Greenpeace calls on the government to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis

The pale sun casts an orange hue on the morning skies while rising beyond buildings as seen from the Mabini Bridge in Manila on Friday. — PHILIPPINE STAR/MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

A global environmental organization called on the Philippine government to provide solutions that could lessen the impact of El Niño and La Niña.

“We call on our government to ensure measures that will mitigate the impacts of El Niño on our water supply, food production, and power generation,” Greenpeace Philippines said in their statement on extreme heat aggravated by the climate crisis last Tuesday, April 30.

Throughout the week, the country has experienced record-high and dangerous heat indexes based on the report of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

To combat the drought in hydropower plants, Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian suggested the utilization of cloud seeding in a forum last April 25. Cloud seeding is a type of weather modification that induces rainfall.

“Sa Dubai nag cloud seeding sila kaya umulan do’n. Kung kaya mag cloud seeding satin, mag cloud seeding din tayo para yung mga hydropower plants natin gumana. Isa sa mga dahilan kung bakit hindi gumagana ang hydropower plants natin hindi umuulan eh (In Dubai, they used cloud seeding to produce rain. If we have the means, we can also do cloud seeding to get our hydropower plants working. Lack of rain was one of the reasons why our hydropower plants stopped working),” Mr. Gatchalian shared.

On April 28, the Department of Education announced the implementation of asynchronous classes or distance learning in public schools nationwide due to dangerous heat.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri stated last Monday, April 29, in his appeal to adjust the summer school break to safeguard the students during the harsh weather conditions.

“Aside from exposing our students and teachers to the dangers of extreme heat, I honestly believe that the prevailing weather conditions during summer are not conducive to learning,” Mr. Zubiri said.

Farmers, students, and senior citizens are the most vulnerable sectors amid this climate crisis according to Greenpeace.

To lessen the effect of the ongoing heat wave and prepare for La Niña, “a shift in Philippine food and agriculture, to a system that is more environment-friendly and climate-resilient” is advised by the organization.

Improved investments in ecological agriculture are encouraged to aid in enhancing the capability of local farmers in self-sufficiency, and the ability to respond to a crisis like El Niño.

Aside from this, implementing a comprehensive food policy addressing concerns about food, nutrition, and environmental security was mentioned in the organization’s statement. – Almira Louise S. Martinez