- Category: Asia
22 Aug 2012
- Published on Wednesday, 22 August 2012 10:53
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Philippine President Benigno Aquino III signed a new law creating a 1 billion peso ($24 million) “survival fund” for the country’s battle against climate change.
The fund is especially allotted for climate change mitigation projects in the region, which is visited by more than 20 typhoons per year that result into massive damages to properties and threats to the lives of citizens.
Government officials have said the growing intensity of typhoons annually is brought about by climate change.
With the new funding scheme, “now we have the means to make our communities safer against the intensifying effects of climate change,” said Philippine Climate Change Commission deputy head Mary Anne Lucille Sering in a statement.
The survival fund will provide financing for projects in water resource management and support advancement in weather forecasting and early warning systems for climate-related perils.
Farmers will also benefit from the fund by receiving “guarantee risk insurance” in case of crop damage, said Ms. Sering.
The creation of the climate change fund followed the recent heavy raining and flooding that the Philippines experienced – an eight-day outpouring brought by a “storm-like” monsoon. The recent event flooded and immobilized the whole of the country, which killed 95 people and left damage amounting to about P604.63 million ($14.31 million).
Climate disasters, mainly typhoons, are becoming more and more expensive, ABS-CBN reports.
Figures from the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council show the most destructive tropical storm in the country, Typhoon Pepeng (international name Parma), took 465 lives and rendered damages of over P27.3 billion ($639 million) in Luzon Island alone. This amount is equivalent to almost 30 percent of the P750.5 billion ($17 billion) annual collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue in 2009.
Five of the most destructive storms that hit the country in the past four years account for more than P78.8 billion ($1.8 billion) in damages from 2008 to 2011.
The Philippines is among the most susceptible nations to climate change. With impacts ranging from severe weather events such as typhoons and intermittent deluge to droughts and food shortage, “change has been a constant reality that many Filipinos have had to face,” said environment organization World Wildlife Fund-Philippines.
“As it is, climate change impacts have not only intensified from an imbalanced natural eco-system, but every onslaught has become unpredictable,” the W.W.F. added. – C. Dominguez