'Climate change has positive effects on Batanes'

Posted at 06/08/2014 11:40 AM

MANILA, Philippines - An official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Batanes yesterday said that despite frequent rains and typhoons, climate change has positive effects on the province.

Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer George Reyes said while climate change negatively affects most parts of the country, Batanes residents have noted some good things brought by the weather change.

Reyes said the climate change has allowed farmers to plant several crops, as the weather is now more conducive to planting.

“Compared before, the province is not being hit often by typhoons lately,” Reyes said adding the rise in the number of tourists coming to the province.

“Additional flights bound for the province have been made,” he said.

He lamented that more residents are now building modern houses, which reduced the number of traditional stone houses that the provincial government is trying to preserved.

Officials said this started in 1987 after a strong typhoon (Pepang) damaged houses in the province.

Reyes said they still encourage residents to maintain the same type of structure that are usually built in the province.

“It is a positive thing that strong typhoons affecting the province have lessened, but then this somehow affected the people’s way of living,” he added.

Juan Redondo, chairman of Barangay Kaychanarianan in Basco town, agreed with Reyes, saying 70 to 80 percent of houses in Batanes are now based on modern architecture.

Batanes is situated in the northernmost part of the country and consists of 10 islands and islets.