You are on page 1of 8

CARLO JOSHUA M.

MACARAEG
11128364
Section: EJ
KASPIL 2 Individual Project

TOPIC: PHILIPPINE PROBLEMS: GLOBAL WARMING ENVIRONMENTAL RAPE


I. INTRODUCTION
Generally, global warming refers to the increase of the Earths temperature. The aforementioned phenomenon is
due to the trapping of heat and light from the sun by greenhouse gases in the Earths atmosphere thereby increasing
the temperature. It should be noted that this phenomenon is natural since the Earth needs to warm up to a
temperature for us humans and other living things to survive. However, the increasing concentration of greenhouse
gases have brought about increasing temperature up to a level substantially larger than that of which is normal since
more heat is trapped and relayed into the Earth. For simplicitys sake, global warming occurs because there is more
heat going in, than going out. In the Philippines, global warming has become a big challenge as it changes the
course of the government, economics, and most of all, it greatly affects the environment (Bendijo et al., 2012). As
reported by Bendijo, Lucero and Rubino (2012), accumulated data revealed that the temperature and sea water level
are slowly rising according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change first assessment report in 1990. The
gradual, yet unremitting sea level rise occurs due to the intensification of temperature in the Earth. Additionally, one
of the problems which is somehow related to global warming is environmental abuse or for a stronger and more
affective word, environmental rape. The continuous development of technology coupled with the rising demand for
urbanization has severely decreased the amount of trees and vegetation in the Earth. In line with this, attempting to
develop more innovations and technology comes with a great price of utilization of more natural resources,
especially materials such as metal, iron, and other mined raw ingredients that are used in technological
advancements today. These two problems that exist in the Philippines are considered to be the most alarming and
timely issues that are evident in our country today and it is imperative that the Filipino people be informed with
regards to these issues.

II. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TOPIC
According to WWF or World Wildlife Fund (n.d.), the Philippines is considered as one of the most vulnerable
countries to the effects of global warming with impacts ranging from extreme weather events and periodic
inundation to droughts and food scarcity. Tackling the topic of global warming and environmental rape is of great
importance and significance in todays time. As mentioned, the unremitting developments in technology and
infrastructure coupled with the current escalation of urbanization have increased substantially the severity of global
warming and also brought about the intensification of its effects not only to the earth. It is necessary to confer and
confront these issues so as to enlighten the minds of our fellow Filipinos regarding the current environmental
condition of the country and the present effects as well as the looming impacts of global warming if such quandary
will continue to aggravate.

