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Don't belittle climate change warnings

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale said local governments in Cebu Province and Cebu City should seriously listen to the warnings on climate change.

A study released recently by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) – Philippines and the Bank of the Philippines Islands showed that aside from storms, there are other climate change effects that threaten Cebu City.

“We should not belittle their warnings,” the vice governor said.

With this, Magpale said LGUs should do more to address the issue. Another study showed that the Philippines ranked 10th among countries most affected by climate change.

According to WWF, Cebu, the second largest business capital nationwide, is among the top four cities in the country which needs to come up with “climate smart infrastructure and technology” and to rethink its development priorities.”

“Lest it be caught in a ‘climate sandwich’ as saltwater intrusion advances further, sea levels rise and more intense typhoons lash the coastline with storm surge,” the study said.

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The three other cities are Baguio, Davao and Iloilo.

Magpale, also chairman of the Provincial Board committee on tourism and international affairs, said they are constantly reminding Cebuanos of the risks of climate change and the things they could contribute to minimize these.

She also encouraged local officials to introduce more relocation sites for their constituents and to make these relocation sites attractive.

WWF said other climate change effects threaten Cebu City and among them are landslides, flooding, saltwater intrusion, and rise in sea level.

  Their study noted that while “the city reports that it sits 18 meters above sea level (ASL), several districts of the old city are barely 1 to 2 meters ASL. This includes the neighboring island of Mactan where the province’s only commercial airport is located.”

 WWF Philippines and BPI also learned the non-compliance with land use standards after the building of homes in areas where there should be none are allowed. (FREEMAN)

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