Tropical Storm Ketsana Is a Wake-up Call for Filipino Political Leaders and Voters to Deal with Global Warming Print
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Sections - Ecology and the Environment
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Monday, 28 September 2009 23:07

The Philippine floods should remind politicians and delegates negotiating the climate treaty that they are not just talking about paragraphs, amendments and dollars but about the lives of millions of people and the future of this planet – Kim Carstensen, leader of the WWF Global Climate Initiative

T his writer delivered the same message – long before activists pointed to the deadly flooding in Metro Manila and some 25 other adjacent or nearby provinces (caused by Typhoon Ketsana) as an example of the dangers of Global Warming at the United Nations climate negotiations in Bangkok that are currently going on.


In fact, on June 3, 2007, I wrote this article,  Reinventing New Orleans, Manila and Other Low-Lying Cities (Part 13 of the Global-Warming Series). Here is its lead paragraph:


The Katrina-caused tragedy that was New Orleans and its neighboring cities and towns could be a blessing in disguise to other metropolitan areas in the world that are similarly situated to it. New Orleans, Manila (Philippines) and some cities in the Old World of Europe, the New World of the Americas and the Third World have sections or districts – if not the entire metropolis itself – that are below sea level. For decades now, scientists and environmentalists have been warning that Mother Earth has become a ‘greenhouse’ primarily because of the burning of fossil fuels. The betting is that in the foreseeable future, because of the greenhouse-effect, the sea level will rise dramatically and inundate coastal areas.”


Editor’s Note: Here are the latest article and photos about the Philippine Floods from TIME magazine:


Philippine Floods: Why Wasn't Manila Prepared? - TIME,8599,1926646,00.html?xid=thepage_newsletter


In the May 10, 2007, article Global-warming Articles Not Meant to Destroy RP Property Values If Metro Manila Will Be Under Water, I wrote: “The Philippine government and the Filipino business world must prepare for the projected increase in the sea level. Millions of Filipinos have to be resettled to higher grounds when the sea level goes up by several feet, which would inundate many coastal cities and towns in the Philippine archipelago . . .


In fact I was able to deliver the message to two distinguished visitors from the Philippines during their recent visits to Los Angeles, California. The visitors were Atty. Winston F. Garcia and David L. Rafael. Atty. Garcia is the president and general manager of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). Mr. Rafael is the general manager of Ayala Land International Sales.


To date, Atty. Garcia and Mr. Rafael have not gotten back to me, as they ignored my view on the projected inundation of Metro Manila, its adjacent provinces and cities and other coastal areas in the Philippines. Perhaps they did not even read my articles about Global Warming and ignored my warning for the public-and-private sectors to start preparing the below-sea-level areas of Metro Manila and other coastal cities and towns, which are susceptible to the effects of flooding.


That was more-than two years ago and had the Arroyo Administration started working on the issue of the projected floods, then the damages to life and property caused by Typhoon Ketsana would have been mitigated. Of course, it is easier said than done, especially in governmental circles and agencies.


It is too late for the Gloria Arroyo Dispensation to do anything in preparing Metro Manila and other low-lying areas of the homeland against flooding during typhoons. President Arroyo can order only in the remaining nine months of her term merely Band-Aid-type of measures to alleviate the damage that flooding may cause again during the rainy season, especially when a strong typhoon like Ketsana comes and increases the amount of rainfall. The new President who will be elected in the May 2010 elections may have to provide the necessary leadership in generating the right political will in addressing the problems that the country faces due to Global Warming. It may be more advantageous for the country if the presidential candidates will discuss the issue during the campaign, especially during the coming presidential debates.


Perhaps the Filipino voters may have to tell the presidential candidates to talk about doing the Philippine version of “The Manhattan Project,” so that the entire country – as aided by Overseas Filipinos and international agencies – can start a crash program to prepare the country against the deadly threat of flooding and the other effects of Global Warming. The new government must provide answers on how to minimize flooding of the below-the-sea-level areas of the Philippines, as in the case of Metro Manila.


T his writer started in 2003 a series of articles about Global Warming and the Filipino Image magazine ( of Washington, DC, published the initial articles. Here are the hyperlinks to the 16 articles (and counting, as updated and reprinted in this website) that this author has written about Global Warming, its projected effects on the Philippines and how the Filipino people and their leaders can do their share in the international efforts in fighting it:


Reinventing "The Manhattan Project" for RP (Part I)


The Need for a Filipino Version of "The Manhattan Project" and End of the OFW Remittances (Part2)


Organizing an OFW-led "Philippines, Inc." Economic Giant (Part 3)


Paraphrasing Martin L. King, Jr. for the Filipino Version of "The Manhattan Project" (Part4)


How to Fund the Filipino Version of "The Manhattan Project" (Part5)


Funding Reforestation as a Solution to Global Warming (Part6)


An Executive Summary of the Filipino Version of "The Manhattan Project" (Part7)


Master-planning the Filipino "The Manhattan Project" (Part8)


Conceptual Framework of Approach for the Filipino "TMP" (Part9)


More Bold Initiatives like the Overseas-Filipino Monetary Fund for the Filipino "TMP" (Part 10)


Global-warming Articles Not Meant to Destroy RP Property Values If Metro Manila Will Be Under Water


RP Fails to Avail of U.N. Program of Greenhouse-Gas Credits (Part 11)


Private Efforts to Fight Global Warming (Part 12, as updated)


Reinventing New Orleans, Manila and Other Low-Lying Cities (Part 13 of the Global-Warming Series)


Katrina Continues to Hug Headlines


How OFWs Can "Reinvent" Power Generation in RP and Simultaneously Fight Global Warming (Part 14)


To read Part II of this series, please click on this hyperlink:

The “Bahay Kubo” Mentality and Government Neglect, If Not Stupidity and Cluelessness, Are to Blame for Storm-caused Deaths and Destruction

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 14:46
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