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Bulacan bares “No Regret Strategy” in addressing effects of Climate Change
Tuesday, 18 June 2013
CITY OF MALOLOS- The Provincial Government of Bulacan has joined other great cities in the world, including New York City, in coming up with contingency measures geared to address the disastrous effects of climate change, particularly heavy flooding caused by intensive rainfall and rising seas.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that the leaders of various states in America are coming up with drastic measures to make their cities more resilient to natural disasters and the effect of man-made global warming, which in recent years has triggered the rising of seas in many parts of the globe and has affected many coastal areas including the Philippines.

In Bulacan, the effects of rising seas is now being felt in the coastal town of Hagonoy, which has become the perennial catch-basin of floodwater during typhoon season along with the adjacent town of Calumpit.

Disaster control officials have observed that Hagonoy, known for its tiger prawn industry, is virtually “sinking” or being engulfed by sea water from Manila Bay and the West Philippine Sea.

Alvarado said that in the past years, high tide has been submerging many parts of Hagonoy every morning but will subside in the afternoon. But at present, the high tide problem of the “sinking town’ is now occurring twice a day, one in the morning and then in the evening.

“We will implement a “no regret strategy and not a hit and miss strategy”. We will exert efforts to lessen the loss of lives and properties in by coming up with realistic approaches in our climate change adaptation programs,” Alvarado said during the joint meeting of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the City/Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office at the Hiyas Convention Center here Monday afternoon.

Alvarado said that the effects of climate change is now a global concern as he cited the announcement of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg who recently proposed a $20 Billion plan to protect the city from the effects of rising seas, global warming and storms.

He said that while the Province has no such contingency budget, the PDRRMC is doing everything to ensure public safety every time natural calamities hit the province.
“It is now the concern of everyone. We must work together and do our best in facing this challenge,” the governor said.

Alvarado also announced that families living along riverbanks in the towns of Plaridel, Pulilan, Norzagary, Baliwag and Bustos will be relocated in two relocation sites in Bustos and Pandi.

During the meeting, Engr. Hilton T. Hernando, Senior Weather Specialist of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) presented the weather outlook for 2013 while Bulacan PDRRM officer Felicisima L. Mungcal presented the contingency plan as well as the provincial disaster risk reduction plan and management plan.

Rowena Joson-Tiongson, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer and concurrent chair on Response of the PDRRMC, for her part presented the response plan for evacuation (camp management), relief operations, traffic and security.

In related development, provincial board member Michael Fermin has called on local and community leaders to help in the cleaning of creeks, esteros and other waterways in order to minimize the effects of floods.

“Even little things, when put together, will become big in addressing the challenge of climate change. Let’s do our share seriously because it’s our survival that is at stake,” Fermin said. ###

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