The country is in “serious trouble” as the rapid changes in the global climate have contributed to severe storms and floods, President Duterte announced Wednesday.
In a televised address Wednesday, the President admitted that the country was “not prepared” in the event of severe weather conditions caused by climate change.
The Philippines is exposed to typhoons and other natural disasters due to its geographical location. Auring, the first tropical storm, hit parts of Visayas and Mindanao a few days ago, triggering floods and forcing thousands of families to evacuate their house.
Duterte used to doubt climate change but changed his mind when he noticed the increased frequency and intensity of storms and other weather systems due to the warming of the planet.
“Noong una, yung climate change ano pa ako noon, parang ayaw ko maniwala but ngayon sobra talaga ang tubig galing sa langit because umiinit ang planeta (At first, I did not believe climate change but now the rains coming from the heavens are heavy due to the warming of the planet), he said.
“Even by a certain degree higher, we are in serious trouble kasi yung dagat mabilis na rin yung singaw ng tubig. The biggest..mas marami pa sa land mass ang tubig kaya kung bumagsak ‘yan talagang todong-todo. and we are not prepared for that (due to the fast evaporation of water in the ocean. Water is bigger than the land mass so when it falls, the impact is severe),” he said.
Duterte also observed that climate change has disrupted the weather patterns, saying typhoons can now hit the country anytime of the year.
“Noon (In the past) we have the typhoons and the hot weather and cold weather, usually in December pero ngayon wala na panahon sa bagyo. The bagyo can come anytime. Nagwawala nga ang tubig sa dagat,” he said.
Dutere talked about the environmental problems facing the nation after visiting the storm-hit Surigao del Sur. He made an aerial inspection of the flooded towns and held a situation briefing with concerned officials afterwards.
“There was really no thing as destruction. Well there were but it was because of the flooding,” he said.
Concerned Cabinet members have been ordered by the President to speed up the delivery of relief and rehabilitation assistance to the storm-affected communities. He said they must ensure the affected families have food, water and shelter to help them recover from the latest calamity.