Climate change forum stirs readiness among ZCSPC studes, faculty vs disasters PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 03 November 2014 14:16

“I was asked by students which would I rather prefer, war or natural disasters? I did not have an answer, but they themselves said they preferred war because they could still find a safe place to hide. There is no safe place to hide from typhoons, earthquakes and other natural disasters,” shared Zamboanga City State Polytechnic College (ZCSPC) Arts and Sciences Dean Elizabeth Sebastian.

Dean Sebastian was one of some 100 participants composed of college students and faculty to a climate change adaptation and mitigation forum held last Oct. 23 at the school conference hall. Mixed expressions of fear and apprehension were evident among their faces after viewing the PIA documentary “Nagbabago na ang Panahon, Panahon na Para Magbago.”

“After hearing the information and seeing the extent of devastation as a result of disasters from the film, I felt scared,” said Supreme Student Government (SSG) president John Mark delos Santos. “It can happen anytime when we least expect it.”

“I realized that being responsible and prepared is my only comfort,” delos Santos added.

“If the disaster would strike today, I do not know what to do,” said Cecil Visitacion. “We have to be more educated on preparedness to be prepared.”

On the brighter side, student leader Jomarie Francisco said that although he also feels some fear over the looming effects of climate change, “I am also excited to take part in the advocacy to share this information on preparedness to other students.”

Vanessa Francisco, also a student leader, proposed for environmental promotion school projects. “Many of the students are much undisciplined. We cannot even comply with the most basic rules like proper waste disposal. We have to have tree-planting and waste segregation projects now,” she said.

“We really have to change now,” she added.

Meanwhile, Dean Sebastian said that they would be adopting climate change advocacy in their regular school activities. “We realize the urgency to get the students and their families to be prepared for the effects of climate change,” Sebastian said.

“We have already seen the effects of Yolanda in the Visayas, and we have personally experienced the devastation brought about by the Zamboanga siege, and to top it all, the typhoon right after siege. There is no time to waste to get prepared,” Sebastian pointed out.

Since August, the PIA has been visiting schools and different barangays in the city in its intensified campaign on climate change adaptation and mitigation to promote preparedness down from the community to the family levels.