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In this hot season, plan  for the coming rains

EDITORIAL

Published

E CARTOON APR 23, 2019We are now in the middle  of  the  hot season in the Philippines, with many towns and cities hitting the the “dangerous heat  index” of  41 degrees up to 54 degrees  Centigrade.  The  Philippine  Atmospheric, Geophysical,  and  Astronomical  Services Administration (PAGASA)  reported that 49.2 degrees  was recorded  last Thursday in  Guiuan, Samar,

Scattered sites around  the country recorded slightly less heat — 45.8 degrees in  Ambulong, Batangas; 44.4 degees in Daet, Camarines Norte;  44.5 degrees in Dagupan  City, Pangasinan;  44.4 degrees in Sangley, Point, Cavite;  43,2 degrees at NAIA in Pasay City;  42.4 degrees in Casiguran,  Aurora;  42.2 degrees in  Masbate City, Masbate; 42.1 degrees  in Clark,  Pampanga; 41.4 degrees in Port Area, Manila.

Only Baguio Cily up in the Benguet mountains appeared to be doing  well  in the summer heat – only 24 degrees —  which is why hundreds of  thousands of lowlanders jam the  highways going up to Baguio. There is no  storm  in  sight  to bring rains and  lower the temperature. There  is  only  the warm  easterly wind  from the Pacific Ocean.

At  times like this, many long for the rains that should come  late in May, brought by  the “habagat” winds from  the  southwest.  Then  when the floods come  during the rainy season, along with one typhoon  after another, we long for  the coming of the “amihan” from  the cold north.

Ths  is  the rhythm  of the seasons in the Philippines and  we should  be used to it by now, although it   may seem like some of  our recent typhoons  were more powerful and destructive than  before. The rains  seem  heavier.  And  the  heat is  more intolerable. This is blamed by many on climate change caused by many factors beyond our control in our country – greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the industrial nations,  resulting in  rising  world temperatures,  in turn causing  the polar  glaciers to melt and raise ocean  levels, and  generating  more violent  storms.

We  are  contributing our bit to the worldwide  movement  to hold back the rise in world temperature to below 1.5 degrees Centigrade over the Industrial Revolution levels, but the greater burden of responsibility for this lies on the shoulders of  the big  industrial nations, notably the United States and China.

What  we  can do as one of  the world’s smaller  nations is to make better use of  what nature has given us. We have so  much  rain  at certain times of the year which we must save in dams and  weirs and cisterns, for use when  summer comes and we suffer from water shortage in our households.

We are now in the middle of a very  hot  season  but very soon, within  a few  weeks, the rains will  come. Along  with  roads and bridges, airports  and seaports, and  new government buildings  under “Build, Build, Build,” the government  should  plan  for the  coming  rainy season  with  infrastructures to save this most previous  commodity,  our water,  which we will soon have in great abundance.

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