Press Release
February 27, 2010


Visiting Pangasinan in one of her campaign sorties, NPC-NP-LDP vice presidential bet Loren Legarda called for a decade-long planning and massive education drive to allow the country to cope with the seasonal El Nino crisis.

"Government policies on El Nino should not just be reactionary. We have to think long term in addressing environmental and climate CHANGE issues," she said.

The prolonged dry spell in Northern Luzon has already lowered the production of rice, corn and vegetables.

"Changes in temperature, rainfall and sea level would be disastrous to the agricultural sector. Crop yield potential is estimated to decline by 19 percent in Asia toward the end of the century and rice yield in the Philippines would decline by 75 percent," said Loren chairperson of the Senate committeeS on climate change and food and agriculture.

1998 was Pangasinan's hottest year with temperatures soaring beyond the 40's. The lingering effects of the El Nino and the La Nina phenomenon continue to affect the local climate.

She added, "Policies on climate adaptation are crucial, it should be comprehensive, sustainable, doable and people should act with utmost urgency. The Philippines is periodically affected by the El Niño phenomenon that induces prolonged wet and dry seasons, leading to a dramatic drop in agricultural production. From 1990 to 2003, the damage due to El Niño-related drought was estimated to be more than $370 million and this included a decrease in fisheries yield."

Loren who filed a resolution (SENATE RESOLUTION NO. 1540) directing the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food and the Committee on Climate Change to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislations into the government's policies and programs to address the effects of El Niño. The only environmental advocate vice Presidential candidate maintains her climate change advocacy and told the public that she will continue to fight on the side of the environment.

"Climate change, an effect of which is the prolonged El Niño, presents severe problems for a country that is highly reliant on agriculture for livelihood and sustenance. This resolution will recommend policies and programs to institute robust adaptation strategies to enhance food security and alleviate rural poverty," said Loren.

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