MANILA — Millions of people in the devoutly Catholic Philippines believe God is punishing humans for their evil deeds by inflicting environmental catastrophes on them, a survey published Monday showed.
Twenty one percent of people believe God is unleashing his wrath with landslides, typhoons and other disasters that regularly hit the country, according to the survey carried out by polling group Pulse Asia.
More than 80 percent of the nation’s 92 million people are Catholic, a legacy of its Spanish colonial past.
But the number of people attributing the disasters to God’s wrath is declining, from 23 percent in a similar survey carried out two years ago, amid a growing sense that humans themselves are directly to blame.
Sixty-three percent of Filipinos blamed humans and climate change for environmental catastrophes, up from 54 percent two years ago, Pulse Asia said.
The survey, of 1,200 people across the country last month, also found that Filipinos were becoming increasingly worried about climate change.
Two in three Filipinos experienced a big change in climate over the past three years, Pulse Asia found.
And 71 percent said that climate change posed a danger to the environment, up from 61 percent in 2008.
Pulse Asia said the figure was above 80 percent in Manila, likely because of Tropical Storm Ketsana last year which flooded most of the capital and killed 464 people.
It also attributed the rising awareness about climate change among Manila’s 12 million residents to a drought this year that caused severe water shortages.