By Christine O. Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
5:45 am | Saturday, November 26th, 2011
The President, who was in this southern Luzon city to inaugurate the first Climate Change Academy at the Bicol University campus, announced that 65,000 geo-hazard maps identifying disaster-prone areas were being distributed to local governments.
“In order that we can avoid danger, we will not let our people rely on horoscopes—we now have geo-hazard mapping that would identify flood and landslide-prone areas in all cities and municipalities,” the President said in the speech he delivered at the First National Media Conference on Climate Change Adaptation here at the Bicol University.
President Aquino said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council was also able to come out with multihazard maps in 13 provinces and that soon, the government would come out with 3D mapping for Metro Manila.
Among the other preparations for climate change, the Chief Executive also cited improvements in weather forecasting by the Department of Science and Technology and the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.
President Aquino also said the government had made strides in its National Greening Program and that its target was to plant 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares from 2011 to 2016.
The President said that the government was definitely preparing to confront the challenges of climate change.
“And the answer and weapon of our government—it’s not Batman—but the National Climate Change Action Plan,” he said, referring to the eight-year action plan he recently signed which aims to combat the challenges of climate change.
President Aquino also hailed the setting up of the Climate Change Academy of Albay, which will have programs focused on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and management.
“I am confident that this building will not only be a source of knowledge but will also serve as a refuge for our people in times of calamities,” he also said.