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PIA Press Release

PIA info drive: Altering people's notion about climate change

Iloilo City (13 October) -- The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in Western Visayas has wrapped up a series of briefings on climate change that seeks to tap the support of government information officers in altering people's notion about the phenomenon.

PIA Regional Director lawyer Ma. Janet C. Mesa pointed out that the activity seeks to make people more aware that climate change affects everyone, global warming causes changes in the environment, the government is doing its best to mitigate the effects of climate change, and that the time to act in mitigating these effects is now.

Mesa said government information officers could help a lot in this campaign.

At the briefing held at the PIA regional office here, Canadian Urban Institute (CUI)-Philippines graduate student volunteers Jed Kilbourn and Amaraine Laven said educating the public on the existing effects of global warming and climate change in the Philippines is necessary in the wake of seemingly inadequate correct information which people generally have.

Kilbourn said that with knowledge, some risks and effects can be averted while lack of it can and, in the Philippines, had already brought disasters.

He and Laven also urged the information officers of government agencies and local government units to educate their publics regarding the phenomenon.

DENR Regional Technical Director Dr. Alice Lustica said that the systemic nature of climate change impacts bigger challenges on health, agriculture, and forests.

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Provincial Director Engr. Abraham Fabila stressed during the briefing in Antique that climate change is a change in climate which is attributed directly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Public Information Officer John Temana presented the geophysical hazards of the province as well as some mitigating measures that an individual could do to help cushion the impact of global warming and climate change.

Negros Occidental Provincial Environment and Management Officer (PEMO) lawyer Edwin Abanil said the adverse effects of climate change are real threats that must be addressed immediately by the people and public officials.

Among other things, Abanil said there should be massive tree planting to absorb carbon dioxide. He added that climate change issues should be seriously taken up in schools.

In his briefing, DENR Aklan Forester Derlito Rico enumerated the impact that climate change can have on tourism which is a major industry in the province that boasts of the world-famous Boracay Island.

The causes and effects of climate change were presented to government information officers of Capiz by Forester Edwin Borja of DENR and DOST provincial head Gerbe Dellava.

A special presentation on filariasis was rendered by Department of Health (DOH) Representative Dr. Leah Del Rosario.

Filariasis is a disease caused by worms transmitted to humans through bites of infected female mosquitoes. It may manifest as recurrent fever, enlarged lymph nodes, and urine with color similar to rice washing.

The presentation was part of the preparations for the province-wide mass treatment in November in Capiz, which has been identified as one of filariasis endemic areas in the country.

The mass treatment in the province is in support to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's Executive order No. 369 which declared the month of November as mass treatment period for filariasis in established endemic areas.

DOST Undersecretary Graciano Yumul, Jr. attributed abnormal weather conditions, including severe typhoons and accompanying floodings, to climate change.

Malacanang has urged Filipinos to make disaster-risk management a part of their consciousness to prevent loss of lives and property damage.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Anthony Golez said barangay officials should disseminate information on impending disasters. But ordinary citizens should learn to look after themselves during typhoons, earthquakes, and other natural calamities.

Golez noted that when a family is well-informed and prepared against a calamity, they are not likely to panic, thereby preventing loss of lives and damage to property.

President Arroyo has created a presidential task force on climate change headed Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes to spearhead government efforts in mitigating and adopting coping measures based on the national climate change response framework. (PIA 6-JSC) [top]

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