Natural disasters are costly. In the past years, the Philippines lost an estimated P300 billion – 1.1 percent of its gross domestic product – to climate disasters that battered the country.
Climate change is a reality we can’t run away from considering that we get hit by 19 or 20 typhoons per year. But aside from worrying about this daunting number, the country also has to worry about the intensity of the typhoons that come our way. They have gotten stronger and it will get worse soon.
While climate change is a huge issue globally, with radical non-governmental organizations (NGOs) fighting to end dirty energy that contribute to many of the climate disasters the world is experiencing now, many governments have not taken the right steps to address the issue.
Approximately 27.6 million Filipinos are affected by natural disasters per annum while an estimated 1, 000 lives are lost per year. Those who live to tell the tale won’t have much time to recount their ordeal because many of them will be busy rebuilding their homes. And they will keep doing this every time a typhoon hits the country. The question is, why can’t they build better homes? You and I know the answer to this question.
Many Filipinos, both in urban and rural areas, have homes made from light materials – materials that can’t withstand 150 kilometer per hour (kph) winds. And so we are stuck in an expensive cycle of rebuilding homes only for them to be destroyed and rebuilt again the next year. This is pushing us backwards.
Senate Bill 1023 "Resilient Housing and Human Settlements Act of 2016" or House Bill 4217 will help, according to Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development’s (PLCPD) Joie Cortina.
“These laws, when enacted, can help create for every Filipino, resilient houses and sustainable communities that can withstand disasters. And in the aftermath of these assaults, they have the means to rebuild their homes, their livelihood –their dignity,” Cortina said.
But aside from taking care of this major problem brought about by climate change, there is also a need to push for a clean energy policy in this country to help get rid of the root cause of climate disasters. Although global cooperation is needed to stop our addiction to dirty energy, legislating a clean energy policy will make our narrative an inspiration for the rest of the region.
Watch: Dream House
Source: YouTube/PLCPD Communications
Editor's note: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of IBT Media.
Sigrid Salucop is a policy analyst and a fourth generation winemaker from Ilocos Norte. She built her wine company in 2014. Visit her website here.