Cayetano warns of
threats from rise in sea level to communities
PASAY CITY – Senate
Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano urged the government to address
the absent or lack of preparation for climate change related
calamities in areas where increases in sea levels pose immediate
threats to communities.
He said tropical
cyclones and flashfloods that killed and displaced hundreds of
thousands of people in Mindanao and the Visayas last year and previous
calamities caused like typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng should serve as
crucial lessons for the government to learn from.
Senator Cayetano was
alarmed by the recent study of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) that
identifies the Philippines as the world’s most vulnerable countries to
climate change. The country ranks 5th globally in terms of the number
of people to be affected by sea level rise.
The ADB report titled
“Addressing Climate Change and Migration in
Asia and the Pacific” acknowledged that sea level rise is already
seriously threatening communities with coastal flooding with most of
them found in Southeast Asian countries like the
Vietnam and Myanmar.
Cayetano said as an
archipelagic country, a large number of population live in coastal
areas and most of them are poor families living in shanties.
“Efforts must be made
to identify areas that are at serious risks on account of rise in sea
level so adequate planning and preparations can be made,” he said.
The ADB report
recommended that governments must invest heavily on improving urban
infrastructure resilient to harsh calamities and basic services to
people in times of these disasters such as health, water and
sanitation and education for displaced schoolchildren.
“We can no longer
afford to simply take risks when flashfloods and typhoons hit any part
of our country. Our poor people are constantly helpless due to lack of
government programs and strategies for their timely safe evacuation
them to safer places,” said Cayetano.
He said donations and
relief operations are short-term programs and do not address the main
issues for mitigating the impact of climate change in the Philippines.
Ang Pinoy At Ang Hamon Ng Climate Change