Press Release
June 14, 2016

Win the war vs. climate change - Villar

Senator Cynthia A. Villar cited the need to win the tough battle against climate change for our survival and that of the next generation.

Due to this, she said disaster risk assessment, adaptation and mitigation of climate change in coastal habitats, among others, are very important issues that need our continuous attention and require our prompt actions

"We have so much at stake if we were to take climate change for granted. The Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change," stressed Villar, a staunch advocate of environmental protection.

She related that a recent United Nations report identified our country as the third-most at-risk from climate change in the world.

The Philippines was ranked behind the South Pacific island nations of Vanuatu (with a population of 255,000) and Tonga (with a population of 105,000).

"Compared to our country, which has a population of over 100 million, their population is a comparable to a small city or a big barangay here. So, the adverse impact of climate change is deemed worst in our country," said Villar.

She said another report recently released by an environmental organization German Watch, the Global Climate Risk Index 2015, listed the Philippines as the number one country which is most affected by weather-related disasters like storms, floods, and heat waves. It was followed by Cambodia and India.

"Problems due to climate change are realities that we Filipinos have been facing, particularly in recent years when extreme weather conditions-such as super typhoons, massive flooding, El Niño and La Niña phenomena, among others-have been causing death and destruction in our country," noted Villar.

After the devastation brought by super typhoon Yolanda to nearly 10 million Filipinos on November 8, 2013, she said climate experts noted typhoons like Yolanda will likely be "the norm" in the Philippines.

"And indeed, one super typhoon after another cause us damage during the rainy season," said Villar.

She said these have affected the most vulnerable groups within our society, the poor families living in flood-prone urban areas and coastal communities (which are both vulnerable to rising sea levels and storm surges.

Moreover, she said the Philippines, as an agricultural country, loses a lot from the onslaught of environmental disasters.

She said damage to agriculture caused by super typhoon Yolanda reached over P90 billion. She further said drought, due to El Niño, is also a direct consequence of climate change.

"Mindanao and other parts of the country are still reeling from an extended period of drought."

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