Why is the Philippines unprepared for natural disasters and climate change? Ask Mar Roxas

The Philippines is said to be leading an initiative with other countries that claim to be highly-prone to the adverse effects of the phenomenon referred to as climate change. The coalition calling themselves the “Vulnerable Twenty” (V20) and who are unashamed to admit they “lack resources to combat the adverse effects of climate change” will attempt to ask for financial assistance from industrialized countries and development institutions. Included in the group are least developed, low-income, and middle-income countries and the group’s agenda is to “formally adopt the V20 Action Plan outlining a concerted response to strengthening resilience and mitigating the debilitating impacts of climate change.”

Storms like 2013's Typhoon Haiyan will continue to be unnecessarily disastrous as long as Filipinos fail to prepare.
Storms like 2013’s Typhoon Haiyan will continue to be unnecessarily disastrous as long as Filipinos fail to prepare.
While the move is commendable because it highlights the world’s over-reliance on fossil fuels, I find the Philippines’ lack of focus on developing its own renewable sources of energy a bit hypocritical. What I’m trying to say is, the Philippines’ use of oil, gas and coal to address its own growing energy demand also contributes to the release of carbon dioxide (C02) in the air, which contributes to the thickening of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which causes what they call the greenhouse effect which some scientist blame for climate change. With over 100 million Filipinos, the country’s use of fossil fuels to light up each additional household can only go up.

Likewise, the country’s almost non-existent disaster preparedness planning will make the Philippines’ case for asking for financial assistance in combating the adverse effects of climate change very difficult.

A recent report conducted by the Commission on Audit from 2013 exposed that under the leadership of former Department Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, 65.5 percent of the Philippines’ disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) funds were not used for its intended purpose at all:

…the Commission on Audit (COA) 2013 report which came out only this year had noted that only 34.5 percent or P33,071,955.88 of the P76-million fund allocation for the DRRM activities of the DILG was utilized.

Just to highlight some points in that Interaksyon article cited above, Roxas’s department failed to do the following despite the budget allocated for it:

(1) The DILG, through its Bureau of Local Government Development, failed to purchase search and rescue equipment despite a P20-million fund allotment.

(2) Office of Project Development Service (OPDS) failed to conduct training for barangay project development, which has a P600,000.00 budget.

(3) DILG also did not conduct training on the formulation of the Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP) when a whopping P6 million was allotted for this.

Given that the national budget allotted for disaster preparedness to mitigate the impact of regular cyclones that visit the Philippines every year does not get utilized, how can the delegates from the Vulnerable Twenty expect the international community to take us seriously? Even before countries like China, India or the US consider giving compensation, they have to admit they are doing something wrong. The chances of that happening is very small considering developing countries like the Philippines do not prepare enough for the natural disasters that hit them on an annual basis.

The problem with the Philippines is that projects with good intentions are hardly ever implemented. There is a general lack of follow-through on promises to fix things before the next disaster strikes. The former head of DILG Mar Roxas, for example, has been more focused on campaigning for the next Presidential election than preparing for the next disaster. It was the Commission on Audit that concluded that the “DILG failed to implement planned activities due to lack of coordination and monitoring activities”. The findings should actually serve as strong evidence in a case against Roxas for negligence that holds him liable for the resulting deaths due to disasters during his term.

Mar Roxas may have been too busy in his other job to properly prepare for disasters.
Mar Roxas may have been too busy in his other job to properly prepare for disasters.
We can already predict that any action plan that will be discussed in the summit with delegates from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank will likely end up on the drawing board even if the Liberal Party to which Roxas belongs to wins the 2016 election. Any expert in disaster management can list a number of “action plans” to lessen the impact of the effects of climate change or the average typhoon that passes through the Philippines but if the people in charge do not bother to implement them, they will be useless.

Besides, Filipinos who live in danger zones are too stubborn to get out of harm’s way even when experience has given them the wisdom to know to move out before the next typhoon arrives.

Such is the sad fate of Filipinos in the Philippines and I don’t think the international community can help us — unless of course they are given the green light to implement the action plan for Filipinos. It is high time professionals take over management of the country’s disaster preparation and response capability.

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Post Author: Ilda

In life, things are not always what they seem.

