The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) renewed its commitment to support disaster survivors and climate vulnerable communities as the country marked this week the eighth anniversary of the destruction brought about by super typhoon “Yolanda (Haiyan)” in 2013.
“Eight years after the typhoon ‘Yolanda’ landfall, we still call for justice,” read a statement released by NCCP on November 9.
“We will never forget the people who died from that disaster, which was exacerbated by climate change and the grave negligence of both the past and present administrations,” it added.
Bishop Reuel Norman Marigza, NCCP secretary general, said typhoon “Yolanda” showed how “utterly devastating the climate crisis is.”
“Since then, we have experienced typhoons and extreme weather events with almost the same destructive impacts as that of typhoon Yolanda – a glaring indication that we no longer have to wait for a few more years to feel the climate crisis,” said Bishop Marigza.
He said these experiences “should have pushed the government to scale-up disaster mitigation, ecological protection, and climate change adaptation.”
“Regrettably, we haven’t seen any indication that our national government is now well-prepared, as shown in the government’s inadequate responses to post-Yolanda calamities,” the bishop added.
“If anything, we are in a much vulnerable state – as economic crisis and environmental destruction worsen at the backdrop of the climate emergency,” he said.
Bishop Marigza said the NCCP reiterates its “call and prayer for climate justice.”
“We hope and pray that people of goodwill eschew a global economic system where profit is prioritized over people,” he said.
“We pray and call for a shift to clean energy instead of monopolized fossil fuels, for rehabilitated and protected forests instead of large-scale mining, lives and livelihood of the people over big businesses,” said the Protestant prelate.
“We extend our prayers and demand to the world leaders in the 26th climate conference, to finally respond with urgency to the climate crisis,” he said.
“We yearn for no less than shared solutions to address the needs of the most affected countries and accountability and meaningful action from the richest and highest carbon emitters and polluters,” he added.
Typhoon Haiyan’s eighth anniversary marked the opening of the second week of negotiations at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.