PHILIPPINE Constitution Association (Philconsa) President Martin Romualdez yesterday lamented the loss of lives and extensive damage to property and agricultural crops caused by various typhoons.
“Strong typhoons should be another wake-up call for us to take climate change and global warming very seriously and put in place the necessary adaptation and mitigation measures,” said Romualdez, a former House Independent Bloc Leader and ex-Leyte congressman for three consecutive terms.
“Normally, we do not get typhoons at this time of the year. But scientists have warned us that climate change is really here and the prevailing El Niño weather phenomenon is likely to cause more powerful weather disturbances such as this, so we should always be prepared,” Romualdez added.
Romualdez, husband of Leyte Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt-Romualdez, vowed to continue his advocacy to help mobilize aid for calamity victims in the same way that his province received much-needed help when it bore the brunt of super typhoon Yolanda in November 2013.
In the aftermath of Yolanda, Leyte immediately received relief and rehabilitation assistance from government, the private sector and ordinary citizens as well as the international community so the province could get back on its feet.
“We must ensure the safety of our people who live in areas highly vulnerable to natural disasters. This is part of compassionate and responsible governance,” Romualdez said.
He urged the government to launch an extensive information and education campaign on the nature of climate change and how Filipinos can cope with it following the Paris agreement that binds the international community to impose limits on greenhouse gases emissions responsible for global warming.
“Filipinos should be made aware of the long-term consequences of climate change so that we can mitigate its adverse effects,” Romualdez pointed out.
Romualdez is a lawyer and a former member of the House special committee on climate change.