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Editorial | Clearing the coast

The proposal of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) to ban the building of structures along the coastal areas of the city is worth looking at by the city government.

Six coastal areas in barangays Matina Aplaya, Talomo and poblacion districts have been perennially vulnerable to monsoon waves and other natural disasters. As the houses are built at the edge of the shore and are constructed using light materials, strong winds and monsoon waves topple them down without much resistance.

The recommendation of the “No Build Zone” by CDRRMO chief Alfredo Baloran does not only stem from the usual calamities that hit during the months of August and September but also the possibility of a tsunami which may no longer be as farfetched as thought of before.

Whether we like it or not, the climate is changing – and it is changing as fast as human activities allow. The sea level is rising, glaciers are melting, snow cover is shrinking, and ocean acidification is now more pronounced. Island nations in the Asia Pacific region, including our country, are in danger with global warming and as the sea level rises.

Coastal development should be comprehensive and inclusive. This means that the residents are not only relocated, but also understand why they have to move. The comprehensive development plan of the city, we assume, has considered this. Uprooting residents living close to their source of livelihood is a daunting task, one that requires political will.

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