It’s getting hot in here


The people’s assembly

What is going on with the weather? A few weeks after PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season in the country, soaring and searing temperatures have been experienced not just locally but also the entire world. In the past few days, the heat has been particularly brutal even when it rains. Is this the effect of global warming?

It would seem so. CNN has reported that data from two climate tracking agencies have shown a frightening pattern — we are seeing the hottest global temperature ever recorded with Wednesday breaking the record high in average global temperature at 17.18 degrees Celsius. CNN also noted that while these global temperature records dates back to the 1940s, scientists are almost certain these temperatures are “the warmest the planet has seen over a much longer time period… given what we know from many millennia of climate data extracted from ice cores and coral reefs.”

Climate experts have warned that this may not abate anytime soon as they noted that the “record could be broken several more times this year,” and that we “may well see a few even warmer days over the next six weeks.” I certainly do not want to sound like an alarmist but, well, it is probably time to sound the alarm of the negative effects of global warming.

While the El Niño weather phenomenon is part of the reason for the higher temperatures, climate scientists are also pointing to “human-caused climate change might be fueling unprecedented heat waves that stretch over days and weeks, frequent flooding and megafires.”

In his first year in office, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos has expressed his concerns on the negative impact of climate change and has vowed to use government resources to fight it. When he attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) in Bangkok late last year, he described climate change as “the greatest existential threat” affecting the region.

The President added that even when discussions center around geopolitics, the economy or governance “the subject of climate change will make itself felt,” adding that the world needs to unite in order to mitigate its effect on the globe. He has, in fact, increased the funds allocated for climate change programs this year by about 48 percent.
The President has also urged all instrumentalities of government to anchor their programs on the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) and its thematic priorities: food security, water sufficiency, human security, environmental and ecological stability, sustainable energy, climate smart industries and services, and knowledge and capacity development.

When I was elected to office the first time as representative of the then district of Las Piñas and Muntinlupa, I focused on two key issues: livelihood/entrepreneurship and the environment. And in my 21 years of public service, I would like to think that I have shown my commitment to the preservation and conservation of the environment.
I have done the same in our business. A key part of the mission of the Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc., is to “build communities that foster proud family and neighborhood relationships, value the rewards of hard work, and reflect responsible use of resources and our environment.”

The Villar Group has started focusing on our sustainability metrics and our alignment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals that will ensure that we remain a future-ready organization. This is something that we are committed to fulfilling. For instance, following SDG 11 on Sustainable Cities and Communities, the master planning of our residential projects have employed strategic planning that integrates housing, commercial spaces, and access to green and open spaces which, in turn, aims to make subdivisions self-contained and walkable.

By continuing to contribute to the economic growth of the Philippines, by enhancing our efforts to protect the environment, and by championing the welfare and wellbeing of our people and the communities that we serve, we hope to become a force for good, especially as the country begins to build back a better future.

And it is that future that we are fighting for. A future for my apos and their children. We are the stewards of this planet and it is our responsibility to bequeath a world that is safe, prosperous and livable. ([email protected] and/or