The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) is one with the people in calling for the declaration of a climate emergency.
In a statement on Wednesday, the NCCP said the destruction caused by typhoons Quinta, Rolly and Ulysses once again showed the country’s vulnerability to natural hazards exacerbated by the climate crisis.
“The Philippines is one of the countries prone to disasters due to climate change, the experiences with Ondoy and Yolanda, should have prepared the government for disaster mitigation and ecological protection. The miserable condition that people find themselves mired in, shows how ill-prepared our government is to handle disasters,” the group said in a statement.
“It also shows the aggressive impacts of the disembowelment of our mountains, destruction of our forests and clogging of our waterways by government approved so-called development projects like large-scale mining, logging and mega dams. Worse, government priorities lie elsewhere exemplified by a decrease in the calamity budget for 2020,” NCCP added.
The Council members said they support the resounding cry of the Filipino people for the national government to “declare a climate emergency and decisively address the long-term vulnerabilities of the people to disasters and climate change impacts, while putting an end to environmental destructive programs and projects.”
“We implore our member churches, constituents, and partners in faith to unceasingly pray and work with the people for the protection of our environment and a sustainable society that values life and human dignity,” NCCP said.
A Catholic prelate is also for the declaration of a climate emergency.
Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon said the inclement weathers that we have been experiencing, increasing in number and intensity, are a “clear warning, a clarion call for humanity to do something to mitigate their destructive impact on our planet and in the lives of people.”
“We cannot disregard the fact that we have a role in why these disasters are happening more frequently and with greater destructive force,” he said.
Greenpeace Philippines on Wednesday has also urged President Duterte to declare a national climate emergency following a string of typhoons that brought massive flooding in large parts of Luzon.
Greenpeace Philippines Director Lea Guerrero said there is already a need for a more comprehensive approach in addressing the climate crisis with the Philippines being among the most vulnerable countries to its hazards.