III. CONTENT
3.1 Global Warming and Environmental Rape in the Philippines
Having been able to define successfully the terms global warming and environmental rape, it is vital that data be
presented which actually evinces the reality that global warming and environmental rape are indeed happening in the
country. A correspondent for Business Mirror, Imelda Abao (2009) wrote in her article entitled RP in deep danger
of sea-level rise, scientists warn that the Philippines is at risk of being swamped by rising levels of seawater as a
result of global warming. Abao (2009) further explained that in the Philippines, a one-meter rise in sea level, for
example, is projected to affect 64 out of 81 provinces. From 1961 to 2003, the waters around the archipelago rose by
1.8 millimeters every year (Abao, 2009). Furthermore, a PAGASA study also showed that coastal areas in Navotas,
Malabon, Cavite, Davao City and Legazpi City sank by 15 centimeters from 1970 to 1999 (Bendijo et al., 2012).
Again these observations can be attributed to the increasing temperature of the Earth.
In a study conducted by Amadore (2005), he summarized the climate change impacts that have occurred in the
Philippines. Based on the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR), extreme climate events/variability, i.e., floods,
drought, forest fires, and tropical cyclones have increased in temperate topical. These have been manifested in the
Philippines through the more frequent occurrence of severe El Nio and La Nia events, as well as, deadly and
damaging typhoons and other severe storms, floods, flash floods, landslides, drought, forest fires, etc. (Amadore,
2005). Moreover, there were 5 La Nia episodes and 7 El Nio episodes from 1970 to 2000 compared to only 3 La
Nia episodes and 2 El Nio episodes from 1950 to 1970. The strong warm (El Nio) events were in 1972-73, 1982-
83, 1997-98, while the strong cold (La Nia) events were in 1973-74,1988-89 and 1998-99. There were seven (7)
extreme tropical cyclone/southwest monsoon induced extreme events from 1991 to late 2004, namely, the Ormoc
Catastrophe, 1991; Cherry Hill Tragedy, 1999; Payatas Garbage-slide, 2000; Baguio-La Trinidad landslides, 2001;
Camiguin flashfloods, 2001; Southern Leyte-Surigao disaster, 2003; and the Aurora floods, 2004 (Amadore 2005).
These extreme events have one thing in common persistent torrential rains, causing landslides and flash floods,
killing people and destroying properties and the environment along its path. Amadore (2005) emphasized that the
sector most affected by climate change is agriculture and food security. The sharpest fall in agricultural productions
are experienced during strong El Nio events and after the occurrence of severe tropical cyclones. However,
increases in rice and corn productions are attributed to favorable rainfall conditions during La Nina years. The
highest typhoon damage was 1.17% of GDP and 4.21% of agriculture (Amadore, 2005).
As mentioned earlier, global warming raises the overall temperature of the climate, which then causes glaciers
and polar ice caps to melt thereby bringing about expansion in the water. Because of such expansion, sea levels tend
to rise much more rapidly than they have in the past. Predictions for the next century, based on reports in the Third
Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC (1990), show the sea level rising as
much as 88 centimeters. From the same report, it is stated that Manila Bay area is vulnerable to sea level rise and
most areas along the coast will succumb to a 1 m sea level rise. These areas mentioned are vulnerable to the severe
storm surges and are likely to increase in frequency. Moreover, it was mentioned in the same report my IPCC that
coral reefs are already heavily stressed and may not keep pace with the changes in sea level and mangroves may not
survive changes in sediments and salinity. Also, saltwater intrusion will affect agricultural productivity and water
quality.
According to Bendijo, Lucero and Rubino (2012), global warming creates uncertainties for the Philippine's
economy. The Philippine is known as one of the most hazard prone countries in the world (Bendijo et al., 2012).
Disasters brought upon by global warming derailed economic development of the country as funds are reallocated
from ongoing programs to finance relief and reconstruction assistance (Bendijo et al., 2012). Soaring food prices is
one of the ill effects of global warming to the Philippine's economy. Food price inflation severely stresses the most
vulnerable groups (Bendijo et al., 2012). High food prices are undermining the gains of poverty reduction efforts in
the Philippines and will make the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals difficult. Food price inflation
may have seriously eroded their purchasing power, increasing the severity of food deprivation and malnutrition.
These effects will worsen if the food price surge persists (Bendijo et al., 2012). Moreover, Casis (2008) said that in
the Philippines the most affected sectors of global warming are agriculture, food security, and health. These sectors
are affected since global warming can bring about increase in sea levels, increase in temperature and acidity of
oceans, melting of ice caps, spread of climate-related diseases such as malaria, higher incidence of hurricane and
forest fires, and destruction of crops. This is very alarming since these sectors are very essential for a country, most
especially to us humans.

