CLIMATE CHANGE AND GEOHAZARD: A political challenge
Nothing is permanent except change. This time-proven declaration accurately sums up the fickle character of Mother Nature. Climate Change connotes transient episodes in the earth’s history yet geohazards have fixed locations. Two different sides to the same coin.
Climate change is a hot and polarizing issue, with people divided into two (2) camps: either believing it is already upon us or adamantly denying it is happening. If we look back long enough in time, we can see that the earth has already experienced many climate changes. It was warm when the dinosaurs ruled the earth and then turned cold for the wooly mammoths. Climate change is a certainty; it is not a matter of if but more of a matter of when. It may not be anthropomorphic or caused by man, but we can and do aggravate the situation.
As stated before, Climate change and geohazards are two (2) sides to one coin. Experts foresee increased flooding and storms with Climate Change. We hasten to add that prolonged heavy rainfall will trigger landslides. Areas prone to flooding and landslides can be predicted and mapped out, that’s what we in the DENR call geohazard assessment and mapping.
We already have this program in place for years, our Mines and Geosciences people has been toiling silently to create maps and provide them to Local Government Units. In the very near future, the DENR will put up a website specifically for these geohazard maps, where they can be accessed by everybody.
We already have the tools, in the form of the maps, to avoid extensive loss of lives and properties in case of natural catastrophes but we still need to hurdle political obstacles. Unknown to many, we have already provided geohazard maps to several LGUs and have been advocating for its inclusion in their development planning. However, our is the voice in the wilderness, loud but unheard.
The DENR has already made headway in partnering with private entities, LGUs, NGOs, OGAs, and the academe in our effort to green and clean-up our countries, we also need help in mitigating possible loss from geohazards and nature’s wrath. Recently, in the aftermath of “Sendong,” the Honorable Congressman Loreto S. Ocampos of the Second District of Misamis Occidental and the Municipality of Naawan, Misamis Oritnal has sent request for assistance strengthening their geohazard capabilities. We are always ready to serve the people, let us prioritize their welfare more than politics.
In our haste for “development,” we have often taken forcibly from Mother Nature areas that should be left for her. She will retake them.
EDWIN ANDOT, NEW OIC, REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR DENR X
Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez has designated Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer Edwin B. Andot as the OIC, Regional Director for Northern Mindanao.
The move is part on the continuing reorganization of the department and embodied in DENR Special Order No. 2017 - 235 dated March 13, 2017.
Agriculture/aquaculture development, community organizing and governance, corporate planning and management, sectoral mobilization and networking, manpower development and agri-business are his field of competencies.
A resident of Cagayan de Oro City, OIC, Regional Director Andot is an Agricultural Engineer by profession, a farmer and comes from the civil society organization. He had stint as a consultant of the Natural Resources Development Corporation, an attached agency of DENR.
The new Regional Director had worked as a consultant of various organizations like the Justice Project Phil. Foundation, Ecosystem Work for Essential Benefits, Center for Alternative Rural Technology and Land Bank of the Philippines. He was once a consultant of the provincial governments of Misamis Oriental and Misamis Occidental.
From 2000 to 2012, he was the chairman of the Regional Agriculture and Fishery Council (RAFC) Region 10 and elected as national president of RAFC Association of the Philippines from 2008 to 2010.
He is the founding president of the Chamber of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Industries of Northern Mindanao, Inc. and Philippine Vegetable Industry Development Board.
He also served as barangay chairman of Salvacion, Kadingilan, Bukidnon from 1994 to 2001.
OIC, Regional Director Andot first joined the government as project manager of Southern Philippines Development Authority from 1981 to 1992.
He is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering from Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan. (RSCIS # 03-51-2017)
- EDWIN ANDOT, NEW OIC, REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR DENR X
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