Oras Na, a GMA News and Public Affairs environmental documentary hosted by Richard Gutierrez gave us a 60 minute view of how our nature looks like in this new generation. Every minute, every hour of our own life, and the uses of out natural resources, this documentary showed us what we need to know – our nature’s deadline.
Experts gave deadlines to our country’s natural resources. In 2025, trees in the forests of our country may possibly be gone. Same in this year, we will be suffering from low supply of clean water in the country. We could also suffer in low supply of fossil fuels in 2030. And in 2050, there’s no more fishes to eat. I’ve learned about the four main problem that we and the country will be facing in the future.
One of the problem in the country is about the marine resources. It is shown in the documentary that there’s 7 billion people in the whole word who needs to eat and 90 million of the number is in the Philippines. 70% of the Filipino’s are having fish and sea foods as their daily food. And one of the biggest natural resources we have on earth is the sea which covers 77% of the planet. Fifty decades before is when we are fond of having plenty of aquatic resources. In Navotas Fish Port – biggest fish port in the country and one of the biggest in Asia, 400 tons of fish are delivered per day, it looks like it’s quiet a large number of deliveries but it doesn’t, compared to the tons of fishes delivered twenty years ago. One of the University in Canada said that not even before the year 2050, there are some places in the country which experiencing the loss numbers of fishes.
Big fishes like tuna decreases its numbers also. It is said that 10% from their original numbers way back fifty years ago is what we have now. During 1970’s & 1980’s, 150 tons of tuna were delivered in General Santos Fish Port, which is the biggest tuna port in the world, and now it is down to only 50 tons. Because of this, Western and Cultural Pacific Fisheries Commission ordered to have a Tuna Ban which prohibits wide fishing of tuna and only use handline instrument of fishing on big part of the international waters. By this order, some fishers are forced to grab fish/tuna where it is prohibited like in Indonesia.
The reason for this decreasing number of fishes was studied by the UP Marine Science Institute. In the seven of the most productive fishing resource in the Philippines, it shows that the number of the fishers are over 50% compared to the sea’s capacity to increase the number of fish. Dr. Perry Aliño, a professor in UP Marine Science Institute, said that another reason is because 80-90% are overfish and some species are slowly being extinct in some areas which can happen and is already happening for some species right now. As the population in the country increases, the demand of fish as food also increases. As well as many fishes are being catch even though they are too small and too young to be sold in the public, not getting the chance to give birth to another specie. According to experts, the solution for this decreasing number of fishes is to reduce the fishing effort by 50%, for we are twice as it’s capacity to accommodate.
Second problem in our country is having plenty supply of water. The cleanliest river in the country can be seen in Pandan, Antique. It gives water supply to over 3, 000 households in their town. And this kind of cleanliness in water can be seen in the rivers in our country way back Spanish time, even the Pasig river was said to be that clean. Water shortage can be experience right now in some places in Tawi-Tawi like Sitangkai which is the farthest island in the country, and in Bongao. In Tubigan, Bicol, people dig underground to have supply from the ground water and after 4 years, they will find other places to have their water supply as well as in Brgy.
Bangkulasi, Navotas which their water is trusted to a water truck from other place. Water is the problem to this some places but there will come a time that it would be everyone’s problem according to Philippine Water Monitor of World Bank, year 2025, we’ll be experiencing a fresh water crisis. But before that, according to Pacific Institute for Studies and Development, Environment and Security, year 2020, estimated 77 million people in the world, mostly children will die because of diseases gain from contaminated water especially the ground water which is the main source of water because of pollution.
Third is the decreasing number of trees in the forest. The old growth tress which are aged hundreds can be gone in just an hour by cutting and if this will still continue, we can no longer see it by year 2020. Way back 1870’s, Philippines was covered by 70% of the forest but now the country has only 8% from its original number of forest cover. The reason is deforestation. Deforestation rate is directly proportional with population rate. By doing deforestation for our different needs and demands in the society and continuously cutting of trees, forests can be erase in the map by 2025. In Northwest Panay Peninsula, this problems starts to show where mountains of trees are put into fire to have a coal production and to plant crops. In Surigao del Norte, other part of the forest are used for mining.
Lastly, about the Fossil Fuel supply. There are three sources of energy in the country; coal, natural gas and oil or fossil fuel. It was said that fossil fuel production started to decrease last 2012, which is three years before. According to International Energy Agency, we will experience 5 out of 10% of decrease rate production until 2030 where there’s no more fossil fuel to supply energy in the country. In this state, experts are finding alternative supply of energy like solar powers, wind mills, geothermal power and hydroelectric power.
These problems was stated in the documentary and therefore became a way to open the minds of the people to be more attentive on their society. Nature, as how much it helps our lives also have their limits when it comes to the resources. And we, people, should also have the limit in using them and knowledge on how to use them in a right way. I, myself, was shocked to see how some of the places in our country is suffering from this problems and thinking that I am one of the lucky yet people who’s living with the resources and not minding any problem with those. Watching the documentary, I recalled how my parents always told me to waste water, food, and paper when I was a kid. And now I fully understand what’s that supposed to mean. That I, in that small way can help to slow down the decreasing rate of the natural resources we have.
Documentaries always give its audience a learning in the end, and this one, Oras Na, is saying the people should at least conserve water and energy, lessen the catching of fishes, and stop the cutting of trees. Since we are living in an urban and centralized place, which we are one lucky people, we are not yet experiencing this problems unlike the places featured on the documentary, so it is easy for us to waste every time and opportunity that we are wasting any of these natural resources. As what I’ve said in the second paragraph, each are having their deadlines. And the deadlines set is going near. We should start taking care of what we have which we must have done before, before we regret and suffer from itself.