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Philippines most affected by weather-related diseases – report

Rudy Fernandez (The Philippine Star) - September 3, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines now holds the unenviable distinction of being number one among countries most affected by weather-related disasters.

At the recent policy roundtable on improving the agricultural insurance program to enhance resilience to climate change in Southeast Asia, authorities cited the Global Climate Risk Index 2015, which ranked the country as the topmost among nations adversely ravaged by typhoons, floods and heat waves based on 2013 events.

Released by German Watch, an environmental organization, the index also ranked Cambodia and India as the other countries most battered by calamities.

Authorities also presented the United Nations report, which identified the Philippines as “third most-at-risk from climate change in the world,” after the South Pacific island-nations of Vanuatu and Tonga.

They estimated that the countries will need at least $5 billion each to counter the catastrophes spawned by climate change starting in 2020.

The Los Baños-based Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) led the activity, which was participated in by representatives of the ministries of agriculture in Southeast Asian countries, the Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC), Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice), Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) and University of Hohenheim-Food Security Center in Germany.

SEARCA director Gil Saguiguit Jr. said the roundtable provided a venue to present science-based studies that make sense of the complexities of issues in agriculture and rural development in Southeast Asia.

Sen. Cynthia Villar, who chairs the Senate committee on agriculture and food, said the yearly disasters have become realities for every Filipino as she expressed concern over the reports.

“We definitely need to develop adaption measures and strategies. Climate-resilient varieties of rice, corn and other crops, as well as pioneering procedures and advanced technologies, are already being developed and used. But that is not enough. Strengthening agricultural insurance will definitely complement other preventive measures,” Villar said.

Agriculture Undersecretary Segfredo Serrano said climate change has a great impact on the country.

“While insurance deals with risks, there are too many factors for conventional systems; and climate change further complicates the situation,” Serrano said.

 

AGRICULTURE AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES AGRICULTURE UNDERSECRETARY SEGFREDO SERRANO CAMBODIA AND INDIA CLIMATE CYNTHIA VILLAR DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE-PHILIPPINE RICE RESEARCH INSTITUTE GERMAN WATCH GIL SAGUIGUIT JR. GLOBAL CLIMATE RISK INDEX SOUTHEAST ASIA
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