LEGAZPI CITY---Albay lawmaker Joey Sarte Salceda urged the members of the House of Representatives to declare 2020 as disaster and climate emergency year.
Salceda, who heads the House Committee on Ways and Means, expressed his concern before members of the House, during the concluded 1st Philippine Councilor’s League (PCL Albay Chapter) concern on climate disaster resiliency and federalism governance held at Brentwood Suites Hotel on Quezon City last week.
The PCL Albay conference on climate disaster resilience, in partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government; Local Climate Change Adaptation for Development (LCCAD);DOST-PAGASA, Climate Change Commission (CCC); Office of Civil Defense (OCD); the University of the Philippines Resilience Institute/NOAH Center, and 2nd district congressional office emphasized that climate change is the defining issue of our time as they pledged to lead and to inspire local government units, communities and stakeholders around the world to take action through the councillor’s league conference output with a declaration of disaster and climate emergency year.
The conference highlighted the importance of local government units in leading the process of transformation and to climate change and disaster resilience, emphasizing the role of local government units, business communities, individuals and stakeholders.
Salceda said the Philippines has been suffering from a series of adverse impacts of catastrophic natural disasters in the past decades which is worsening, following the global warming impact affecting the source of local water; food production due to El Nino and stronger weather events.
“The melting of glaciers and the forest fire are recent global events related to anthropogenic climate change significantly caused by the burning of fossil fuels and unabated deforestation and pointing to an acceleration of the climate impact chain, indicating worsening climate related events in Philippines,” the lawmaker said.
The Albay lawmaker said that the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement recognize that the best available science should inform and guide climate change adaptation efforts, integration of adaptation and access to multi-hazard early warning systems; disaster risk information and assessment to the people by 2030.
“There is an urgent need for us to address and ensure climate justice for current and future generations of the Filipinos to ensure its survival in the coming decades,” the Albay solon said.
Salceda cited some catastrophic weather events that battered badly the Philippines with extensive devastations due to hydrometeorological hazard impacts which include the occurrences of super typhoon Reming in November 30, 2006 in Bicol region wherein Albay province suffered the worst impact in history.
Super typhoon Reming left 1,500 casualties and missing despite of mandatory pre-emptive evacuation enforced by disaster officials. Super typhoon Reming left at least more than P10 billion devastations for agricultural crops as well as private and government infrastructure projects.
Reming battered in Bicol specifically in Albay province for 8 hours with 466 millimetres precipitation causing 20 to 30 feet high flash flood associated with walls of volcanic debris from the foot of Mayon volcano inundated in three cities and 15 towns of Albay province barely 13 years ago here.
Other stronger typhoons that hit and affected badly the Philippines were Ondoy and Pepeng in 2009, which devastated Metro Manila, and key regions of Luzon; typhoon Yolanda in 2013, which affected 16 million Filipinos resulting in more than 6,000 deaths; Pablo and Sendong which devastated Mindanao, an island group previously regarded as typhoon-free while an El Niňo took place in 2015 to 2016, which also devastated Mindanao, resulting in multi-billion losses for agricultural crops.
Typhoons Urduja, Vinta, Ompong, Naga Landslides, Rosita and Usman disasters also left significant numbers of casualties from December 2017 to December 2018.
“Our country is still grappling with institutional issues on climate and disaster governance. Full integration and convergence of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts are vital through the passage of the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) Bill as an urgent policy response to ensure the safety and as fundamental rights of the Filipinos are protected from any form of natural hazards,” Salceda said.
The Albay lawmaker told local legislators to strengthen its local disaster climate action initiatives especially that the world is now facing a climate emergency. (Rhaydz B. Barcia)