kilometers per hour, may slight increase in terms of intensity ng mga malalakas na bagyo," she said.

(We saw that the frequency of cyclones went down slightly, but we also see that those with winds greater than 170 kilometers per hour, there is a slight increase in terms of intensity of strong cyclones.) 

"Nakita po natin na tataas ang temperatura ng bansa ng about 4 degrees Celsius at the end of the 21st century, at iyon pong bagyo... iyong intensity ng bagyo ay patuloy na tataas based sa projection natin," she added.

(We see that the temperature of the country will go up by about 4 degrees Celsius at the end of the 21st century, and the intensity of cyclones will continue to increase, based on our projection.) 

De Guzman called on the public to contribute in their own "little" ways to mitigate the effects of climate change.

"Kailangan po mag-conserve tayo ng energy and practice iyong energy efficiency, so iyong mga simpleng bagay, iyong conserving water, at use of mass transport, iyong simpleng di pagtatapon ng basura kahit saan, at saka iyong kailangan iyong recycling... Kailangan nating i-practice iyan," she said.

(We need to conserve energy and pratice energy efficiency, so we need to practice simple things like conserving water, using mass transport, avoiding littering, and recycling.)

She also called on the national and local governments to take climate change into account in their planning and budgeting processes.

"Maganda rin po iyong makapag-invest tayo sa mga renewable energy," De Guzman said.