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Sep 15th
Prioritize climate change issues, Palafo PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 03 November 2009 09:50
Prioritize climate change issues, Palafox urges By Allison Lopez Philippine Daily Inquirer First Posted 21:12:00 11/02/2009 MANILA, Philippines—With politics and Pacquiao back in the limelight, a prominent urban planner has urged the government and the public to remain vigilant in the fight against climate change. Architect Felino "Jun" Palafox Jr. said he feared that actions toward disaster preparedness would be sidelined by 2010 election issues and the upcoming bout of boxing champ Manny Pacquiao. "Filipinos have short-term memory. The Metro plan of 1977 was forgotten for 32 years until typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng came and wreaked havoc. We should not forget the lessons we learned from those disasters," he told the INQUIRER. Metro Manila and neighboring provinces were submerged in floods after Tropical Storm "Ondoy" dumped a record volume of rainfall on Sept. 26. It was followed closely by Typhoon "Pepeng," which pummeled northern Luzon and triggered massive floods and landslides. The two weather disturbances caused the deaths of more than 800 people and damage to infrastructure and agriculture at close to P17 billion, according to the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC). Typhoon "Santi," the most recent tropical storm that hit Luzon, has killed 16 more people. Palafox, who was asked to do a presentation at a Cabinet meeting last week, said President Macapagal-Arroyo had directed four key agencies to implement 21 recommendations including the creation of a Parañaque spillway. The agencies tasked were the NDCC, Department of Public Works and Highways, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and Laguna Lake Development Authority. The additional spillway, said the architect, will reduce flooding to only 20 days as opposed to about 65 days without one. "The remaining 20 days can be addressed with the help of pumping stations and dredging," he said. Palafox stressed this period was crucial in implementing both short-term and long-term recommendations that include the relocation of those in flooded areas to higher grounds. "We hope the politicians will not forget these climate refugees so they can have a dry Christmas," he said. "It's also time we start preparing for the next big disaster during the rainy season of 2010, as well as the next big earthquake," warned the urban planner. # # #

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