Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Legarda: Intensify Campaign Against Climate Change as We Battle “New Norm”

MANILA-Senator Loren Legarda urged the government to intensify its campaign to combat climate change as stranded commuters, long queues in public transport stations, students wading in flood waters, stalled cars, and bancas in city streets become usual scenarios.

“Normal sa isang nanay na nagtatrabaho ang gumising nang maaga para ayusin ang pangangailangan ng kaniyang asawa at mga anak na pumapasok sa trabaho at paaralan. Ngunit kung dati ay gumigising siya ng alas-singko ng umaga, ngayon ay gumigising siya nang mas maaga dahil kapag bumuhos ang malakas na ulan, sigurado na kasunod nito ang pagbaha,” Legarda, who chairs the Senate Committees on Climate Change and Environment said. 

“Ang dati’y isang oras na biyahe ay magiging dalawa hanggang tatlong oras, o kung minamalas-malas pa ay baka di pa makarating sa trabaho kung may baha,” she added. 

Moreover, Legarda said that the torrential rains and the resulting floods do not only affect the poor people and the working middle class but it also affects businesses, schools, government offices, trade industry and the stock market.

“Walang sinasanto ang matinding hagupit ng bagyo at malakas na ulan,” Legarda noted.

AON Benfield’s Impact Forecasting entitled “December 2012 Global Catastrophic Recap,” the single deadliest disaster in the world in 2012 was typhoon Bopha or Pablo, which left 1,901 people either dead or missing in the Philippines.  Our country accounted for 12.5 million victims of natural disasters in 2012 alone or 10.2% of total global disaster victims.

Meanwhile, according to the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), from 1900 to 2013, the Philippines experienced 276 natural disasters due to tropical cyclones with 40,277 casualties, affecting 121,567,227 people, with economic damages worth US$ 8.809 billion. 

However, Legarda maintained that without proper precautionary action, this could be worse.

“Hindi pa dito nagtatapos ang hirap.  Batay sa pagsusuri ng Department of Agriculture, gamit ang Geographical Information System, tinatayang labing pitong (17) milyong ektarya ng lupain, na bumubuo ng limangpu at walong porsyento (58%) ng ating mga lupain, ay maaaring malubog sa baha,” Legarda noted.

Legarda also urged the government to incorporate the climate change agenda in both its policies and programs. 

“Sa ating pagsusuri ng budget ng mga ahensiya ng ating pamahalaan ay isaisip natin ang matinding pangangailangan na pag-ibayuhin ang ating kakayahang lumaban sa tinatawag na bagong normal,” Legarda said.

Legarda to Launch Twin Cultural Exhibits in National Museum

MANILA-Senator Loren Legarda is set to launch the Baybayin Gallery and the expanded permanent textile gallery at the Museum of the Filipino People on September 20, 2013.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities, said that the Hibla ng Lahing Filipino: The Artistry of Philippine Textilesthe country’s first permanent textile gallery, has been expanded to include more traditional garments made from indigenous fiber and weaving looms from several weaving communities.

“The National Museum has a vast collection of indigenous textiles and we want these items to be on display for Filipinos, and even foreign tourists, to appreciate. This expanded exhibition reveals more about our rich weaving culture. Traditional garments and looms from my personal collection, as well as those from various local government units, are also included in the exhibit,” said Legarda.

Beside the Textile Gallery is the Baybayin Gallery, also a permanent exhibition at the National Museum, that features pieces from the museum’s collection of artifacts bearing ancient scripts, such as the Laguna Copperplate, the Calatagan Pot, the Intramuros Potsherd and the Monreal Stones.

“The Baybayin Gallery showcases the ancient and traditional scripts of the Philippines. It also features and promotes awareness of the writing systems used by ancient Filipinos. It also highlights the continuing tradition of script writing among a few remaining indigenous communities in Mindoro and Palawan, particularly among the Hanunoo, Buhid and Tagbanua peoples,” Legarda explained.

Coinciding with the launch of the two galleries is the formal turnover of Mother Tongue-Based materials to the National Museum. The event will highlight the relationship between the promotion of mother tongue languages and the preservation of indigenous practices. 

According to the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL), there are 181 known languages in the Philippines, 177 of which are currently spoken, while four are already extinct.

“These projects are among the ways through which we can bring our culture closer to Filipinos. Cultural and heritage galleries, such as the Textile Gallery and the Baybayin Gallery, tell stories of our ancestors and our nation in different periods of time. These galleries can ignite the interest of our citizens to know beyond what we have shown them,” Legarda concluded.


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