Given the alarming rise of sea levels, more than 167,000 hectares of coast-land in 171 towns are projected to go underwater, especially in the low-rise island communities facing the Pacific Ocean and other coasal cities in the Philippines like Manila.
Here is a feature video from the primetime news TV Patrol of ABS-CBN last March 22, 2016.
Metro Manila has been experiencing worsening floods and rising water levels over the past two decades, and its residents have had no choice but to adapt.
Renowned urban planner Architect Felino “Jun” Palafox Jr., designed floating houses is among the remedial measures proposed to address the problems of flooding in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. Architect Palafox labeled these measures as “adaptive architecture”.
Businesses, roads and even the town church have had to build upwards on high concrete platforms to avoid the rising waters.
Like many of the residents, Fernando Miguel has grown used to the situation and adapted his life and home to it.
“Before, our roads were not sunken. If the rainy season comes, the water is neck deep or more, so we upgrade our houses. We upgrade all the time,” said the town official.
Global warming is the primary cause of current rises in sea levels. Rising temperatures are warming ocean waters, which expand as the temperature increases. Located right next to the Pacific Ocean, the country takes the brunt of this.
In addition, water is being pushed by easterly winds towards the island nation and the people who will feel it the most will be the ones living in coastal communities along the eastern side of the Philippines.
While there is little the country can do to prevent sea level rises, it can reduce the risks and act ahead of time to protect the communities that will be most affected.