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Friday, December 30, 2011

Government Urged: Hold climate change summit now

Friday, December 30, 2011
ALARMED by climate projections in the coming years, a lawmaker strongly pushed for the immediate holding of a summit to map out plan of actions that would mitigate catastrophic effects of climate change to the country and the people.

Isabela Representative Rodolfo Albano said the grievousness of the situation calls for serious action not only on the part of the government but of all sectors of society as well.
“We are now suffering the brunt of climate change.  Our wet season becomes wetter, our dry season becomes drier and there are even typhoons during summertime.  Worse, hundreds of people die, thousands more get dislocated and properties are destroyed,” Albano said.

The senior legislator made the recommendation as calamity victims in Northern Mindanao try to recover from the massive destruction brought by Tropical Storm “Sendong” (international codename: Washi).

In the latest report released by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Friday, deaths caused by Sendong have reached 1,257 while 85 others remain missing.
Albano also took note of the devastation brought by Typhoons Quiel and Pedring in several regions in Luzon, including the National Capital Region.

He warned that hundreds more could die, thousands upon thousands would get displaced and billion-peso worth of properties would be shattered if the government would not take action immediately.

“Now is the time for the National Government, concerned government agencies, local governments and all sectors to sit down together, assess the situation, study projections and plan out actions to lessen the impact of the worsening climate change.  We have to do this now to prepare for the worst that is yet to come,” he said.

The summit, he suggested, should tackle, not only the climate change and its effects, but also the other factors that aggravate the effects of climate change, including illegal logging, mining, improper waste disposal and pollution.

Food security and stable water supply, which are both being affected by the disastrous climate change, should also be discussed, Albano added.

In the meantime, Albano said the Climate Change Commission and the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) should launch massive nationwide information campaign to raise the level of public awareness on climate change and its effects.

“The people, who are the ones that usually suffer, should know.  They should be educated about climate change, what to expect and how to mitigate its effects at least on their level.  We cannot afford to be caught flatfooted; the risk is too much to ignore,” he stressed. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)

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