Effects of Climate Change already alarm coastal Surigao communities

by Ben Serrano

December 17, 2010


             SU|RIGAO CITY (PNA)   - All ten municipalities in the provinces of Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur  majority of whom situated along the coast facing Pacific Ocean expressed deep concern and somehow alarm  over effects  of Climate Change in their respective communities thus a dire need to include climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in their comprehensive Municipal development programs.


            During power point presentations by their respective Municipal Disaster Coordinators and Municipal Planning and Development Officers, said officials told the more than 100 participants of the two-day Sharing Session and Site Visit on DRR-CCA Initiatives held at Philippine Gateway Hotel and Convention Center here Tuesday that storm and flooding occurrences have increased.


            They claimed that in some areas there is also drought while in some too much flooding.


Local Disaster Coordinating Council and Municipal Planning officials from coastal towns of Barobo, Tago, Carmen, San Miguel, all in Surigao del Sur and the Capital town of Surigao del Sur, Tandag, all said towns facing Pacific Ocean claimed occurrence of strong winds and big waves that reached houses increased for months now.


Likewise, local Disaster Coordinating Councils and Municipal Planning officials from coastal towns of Malimono, surfing capital General Luna, Placer, Socorro and the City of Surigao expressed increased of number of storm surge that hit their localities.


Barobo Municipal Disaster Officer Samuel Ortega during presentation said that occurrences of heavy rain that caused flooding and landslide have doubled or even tripled in the past months now as compared in the past years.


Municipality of Tago Disaster Coordinating Council officer Kenneth Baloyo also noticed the sudden rise of water level of coastal waters that now shortened lands of beaches along coastal communities.


Municipality of Malimono Disaster Coordinating Council and Social Welfare Officer Francisca Dumaliuan urged for a stop of destructive small-scale mining, quarrying and illegal cutting of trees activities in two coastal barangays of Malimono town.


She complained alleged laxity and lackluster performance on the part of the DENR and other concerned government agencies in monitoring and apprehension drive against illegal miners and loggers.


Dumaliuan warned coastal Barangays Kansayong and Masgad will be vanished in the maps if destructive mining and illegal logging activities continue and will not be stopped.


Dunaliuan however also challenged other government agencies to play active part or role in providing livelihood assistance in said barangays saying “ordering them to stoop in mining and cutting trees which already become their livelihood means proves futile if no alternative livelihood will be offered”.


Surigao del Sur and Surigao del Norte Provincial Planning officials admitted that at times disaster risk reductions initiatives like building canals and dams for flooding prevention and protection runs contrary with the onslaught of mining and illegal logging activities.


‘At times it is really difficult or we are put into situation that we have to give difficult decisions because those engaged in small-scale mining mostly poorest of the poor also needed livelihood to feed their families” says Surigao del Norte Provincial Planning Officer Dr. Art Cruje. 

Different Provincial and Municipal Disaster Coordinators and Planning and Development Officers of the two provinces meet here in Surigao City during recently concluded two-day Sharing Session and Site Visit on DRR-CCA Initiatives that ended December.


Top officials from foreign aid organizations like Oxfam, AusAid and Spanish Development Aid agencies also attended the two day activities and participated in the forum as possible donors or grantees for the initiatives. (PNA/Ben Serrano)