Public urged anew to ‘take part’ in addressing climate crisis

An expert, on Saturday, April 30, urged the public to partake in addressing the worsening climate crisis, adding that there is no other better time to act than now.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Scientist I Dr. Marcelino Villafuerte warned that the rising global temperature, also known as global warming, could trigger extreme natural events.


“Yung mga nararanasan po nating extreme events katulad ng malakas na ulan, mahabang tagtuyot, at kakulangan sa tubig, ang mga mapaminsalang bagyo at ang sea level rise, ay maaari pang lumala (The extreme events that we are experiencing now such as heavy rains, prolonged droughts, water shortages, even devastating storms and rising sea level can worsen),” said Villafuerte.

Villafuerte added that the average temperature in the Philippines alone had a 0.68 degrees increase in the past 65 years. This translates to a warming rate of about 0.1 degrees celsius (°C) per decade.

“Kaakibat po ng patuloy na pagtaas na ito ng ating temperatura ay nagiging madalas ang pagkaranas natin ng extreme events. Halimbawa dito ay mataas na temperature tuwing tag-init, partikular sa mga lugar tulad ng Dagupan, Cabanatuan, Cagayan Valley at iba pa (Along with this continuous increase in our temperature, we often experience extreme events. For example, the extremely dangerous temperatures during the dry season, particularly in areas such as Dagupan, Cabanatuan, Cagayan Valley, and others),” said Villafuerte.

The expert likewise disclosed that strong tropical cyclones now usually develop in December, January, and February. There also have been frequent landfalling cyclones in the Visayas and Mindanao due to climate change, observed Villafuerte.

Additionally, with the continuously rising global temperature and due to extreme events brought by climate change, Villafuerte said that scientists are not ruling out the possibility of human extinction.

Addressing climate crisis

In order to address the worsening climate change, Villafuerte said that the Philippines has committed to reduce greenhouse emissions by about 75 percent by 2030.

This commitment was laid out during the UN Climate Change Conference also known as COP26. Concrete programs to achieve this commitment include the country’s transition from coal to clean energy, as well as the implementation of actions towards banning single-use plastics.

Meanwhile, the expert underscored that PAGASA continues to embrace its initiative of educating the public by providing information related to the weather and climate.

The state weather bureau likewise cooperated in drafting the National Climate Change Action Plan, aiming to prioritize food security, water sufficiency, ecological and environmental stability, human security, climate-smart industries and services, sustainable energy , and knowledge capacity development as the strategic direction for the country from 2011 to 2028.

Furthermore, Villafuerte added that the public may help fight against climate change even from the comfort of their homes.

“ save energy at home, reduce carbon emissions, eat plant-based food as it results in fewer greenhouse gases, throw away less food, and practice reduce, reuse, repair, and recycle,” he added.