As typhoons hit, majority of Filipinos back gov't programs vs climate change — survey

As typhoons hit, majority of Filipinos back gov't programs vs climate change � survey
Commuters endure heavy flooding along Taft Avenue in Manila following a heavy downpour brought by the southwest monsoon strengthened by exiting Super Typhoon Goring on Aug. 31, 2023.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — A majority of Filipinos back stronger actions to counter the effects of climate change, a survey revealed, as typhoon onslaughts have continuously damaged properties and lives.

Pollster Oculum Research and Analytics found that 54% of Filipinos polled between July 17 and 30 support more climate action, underscoring approval for environmental protection programs.

The survey was released on Friday at a press conference in Makati.

Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon have been bracing for heavy rains this week brought about by southwest monsoon or habagat, intensified by Typhoon Hanna and two weather disturbances outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility – Typhoon Saola (formerly Goring) and Severe Tropical Storm Kirogi.

In its 2 p.m. bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pag-Asa) raised the yellow warning alert in Bataan and Zambales, where floodings may occur, while Metro Manila and nearby provinces could experience light to moderate rains in the next three hours.

Incidentally, when the survey was conducted, Typhoon Egay was wreaking havoc in northern Philippines, leaving more than 30 people dead, according to the National Risk Reduction and Management Council.

"That probably could explain why many Filipinos would support climate change action to address itong mga nangyayaring pagbabaha," Manny Mogato, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who sits as one of Oculum's oversight board members, said.

"At the same time, issue rin 'yung El Nino at the time. Bumababa ang level ng Angat Dam, nawawalan tayo ng tubig. These issues were really in the consciousness of the respondents at the time," he added.

Even though El Niño has been underway in the Philippines since July, above-normal rains could be expected until September, according to the state weather bureau.

"'Pag simula pa lang ng El Niño, historically po mas marami ang ating ulan na natatanggap sa panahon ng habagat – July, August, September," Ana Liza Solis, head of PAGASA's Climate Monitoring and Prediction Section, said at a press conference on July 4.

"Kahit po nagre-recurve 'yung mga bagyo and then kasagsagan ng habagat, 'yun po 'yung posibleng makapagbigay ng maraming ulan sa atin," she added.

International climate organization Greenpeace warned in 2022 that the Philippines is a "climate emergency hotspot" that should be at the center of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s agenda. The Philippine government, it said, should ensure the "survival and existence of all Filipinos" during calamities.

Climate change, however, took a backseat in Marcos' second State of the Nation Address, where no concrete plan was mentioned.

Recently, Marcos ordered the indefinite suspension of 22 reclamation projects along the heavily polluted Manila Bay as the United States relayed concerns of "potential negative long-term and irreversible impacts to the environment."

The Oculum survey determined the public's attitudes toward various sociopolitical issues in the country.

The government's multi-billion conditional cash transfer program for low-income families, dubbed the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, garnered the highest support among respondents at 91%. 

The controversial K to 12 program came in third place, obtaining 53%.

A total of 1,200 respondents nationwide participated in the poll, selected randomly via a computer-assisted tool. It has a margin of error of +/- 3 percent. — intern Eduelle Jan Macababbad

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with