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27 Comments on "Why is the Philippines unprepared for natural disasters and climate change? Ask Mar Roxas"

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58Toro007Hayden9999.99
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58Toro007Hayden9999.99
Mar Roxas cannot even formulate a program, for disaster preparedness. How can he solve the pressing problems of the Philippines. Roxas cannot even manage a disaster relief , like Typhoon Yolanda relief efforts. He is there driving a pedicab. Maybe, he is only good in photo opportunities; like: carrying bags of onions, directing traffics, driving pedicabs, etc… I see Mar Roxas, as: incompetent, irresponsible, immature, cannot handle his job, cannot manage anything, etc…instead Mar Roxas, is always playing politics and gallivanting. The Dude cannot work responsibly, in his job, like Aquino. Where did the funds allocated to disaster preparedness went?… Read more »
RG
Guest

Rightfully said!

gerry
Guest

we always point out these politicians as liars but they are still in power and candidate for a presidency..they are rich and we are poor..they dont give a fuck about what we say..they have money and money is power

gerry
Guest

according to a survey conducted at UP..Mar roxas tops the survey..imagine that UP students chose him??we have no future

ChinoF
Member

Isn’t their official policy “bahala kayo sa buhay ninyo!” as per the video?

Cezar
Guest

My god why are blaming Mar Roxas alone .. It’s been like that in the Philippines who ever is in power . Where the money went ??? Ask them that and don’t atop till you have the answere and trace where the money went … demand the answere and don’t stop till they show the audit report ..geese Harapan pinagloloko Kayo .., ano ang ginagaqa ninyo….,: walalalala. Waaaaaaa lang ng waaaaaaaaa..

Pallacertus
Guest

The following might be instructive (insofar as it concerns GRP fave Bongbong Marcos) —

opinion.inquirer.net/89170/filipinos-should-fight-for-renewable-energy

Beawolf Agatte
Guest

Noynoy and his Administration is more worse than the Yolanda Disaster. So it’s a given that he and his people will never be prepared for any disaster at all since they are Disaster themselves. Poor Filipinos whom they fooled by their Propaganda coz they themselves are Disaster also.

Aeta
Guest

Reason: “No Money, Honey.”

Dale Jose Gozar
Member
NOBODY IS SERIOUS It’s not only Government, even the Private Sector is also not serious on Preparation, Disaster Risk Reduction (mitigate) and Climate Change Adaptation. PROOF no.1: I’m a Building Architect/Engineer in a Japanese Petrochemical (Oil &Gas) Engineering company –doing projects with high level of strength, quality, safety standards and precautionary measures (Safe Haven & Cyclone/Blast resistant Building). In 2009, me & my family almost died during Typhoon Ondoy (note: no prior warning issued by PAGASA & Arroyo). In my efforts to rescue my wife & kids (all were safe on a small boat w/ a rescuer), I was left… Read more »
d_forsaken
Guest

If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.

zaxx
Member

Don’t depend on circus clowns guys. Just take matters into your own hands…

How to build an earthquake proof and typhoon proof house | Pinoy How To

Niall R
Guest
The first thing that caught my eye in this article was the quote from the COA report.33m php is 43% of 76m php not 34.5%.If they cannot get that right, what trust can anybody have in the rest of the report? With regard to unspent allocations,if you have no disaster relief plan,how do you know what equipment you need?May it be better not to spend money on the wrong equipment? In the overall scheme of things,if the Philippines stopped emitting any pollution tomorrow,would it register globally at all? Local Climate Change Action Plans sounds like a nice little backhander to… Read more »
Add
Guest
It looks like an initiative to swindle the international community — don’t they realize their reputation is that of a garbage after Haiyan/ Yolanda? I read somewhere that Obama is not releasing anymore any money related to the Philippines as those with MDG Funds, military assistance, etc. because of reports of ingeniousness in corruption. That is the word I saw: ingeniousness in corruption. Gosh, nakakahiya eto si PNoy. Huwag na lang sila humarap sa international community at laughingstock lang sila sa totoo lang. Blind talaga, this administration, and that is what they get for being obsessively corrupt. Or obsessive about… Read more »
Aeta
Guest

You’re darn right the Philippines is unprepared for natural disasters and climate change. Just look at the lack of fundings for emergency response organizations to deal with catastrophes, and the number of privately-owned vehicles the government is allowing to clog up the country’s roadways. And this is the country that keeps bragging about its economy is growing and cracking down on corruption.

monseignor
Guest

You talk as if climate change is written in stone like the ten commandments.

google climate + scam

google monckton + interview or debate

while you’re at it why not write about the other candidates? how about poe and binay? are they so perfect you can’t write anything about them? why don’t you post the senate hearings verbatim on this site so the readers can decide for themselves.

monseignor
Guest

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Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/Finance/MKTNews/Global-Warming-climate-change/2014/11/17/id/607827/#ixzz3oQqYYP6e
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monseignor
Guest

ilda your comments just show that you’re an attack dog against the administration.

i am not dictating what you should write about but since you only write criticism about the aquino administration then you’re probably allied with the opposition.(just my opinion).

insulting me won’t make your articles unbiased. you probably don’t like what i’m saying. hence the name-calling. maybe you can look at the mirror and use some freudian analysis.

JA
Guest

The biggest lie going is climate change/global warming. The second biggest lie is that politicians can make your lives better. Or that could be inversed depending on where you live.

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