Preparing for climate change, the Ilocano way

LAOAG CITY, March 18 (PIA) – Government leaders and climate change experts have gathered for a conference-workshop to ensure that Ilocanos are better prepared for natural disasters caused by climate change.

With the theme “Rise to the Challenge of Climate Change,” the event early this month is intended to adapt and operationalize the climate change provincial calendar.

Last February 27, Gov. Imee R. Marcos issued Executive Order 149-13 creating and organizing a provincial task force on climate change.

Marcos said that Ilocos Norte residents should be taught how to prepare for disasters this early.

“We have to bring the old Ilocano habit of preparing for the rainy season and not merely depending upon the government to come for search, rescue and emergency supply,” Marcos said.

Marcos said the calendar is a work in progress and is the first effort of the provincial government to adapt and concretize what the government knows about climate change.

The calendar contains activities from January to December all geared towards preparation, mitigation and response to climate change impacts.

Activities lined up in the calendar include geo-hazard mapping, installation of early warning devices in hazard prone areas, conduct of life saving trainings, year-round conduct of drills (fire, earthquake, tsunami), reforestation and rehabilitation of watershed areas among others.

The provincial government believes that the calendar will also help the province save money for infrastructure repair, especially when geo-hazard mapping will be completed.

The geo-hazard map will be used to determine danger areas which are not suitable for building infrastructures.

Marcos said some infrastructures of the provincial government are built in danger zones thus costing the provincial government money for repairs of infrastructures damaged by natural disaster.

“More than 33 percent of our budget for engineering and infrastructure are not to move forward, to take steps toward development, but rather to repair and rehabilitate what has been ruined by one climate change disaster after another,” said Marcos.

The governor also urged town and city officials to begin passing local legislations that will prohibit building structures in hazard zones in their respective areas.

Aside from government officials and climate change experts, the seminar-workshop was also attended by the different municipal and city planning and development officers, municipal and city engineers, Philippine National Police officials and meteorology practitioners. (MCA/APT-PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)

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