Philippines, Vulnerable to Rising Global Temperatures

By: Reigh John Bench Almendras
August 15, 2022

Image courtesy of the UN News.

The Philippines has been experiencing aggressive typhoons, rising water levels, and abnormality in heat during summer in the past few years and are expected to further worsen in the future due to the rising global temperatures.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Special Report on global warming, global temperature is nearing 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. 

Former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) undersecretary and climate justice activist Antonio Gabriel La Viña said in a recent media interview that if rising global temperature persists, life will be more challenging as the lives of the Filipinos will be directly affected alongside natural resources and species in the country.

According to a study by the Institute for Economics and Peace published in 2019, the Philippines tops one as the country at higher risk in Southeast Asia in the climate crisis with a score of 8.5.

The rising sea levels is expected to contribute to the risks the Philippines must mitigate. In 2100, a large portion of Metro Manila is expected to be submerged in water. Marine resources are also at stake because the temperature rise disrupts water ecosystems and causes marine animals to migrate. 

The temperature rise is also expected to create stronger typhoons, which the country is vulnerable to. In recent years, Super typhoons have caused the loss of lives, livelihoods, and resources. 

On Friday, August 5, 2022, Makati City Mayor Abby Binay announced a climate emergency and urged all stakeholders and citizens to participate in the implemented initiatives, such as switching to electronic vehicles, installing solar panels to promote the use of renewable energy, and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.

Makati City is one of the low-lying cities in Metro Manila due to its vulnerability to floods and landslides. The projects of the city are expected to hamper the aggressive rise in temperature and its aftermath to avoid loss of livelihood, relocation of families, and casualties.

The country is yet to update, review, and fully implement the Climate Change Act (RA 9729) of 2010.