DSWD: Climate change makes life harder for poor Pinoys
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - April 19, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The impact of climate change is making life worse for poor and marginalized Filipinos, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

DSWD officer-in-charge Emmanuel Leyco has called for people-centered policies and programs to ensure that Filipinos, especially the poorest of the poor, are able to withstand the impact of the changing climate.

“Whether climate-induced or not, disasters worsen the poverty suffered by Filipinos who already live beneath the poverty line. The harmful effects of climate change and the disasters it induces have severe repercussions on the most vulnerable and marginalized segments of the population,” he said in a recent statement.

“One of the things that we in government need to consider is to ensure that the people, especially the poorest of the poor, will be able to withstand the effects of climate change,” he said. This includes allocating government resources for people-centric disaster mitigation and management measures that will directly benefit the masses – the most vulnerable during disaster situations.

The DSWD chief said the effects of climate change go beyond degradation of the environment, noting these also impact energy, agriculture, health, water and marine resources.

“We cannot deny that in the pursuit of development, many countries including the Philippines end up damaging our ecological system because of the various human-induced activities. Many of these activities contribute to global warming leading to climate change,” he said.

“Climate change already affects millions of lives by causing extreme weather conditions in different parts of the world. Some examples are the deterioration of land areas causing the shortage of agricultural production, reduction of biodiversity, and the increasing intensity of natural calamities such as typhoons, drought, flooding and storm surges,” he said.

He said the DSWD acknowledges the need to implement disaster risk reduction, mitigation and management measures that will help lessen the impact of severe weather conditions brought by climate change, especially to the poor and vulnerable sector.

These activities include initiatives to capacitate farmers and fisherfolk by providing them with financial and technical assistance such as free irrigation, cash-for-work activities, and skills training to prepare them for drought or storm.

Leyco also encouraged local government units to persuade their constituents to become disaster response volunteers and leaders by regularly participating in evacuation and disaster drills.

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