For thousands of families from Metro Manila, Calabarzon to Central Luzon, Ilocos region and up to the Cordillera Administrative Region, many may be familiar with the Biblical Noah’s Ark story.
But millions more have or are getting an experience of what it is.
To meteorologists at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), the government’s weather agency, this is all part of climate change where a phenomenal rainfall volume in 2009’s Typhoon Ondoy (international code name Ketsana) was dropped in just one day.
To environmentalists, the floods are worsening because the people have destroyed nature’s first defense against it—the trees.
“If you have trees within and around communities, you will not worry too much about flooding as those who have treeless areas,” ecologists at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NULS) and the Center for International Forestry Research (Cifor) would say.