President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said that Filipinos should start getting used to the effects of climate change as he noted the new weather’s effects in the country.
President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. (RTVM screenshot)
Marcos said this as he visited the areas in Northern Luzon ravaged by Super Typhoon Egay on Saturday, July 29.
In an interview in Ilocos Norte, the President said he was satisfied with how the government responded to the typhoon’s aftermath despite the weather’s unpredictability.
“Mukha namang ang response ng (I think the response of the) national government is satisfactory. I can say that it’s ok. But talagang mabigat itong nangyari dahil the (But we really took a toll from what happened because) rains were much, much heavier than what we have had in recent times,” he said.
“We have to really get used to the new weather— the effects of climate change,” he added.
Heavy rains, flooding, and damage to agriculture and infrastructure prompted the State of Calamity declaration in several Northern Luzon provinces.
In a press briefing, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the heavy flooding caused by Super Typhoon Egay could help mitigate the effects of the impending El Niño phenomenon in the country.
“May mga beneficial effects din naman ang mga pag-ulan dahil for example, tumaas ang lebel ng ating mga dams (These rains have a benefit. It increases the water level in dams),” Pagasa Deputy Administrator Nathaniel Servando said in a news forum in Quezon City on Saturday.
Servando also confirmed that the water supply is enough for the rest of the year despite the expected rainfall reduction by the last quarter as a side effect of El Niño. Eleven typhoons or storms are still expected to enter or pass through the Philippine area of responsibility before the end of the year.
He likewise assured the public that Pagasa continuously monitors for possible changes in the current weather forecast, saying that even if typhoons are expected to lessen by the last quarter of the year, it is anticipated that the tropical storms will be stronger as an effect of El Niño.
The Marcos Administration, through the National El Niño Team, has been developing various water conservation programs which seek to mitigate the effects of the looming dry spell in the country.
In his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 24, President Marcos noted that progressive, livable, and sustainable communities will never be complete without appropriate and responsible action to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.
“We can never lose sight of our responsibility to the future. The economic agenda cannot and will not ever be incompatible with our climate change agenda,” he said.
According to Marcos, climate change has become an essential criterion in the government’s policies, planning, decisions, and implementation of programs.
“The potential advantages of such enlightened policies extend to jobs and livelihood, with the unlocking of the development of the green and blue economies,” he said.
The President said the Philippines had adopted the “circular economy” concept to keep raw materials in a closed loop.
“In our world with scarce resources, the circular economy allows us to fully use these resources, minimize waste and reduce the need for new resources—just as it is in nature,” he said.
“Only a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach will enable us to do all of these. It is necessary to apply all the resources that are at hand if we are to progress as quickly as we need to,” he added.
Marcos reiterated this in his speech during the 3rd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC III) Meeting in Cebu City on Friday, July 28. He said today’s global challenges, such as climate change, require economic and business activities to ensure that the issues are effectively addressed but sustainably and resiliently.
“The business sector is not only a major contributor to the economy but also the most aggressive agent of change in our society today that has a role to play,” he said, adding that there were three areas of partnership that could advance the government’s efforts toward sustainable growth and climate action.