editorialEven before supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck the Philippines, badly damaging the archipelago’s eastern board and through parts of the Visayan region, incidents of natural catastrophes of unprecedented devastation have already flooded the media and news portals. The outrageous destruction that appalled humanity faulting themselves for the onset of the atmospheric phenomenon called climate change, constantly nagged them with guilt.
With the massive information technologies utilized by various agencies involved in weather and environment studies and policy-making, the public knowledge of now of knowledge that the typhoon path pattern shifts permanently. Sty Yolanda hit the Visayas while the usual typhoon path would either hit the south or the extreme north of the archipelago. A megastorm at that, and though storm surge is not at all a new phenomenon, sty Yolanda was an eye-opener – a foreboding that it is the kind of catastrophe that the world should brace for in the coming years.
The United Nations’ report on climate change advancing a “grim climate forecast for Southeast Asia” is a call on the local government units to improve adaptation and mitigation efforts facing the great challenge that the massive destruction of sty Yolanda had caused to lives and properties in affected areas. The national government, is equally egged on to heed the demand for it to take on the lead in this adaptation plan by allocating funds for the People’s Survival Fund that will finance the adaptation plans of the LGUs.
Aksyon Klima Pilipinas, Greenpeace and Oxfam, at a press conference, expressed concern over the scenarios cited likewise in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Working Group II Report on Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation. They are on in pushing the Aquino administration to initiate more tangible measures to guarantee the people’s survivability, with the Philippines as a highly vulnerable country, where “extreme weather events” have now become the new normal, and we need to take concrete measures to literally survive,”
While it may be true that the national government has started to muscle out it rhetoric to a commitment in the global concern on climate change by having its own law, the same remained is yet not operational as the implementing rules and regulations have yet to be signed by the President, programmed funds have yet to be allocated, and the PSF Board yet to be convened.
Incorporating climate change adaptability efforts, bracing for the new normal weather condition across the globe, could in the meantime be commenced at the local level through the disaster risk reduction plans. It is about time that LGUs give significant focus on this stance, like other developed and developing countries do.