Will a climate change academy lessen the impact of natural calamities besetting the Philippines every year?
This question was raised on Friday by different quarters after Philippine Presidentinaugurated the country's first climate change academy.
Located inside the campus of Bicol University in Legazpi City, the Climate Change Academy of Albay will focus on combating climate change and its ill effects, particularly on the Philippine economy.
"To have a program which is focused on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and management, I believe that this building will not only be a nest for knowledge but will also serve as shelter for our people during the time of calamity," Aquino said in a speech.
The Climate Change Academy was constructed in an effort to fast track the development of climate adaptation capabilities of the country, particularly local government units (LGUs).
Put up by the provincial government of Albay, along with other government agencies and international organizations, the academy empowers and trains LGUs for disaster risk management, evaluation of climate risk hazards and adaptive capabilities, planning, and programming.
The academy will also provide guidelines on experimental learning in the implementation of "disaster proofing" of local stakeholders.
Its strategic approach includes raising awareness on disaster risks, progressive training on scenario building, climate and disaster risk assessment and management, and technical assistance for local management and planning.
Weather forecasters in Manila believe that the rise of Climate Change Academy in Albay is timely as the Philippines lies on the typhoon path.
It can be recalled that on August 2009, Metro Manila and nearby provinces were submerged in water due to Typhoon Ondoy (international codename Ketsana).