CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga - The Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) is closely monitoring some 15,000 barangays in the country as thousands of families from these villages who are residing near the 18 major river systems in the country are in danger of experiencing flashfloods and unusual high tides because of the effects of climate change.
These river systems include Abra River, Abulog River, Agno River, Agus River, Agusan River, Bicol River, Buayan-Malungan River, Cagayan River, Davao River, Ilog-Hilabangan River and Jalaur River.
Also included are Mindanao River, Pampanga River, Panay River, Pasig-Marikina River, Tagoloan River and Tagum-Libuganon River.
The DILG said at least 500 cities and towns in the country will be affected if proper climate change adaptation would not be implemented.
The Local Government Department said as part of its mitigation measures to avert the possible effects of climate change in the said areas, the national government is enhancing the capacity of local government units to be at the forefront of the government's initiative to adapt, mitigate and prepare for climate change and disasters.
The reports came up during the Collaboration Workshop on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction here organized by the DILG in partnership with Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID, or the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation), and Sen. Loren Legarda.
"There is a need to forge efforts among neighboring local government units (LGUs) to initiate a shift from a reactionary and uncoordinated manner into a proactive and cooperative approach in building our communities' resilience to disasters," DILG regional director for Central Luzon Florida Dijan saide.
Dijan said "this shift is founded on the verity that disasters and climate change know no geographical and territorial boundaries. Hence, there is a need to forge efforts among neighboring local government units."
The DILG said sudden floods and heavy rains are being experienced even in areas formerly not prone to severe weather conditions.
Meanwhile, Legarda, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, said damages in the affected areas will mean devastating losses to all Filipinos if the country fails to avert the effects of climate change.
"The glimmer of hope lies in the fact that we can prevent these losses. We are confident that our distinguished roster of speakers will inspire all our participants, especially the leaders of our local government units, to become a solid force in safeguarding our communities against these environmental risks," Legarda said.