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Columns - JGL Eye
Written by Joseph G. Lariosa   
Thursday, 01 October 2009 07:13

JGL Eye

By JOSEPH G.LARIOSA

 

 

C HICAGO, Illinois (JGLi) -- Staring over the photos and video clips on the Internet emerging from the Philippines during the past few days was not only disheartening but was also depressing.

 

But I can only hope and pray that everybody is safe and out of harm’s way.

 

Metro Manila and its environs used to be spared from the devastation of several typhoons that visit the Philippines every year. Thanks to modern communications that keep its residents on their toes.


But for the first time, it appeared that The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (
PAG-ASA) and other agencies like the Family and Community Disaster Preparedness Program were caught unaware by what President Arroyo called a “deluge.”

 

PAG-ASA might have routinely issued a storm warning but it might not be more forceful enough to get the attention of the Metro Manilans.

Of course, nobody could predict that the wrath of tropical depression (not a super typhoon) Ondoy (Ketsana) would pack a force of Biblical proportion. But it should now be a lesson to the residents of the metropolis that never again should they take future warnings for granted.

 

It will not hurt if PAG-ASA keeps on reminding the residents of impending typhoons if only to keep residents ready.

 

MIND BOGGLING

 

B ut Ondoy’s destruction boggles the mind.

 

I used to cover in the late seventies for the Times Journal the Cainta, Marikina and Pasig towns -- the three hardest hit by Ondoy (Ketsana).

 

But this is the first time I learned that they went underwater like the traditional Navotas and Malabon, which are understandable as these two towns abut the Manila Bay.

 

If Pasig and Marikina towns are flooded, it is not surprising because rivers run through them. But Cainta? I don’t remember a big river crossing through it or abutting it.

 

In the late seventies, Cainta was a huge barren marshy flatland. But as years go by, the flatland has turned the once sleepy town into a huge residential subdivision that goes back east to Antipolo, Rizal, where some years ago several hillside houses collapsed to the ground.

 

I don’t know if the residential subdivisions in Cainta have proper drainage planning that could prevent flooding at the slightest of rain.


But if the town planners are not environmentally conscious in putting up residential and industrial zones, flash flooding like what happened there and in other parts of Metro Manila will definitely not be going to be the last.

 

Subdivision residents and employees in industrial areas should always be conscious of their environment, by tossing garbage in their proper disposable containers and by recycling.

 

DON’T CLOG DRAINAGE WITH GARBAGE

 

T ossing garbage just anywhere can clog drainage.

 

They should place all recyclables—glass, plastic bottles, metal cans, and mixed paper in one container. All materials must be clean. They should not put trash, garbage, or non-recyclables in their recycling cart or bin.

 

I’m sure if residential and industrial zones will spare spaces to plant trees, they will minimize flooding. Trees also filter the air we breathe.

 

Meanwhile, Overseas or Global Filipinos are having a hard time to decide if they want to send their donations to the typhoon victims.


They are not sure if their donations will really go to the deserving victims. They don’t want to find out their donations went to ukay-ukay (used-clothing store) that benefited politicians.

 

They don’t want their cash donations either to become campaign donations.

 

They would rather course their donations to the victims they personally know for as long as they get some form of acknowledgement.

 

A lot of times, Overseas Filipinos would issue checks but their checks are returned because the checks become stale during transit.

 

Definitely, the super flooding in Metro Manila sets back by a few months whatever gains the Philippine economy was enjoying before.

 

A nd it is bad to the candidate of President Arroyo, who bears the unpleasant task of taking care of the flood victims.

 

If Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro, Jr., chairman of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), succeeds in handling the case of the flood victims, he could parlay it into votes in the 2010 presidential election.

 

If not, Secretary Teodoro’s failure will be a boost to his rival, most probably, his cousin, Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino.

 

As I said in my previous column, sometimes calamity could make or break the fate of a politician.

 

In the early eighties, when the incumbent mayor in Chicago was in sunny Florida, a blizzard hit Chicago. Chicagoans reeled under the snowstorm and hated the mayor.

 

When the election came around, Chicagoans changed its incumbent mayor and elected its first female mayor in history. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net) # # #

 

 


Last Updated on Thursday, 01 October 2009 07:18
 

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