Climate activists called on the Philippine government to hold major carbon producers accountable for the loss of lives and livelihood following the onslaught of super typhoon Rai (local name: Odette) last week.
Rai left at least 80 people dead and more than 300,000 others were displaced after it wreaked havoc in the southern and central regions of the country.
Climate activist Marinel Ubaldo blamed the “Global North” and big corporations who are supposedly “fueling climate change” for the loss and damages suffered by the victims of the disaster.
“Nations and capitalists that are most responsible for the climate crisis must rectify their years of inaction,” said Ubaldo, a survivor of super typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
“Our government must demand reparations and climate justice,” she said, adding that vulnerable communities “must be given access to resources they need to rebuild their lives.”
Rai made nine landfalls last week, destroying everything in its path in the southern regions of the Visayas and Mindanao.
Naderev “Yeb” Saño, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, called on the Philippine government to declare a nationwide climate emergency.
“These typhoons will get worse, more unpredictable, and more destructive should [our institutions] remain merely reactionary to the climate crisis,” he said.
Saño said typhoon Rai “brought up our collective trauma from previous typhoons,” adding that it was a reminder that extreme weather events “are now a norm as the climate crisis worsens every year.”
Faith-based group Living Laudato Si Philippines said acts of justice, “such as those that lead to climate justice,” are part of the Christian faith.
“Let us not forget that our worst imagined climate emergency is already a constant reality for many of our fellow Filipinos,” said Rodne Galicha, executive director of the group.
“As we observe the Advent season… we appeal to everyone to open their homes, share their spare, and lend a hand to those who have been affected by the typhoon,” he added.
The social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has already deployed rapid assessment teams in four major regions to assess the extent of the damage.
Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, head of Caritas Philippines, called on social action centers in dioceses not affected by the typhoon to send aid to those in need of assistance.
The prelate said teams are already coordinating with dioceses that suffered the devastation for the delivery of relief aid and rehabilitation plans.
“We have launched a nationwide solidarity appeal for the affected families and communities of the super typhoon,” said Bishop Bagaforo.
“We encourage the public to once again help our brothers and sisters get back to their feet,” he added.
Caritas Philippines will be launching a National Day of Prayer on December 26 for the victims of the strongest typhoon recorded in the country in 2021.