President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Sunday raised concern on the worsening impact of climate change on communities as evidenced by the recent typhoon that submerged Bicol region, Cagayan Valley and parts of Metro Manila.
The President made the remarks during a situation briefing in Tuguegarao City on the effects of Typhoon Ulysses, the 21st cyclone to enter the Philippines this year. It caused massive flooding in the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela.
“Ang problema ho talaga ngayon is that whether we accept it or not, itong climate change,” he said during the situation briefing.
“The warm climate boils the Pacific Ocean. There’s a lot of water vapor going upstairs and accumulating so much water, the rain, then it falls down. Talagang ang matamaan ngayon ‘yung mga populated areas nakokompormiso,” the President added.
During his participation in the virtual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit last week, he called for an urgent need to address the rising global temperature mainly fueled by economic activities of developed nations.
“I was very strong in my language about the people who contributed a lot to the global warming,” he said, noting the Philippines is not a major contributor to global warming.
Climate change is not just a matter of survival but a “matter of justice,” according to the President.
In the same briefing, Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba expressed hope that the administration will lead re-greening initiatives in Sierra Madre and Cordillera to help conserve mountains and reduce the effects of devastating typhoons.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, who was present during the briefing, recommended continuing and improving the reforestation programs in the country. He also suggested conducting dredging activities in the Cagayan River.
“Kung hindi ho magagawa iyang dalawa na iyan, paulit-ulit ho mangyayari iyong pagbaha dito. Kaya in the medium term, kailangan ho talagang buhos ang trabaho diyan sa dredging at saka sa reforestation,” Tugade said.
Typhoon Ulysses claimed 67 lives during its onslaught, with 22 coming from Region II, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said. PND