3.2 The Response of Philippines to Global Warming and Environmental Rape
The countrys commitment to engage in multilateral efforts aiming to address the global problem of climate
change and global warming is manifested in its participations in discussions and negotiations leading to the
ratification of various international agreements. Such agreements are geared towards the mitigation of the effects of
global warming as well as the strategic adaptation to the current conditions. The most important outcomes of these
negotiations include the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) ratified on August
2, 1994 and the Kyoto Protocol, which was ratified on November 20, 2003. At the national level, the Medium Term
Philippine Development Plan of 2004-2010 (MTDP) underscored the need to manage the environment more
effectively in order for the country to address the problem of poverty particularly in the rural areas.
Philippines was one of the first countries to sign the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
in 1992 and expressed compliance and adherence to the principles of sustainable development and environmental
preservation based on the notion of equity and the unique capabilities of the participating countries. Article 3 of the
UNFCC specifically states that countries who have aligned themselves with the mandates set forth by the
Convention should protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations of humankind, on
the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective
capabilities.
Come the year 2000, the Philippines forwarded to the UNFCCC its Initial National Communication, the
milestones of the country insofar as accomplishing the objectives of the Convention are concerned. The report
presented specifically the gains accomplished in the fields of greenhouse gas abatement and inventory. Moreover,
gains were significantly achieved in strengthening institutions and processes in relation to the mitigation, prevention
and adaptation initiatives in the country. Despite this, a lot of work still needs to be done. The aforementioned report
recommends the institutionalization of the process of greenhouse inventory, particularly among the government
agencies concerned and greater involvement of the academe through related studies. Moreover, more studies on
adaptation and vulnerability under climate change conditions were also suggested.
The Philippines, being under the Kyoto Protocol is called to pass and ultimately implement national measures
that shall advance and promote the international communitys agenda pertaining to environmental preservation
through the reduction of greenhouse emissions (GHGs) in the atmosphere. As stipulated in the provisions of the
aforementioned treaty, the Philippines passed national legislations in order to uphold the agreements included in the
Kyoto Protocol. Consequently, the Clean Air Act of 1999, otherwise known as Republic Act 8749, was established
in order to arrive at an effective air quality management program that will mitigate the worsening problem of air
pollution in the country. Finally, the countrys drive towards a healthier environment was reinforced as the Solid
Waste Management Act of 2000 (RA 9003) was enacted in which the aim is to provide a comprehensive solutions to
the countrys garbage problem.
Delving into the institutional level, the Philippines was one of the earliest countries to recognize the importance
of a systematic institutional response to the problem of global warming and climate change. Prior to the signing and
ratification of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the spearheading of the Inter-Agency Committee
on Climate Change (IACC) in May 8, 1991 under the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) was a clear manifestation of the Philippines attempt to promptly
address the issue of climate change. The said committee composed of representatives from government agencies as
well as NGO representatives. The IACC was created by virtue of Presidential Order No. 220 with the secretary of
the DENR sitting as chair and the secretary of the DOST as co-chair. The ultimate aim of the committee is to
harness and synergize the various activities being undertaken by the national government and civil society in
response to the crisis posed by growing problem on climate change.
Essentially, the mandate of the IACC is to perform several coordinative, development and monitoring functions
with respect to activities related to global warming and climate change in the county. The IACC, being an
organization that is at the forefront in advancing the governments climate change agenda, formulates policy actions
and recommendations while at the same time assumes a very significant role in terms of shaping the Philippines
national positions in the various international negotiations that aim to mitigate the effects of global climate change
and prevent the worse possible consequences of this. Therefore, the IACC ensures the Philippines faithful
compliance to the mandates and principles contained in the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol and sees to it that
adequate public awareness campaign and initiatives are held to bring the issue to all the sectors of the country.
The Aquino Administration in cooperation with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources,
formulated a 12-year plan named the Philippine Strategy on Climate Change Adaptation (Bendijo et al., 2012). The
formulation of the Philippine Strategy on Climate Change Adaptation builds on existing institutional processes but
gives strong emphasis on collaboration among national agencies, the legislative branch, the academe, business and
civil society. Eight technical working groups were organized to tackle the needs and concerns in eight major sectors,
namely Agriculture, Biodiversity, Coastal and Marine, Forestry, Water, Health, Energy and Infrastructure
(Adaptation to Climate Change & Conservation of the Biodiversity in the Philippines, 2009). To reinforce the
aforementioned strategy, the Climate Change Commission ironed out a few gaps in the initial strategy and then
released the National Framework Strategy on Climate Change. The commission then established the National
Climate Change Action Plan with the goal of addressing immediate concerns and issues that stemmed in vulnerable
sectors such as agriculture, water resources, ecosystems, and infrastructure services (Bendijo et al., 2012).
President Noynoy Aquinos initiative also includes the protection of watersheds, which is done first by
physically protecting them and then utilizing resources to plant more trees. This is was uttered by the president
himself in his speech during the Closing Ceremony of the LGU Summit on Mainstreaming Climate Change
Adaptation in the Philippines held in Davao Del Sur, Davao City last March 16, 2011. President Aquino said
Moreover, we have also issued an Executive Order to restrict commercial logging in the Philippines in order to
regain and preserve the forest cover we have drastically lost in the past years. Furthermore, President Aquino
ordered a review of our disaster response mechanisms, specifically for earthquakes and tsunamis as well as studying
the design and implementation of infrastructure and non-infrastructure programs, such as beach and mangrove
reforestation, in order to physically protect coastal areas from natural disasters such as tsunamis (Bendijo et al.,
2012). However, the effective implementation of these laws have become a great challenge for the government
because of the lack of awareness of the people (Bendijo et al., 2012). Bendijo, Lucero and Rubino (2012)
recommended that the government should double its effort in informing the entire community about these laws to
ensure full cooperation.

