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Legarda: Intensify Campaign Against Climate Change as We Battle “New Norm”

September 18, 2013

Senator Loren Legarda urged the government to intensify its campaign to combat climate change as stranded commuters, long queues in public transport stations, students wading in flood waters, stalled cars, and bancas in city streets become usual scenarios.

 

“Normal sa isang nanay na nagtatrabaho ang gumising nang maaga para ayusin ang pangangailangan ng kaniyang asawa at mga anak na pumapasok sa trabaho at paaralan. Ngunit kung dati ay gumigising siya ng alas-singko ng umaga, ngayon ay gumigising siya nang mas maaga dahil kapag bumuhos ang malakas na ulan, sigurado na kasunod nito ang pagbaha,” Legarda, who chairs the Senate Committees on Climate Change and Environment said.

 

“Ang dati’y isang oras na biyahe ay magiging dalawa hanggang tatlong oras, o kung minamalas-malas pa ay baka di pa makarating sa trabaho kung may baha,” she added.

 

Moreover, Legarda said that the torrential rains and the resulting floods do not only affect the poor people and the working middle class but it also affects businesses, schools, government offices, trade industry and the stock market.

 

“Walang sinasanto ang matinding hagupit ng bagyo at malakas na ulan,” Legarda noted.

 

AON Benfield’s Impact Forecasting entitled “December 2012 Global Catastrophic Recap,” the single deadliest disaster in the world in 2012 was typhoon Bopha or Pablo, which left 1,901 people either dead or missing in the Philippines.  Our country accounted for 12.5 million victims of natural disasters in 2012 alone or 10.2% of total global disaster victims.

 

Meanwhile, according to the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), from 1900 to 2013, the Philippines experienced 276 natural disasters due to tropical cyclones with 40,277 casualties, affecting 121,567,227 people, with economic damages worth US$ 8.809 billion.

 

However, Legarda maintained that without proper precautionary action, this could be worse.

 

“Hindi pa dito nagtatapos ang hirap.  Batay sa pagsusuri ng Department of Agriculture, gamit ang Geographical Information System, tinatayang labing pitong (17) milyong ektarya ng lupain, na bumubuo ng limangpu at walong porsyento (58%) ng ating mga lupain, ay maaaring malubog sa baha,” Legarda noted.

 

Legarda also urged the government to incorporate the climate change agenda in both its policies and programs.

 

“Sa ating pagsusuri ng budget ng mga ahensiya ng ating pamahalaan ay isaisip natin ang matinding pangangailangan na pag-ibayuhin ang ating kakayahang lumaban sa tinatawag na bagong normal,” Legarda said.