Climate change, a 'threat to the economy'

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Friday, July 11, 2014

THE effect of climate change is the number one threat to the country’s economy, Graciano Yumul Jr., a geologist and a teacher, said during the Asean Economic Briefing held recently.

According to Yumul, the Philippine economy remains stagnant due to various disasters that hit the country.

“When government funds are supposed to maximize development of our emerging sectors, we keep on donating to those devastated, repairing the cities or barangays, etc.,” he said.


Yumul stressed that helping those in need is not wrong, but it will hinder the country’s growth especially in the imminent Asean integration next year.

“The country is ready for Asean, but we are not fully prepared for disaster,” he added.

In an economic briefing organized by A. Brown Company and Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Oro Chamber), geologists and economists convened to assess the readiness of different sectors for the Asean integration, discussing factors affecting it.

Presented during the conference are data compiled in the Emergency Events Database of the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) for year 2013, and it was stated that the Philippines topped 10 other countries with 7,986 deaths due to Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

To thrive in the globalization, the Philippines must improve on the response for disaster risk management, which should start locally.

Experts suggest practicing early warning for evacuation, broadcasting accurate forecast, instructions should be communicated well, understood and acted upon by the people.

Mindanao, contributing to 60 percent share of total agro-based products in the Philippines, is also frequented by typhoons, making the region and the whole country’s food security threatened.

The Philippines needs food, fuel, fiber and finance to thrive in the globalization and to do all this, there is a need to adapt to the changing climate, experts said.

With an average of 20 storms each year, the Philippines is the third country most affected to climate change.

Last November 8, 2013, Typhoon Yolanda entered the Philippine area of responsibility, causing death and destruction amounting to P36 billion in economic damages.

With Mindanao's regions taking the lead in the Asean integration, the need to adapt to the changes is demanded to further enhance the economic status of the country.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 12, 2014.

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