The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCC) has joined calls for the declaration of a “climate emergency” in the country.
In a statement, the Protestant council said the destruction caused by the series of typhoons that hit in recent weeks showed the country’s vulnerability to natural hazards.
“The miserable condition that people find themselves mired in, shows how ill-prepared our government is to handle disasters,” read the statement.
“It also shows the aggressive impacts of the disembowelment of our mountains, destruction of our forests and clogging of our waterways by government approved so-called development projects like large-scale mining, logging and mega dams,” it added.
“Worse, government priorities lie elsewhere exemplified by a decrease in the calamity budget for 2020,” said the NCCP.
The group said they support the “resounding cry” of the Filipino people for the government to “declare a climate emergency and decisively address the long-term vulnerabilities of the people to disasters and climate change impacts.”
The Church group also called for an end to “environmental destructive programs and projects.”
“We implore our member Churches, constituents, and partners in faith to unceasingly pray and work with the people for the protection of our environment and a sustainable society that values life and human dignity,” read the NCCP statement.
Catholic Bishop Joel Baylon of Legazpi earlier said the destructive weather the country has been experiencing is a “clear warning, a clarion call for humanity to do something to mitigate their destructive impact on our planet and in the lives of people.”
“We cannot disregard the fact that we have a role in why these disasters are happening more frequently and with greater destructive force,” he said.
Environmental activist group Greenpeace has earlier called on the Philippine government to declare a “national climate emergency” following a string of typhoons that brought massive flooding in large parts of the country.