Climate Change Threatens Philippine Economy

Manila – A 1-meter rise in sea level will deluge 2,268 hectares of land. A 1˚C rise in temperature decreases rice yields by 7 %.

These are just some of the figures cited by Dr. Carmina V. Tolentino, Ph.D. in environmental sciences, and Dean of Arts & Sciences at Manuel S. Enverga University in Lucena City, in her dissertation published in the Talk of the Town section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer on May 3, 2008.

The scholarly but accessible report is the latest to pinpoint the key areas where preventive and strengthening measures should be focused on.

Among her findings, footnoted with references ranging from the United Nations to the World Bank, are the top 10 provinces severely affected by climate fluctuations – Albay, Pampanga, Ifugao, Sorsogon, Biliran, Northern Samar, Cavite, Masbate and Laguna.

“The country’s vulnerability to natural hazards is closely linked to poverty and environmental degradation risks from global climate change are expected to further exacerbate poverty,” she warns.

If the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doubles, says the report from the Philippines’ Initial National Commission on Climate Change, there will be 2-3˚C annual average increase in the country’s temperature.

However dire the figures are, Tolentino ends with an optimistic note – including 10 tips on how the average citizen can help save the environment – “Decisive green behavior can make a big difference in our daily lives, health and environment and country. Choosing more natural products, organic food and renewable energy will save Mother Earth, thus saving humankind.”