The Philippine presidential election is almost here. Have you decided who to vote yet?
To help you get to know more about the candidates, COMELEC came up with Pilipinas Debates. The first one happened in Cagayan de Oro City on February 21 and the second leg would be on March 20 in Cebu City.
Climate change among other issues would be tackled on the next presidential debate. Why should this be prioritized by the next leader?
1. The Philippines is the 4th most disaster prone country in the world.
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) reports that a total of 274 disasters were recorded in the Philippines from 1995 to 2015, trailing the United States (472), China (441), and India (288).
According to Asian Disaster Reduction Center, the Philippines, which is located along the typhoon belt in the Pacific is frequented by an average of 20 typhoons every year. Not only that, being situated in the “Pacific Ring of Fire” makes the country vulnerable to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. But wait, there’s more! Its geographical location and physical environment also contributes to its high-susceptibility to tsunami, sea level rise, storm surges, landslides, flooding, and drought.
2. Slow response and recovery from disasters.
We have policies in place on climate change and disaster management. But these are often poorly implemented. During the typhoon Haiyan, we’ve been an international spectacle because of our slow response to the disaster. And recovery, too, remains to be slow. Lack of financial resource is usually given as an excuse. But we actually have unused disaster funds!
3. Impacts of El Nino.
As early as November 2014, PAGASA has already released dry condition advisory but once again, we haven’t fully prepared for it. Mindanao is now suffering greatly.
A challenge to the presidential candidates: How do you solve a problem like El Nino?
4. Threat to agriculture and food security.
Being a predominantly agricultural country, the agriculture sector hasn’t really been given much support by the government. Because of typhoons and now, El Nino, our farmers are losing their crops and are further pushed to poverty.
5. Prioritizing the environment is good for the economy.
We have this misconstrued idea that economic development and protecting the environment cannot go together. But taking care of the environment now could mean a more sustainable economic development for the country.