IV. CONCLUSION
Undoubtedly, the effects of global warming are evident in our country today and it has affected sectors like
agriculture, food security, and health, all of which are essential for the survival of humans and will continue to
worsen unless an action be taken. From what was presented earlier, there seems to be enough programs and
advocacies carried out by the government that aim to alleviate the effects of global warming. However, I believe that
this involves an undebatable two-way involvement. These programs will only serve its purpose and will be effective
only if there is participation and adherence from the constituents. Moreover, without the funds and support from
government officials and agencies then the programs will not materialize. It is important for both parties to realize
that these programs will be efficacious if there is participation from the citizens and genuine and real and
espousal of the project on the part of the government. I would also like to emphasize the importance of education in
the success of such projects. The first step to take before the implementation of such projects would be the proper
dissemination of information in order to bring about awareness among the Filipino people.
It is important to inform the entire country so that they may become knowledgeable with regards to the
condition of the country as well as the possible effects in the future if no action is taken. Ultimately, all sectors of
society and the entire country should realize that all are to be blamed for global warming. If one wishes to eradicate
global warming, then environmental rape and abuse should cease. The unceasing abuse to the environment in
various forms such as deforestation, excessive mining of minerals and others have contributed substantially to the
worsening of global warming and its corresponding effects. The country should push for more green technology
and perhaps focus on utilizing alternative sources as a means of obtaining energy like hydroelectric, solar and wind
energy which does not alter the condition of the environment. Indubitably, eradicating the effects of global warming
will take a very long process but it is certainly not impossible. Change starts with oneself and if each individual sets
his/her mind towards that goal then making our country and ultimately the world green again will no longer be a
dream but rather a reality.

V. SOURCES
[1] Abano, Imelda. (2009, March 12). RP in deep danger of sea-level rise, scientists warn. Business Mirror,
March 12, 2009 issue.
[2] Adaptation to Climate Change & Conservation of the Biodiversity in the Philippines (2009). Philippine
Strategy on Climate Change Adaptation. ACCBio Climate Change Awareness Campaign 2009.
[3] Amadore, Leoncio A. 2005. Crisis or Opportunity, Climate Change Impacts and the Philippines. Greenpeace
Southeast Asia. Retrieved March 30, 2014 from http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/asia-energy-
revolution/climate-change/philippines-climate-impacts/
[4] Aquino III, B. S. (2011, March). President Benigno S. Aquino III's Speech during the Closing Ceremony of
the LGU Summit on Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation in the Philippines. Speech presented at
Pilipinas Grand Ballroom, Grand Regal Hotel, J. P. Laurel Ave. Davao City, Davao del Sur.
[5] Bendijo, J.V., Lucero, D.S., and Rubino, A.A. (2012). Global Warming in the Philippines: The effects and
challenges to its economy, natural resources, and government policies. University of San Jose Recoletos.
[6] Casis, R. J. (2008, July). The Climate Change Crisis: Global Legal Framework, Policy Initiatives and the
Philippine Response, Philippine Climate Change Policy: Mitigation and Adaptation Measures. Experts
Dialogue, University of the Philippines Law Center, U.P. Diliman.
[7] IPCC. (1990). Sea level rise: climate change: the IPCC scientific assessment. Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge.
[8] World Wildlife Fund. (n.d.). Climate Change in the Philippines. Retrieved March 25, 2014 from
http://wwf.org.ph/wwf3/climate/phils