Postscript to Typhoon Ondoy

Nothing tells me if our officialdom has sincerity in their hearts and if the welfare of our people tops their real priority. Or consider what we are hearing:

First, GMA officially declares the whole country under a state of calamity. It is to systematically allow every local government unit throughout the country to use up their calamity fund. Pooled together, that reflects awesome lot of money. Now, every barangay captain, mayor, governor, congressman, or senator has his own money basin to draw money from for whatever purpose he may deem best. That doesn’t smell of early electioneering, does it?

Second, defense secretary, under the principle of pre-emptive evacuation, categorically states that the government will not go to the rescue of those who refuse to evacuate – come hell or high water. In other words, people or families who refuse to leave their homes during call for pre-emptive evacuation must have themselves to blame should they drown or lose their homes or investments. What kind of demented ‘lifeboat ethics’ is that from someone who dreams to be the next president? At bottom, why did the defense secretary himself failed to apply this strategy before the onslaught of Typhoon Ondoy?

Third, the mistaken notion of ‘climate change’ as the culprit of this sudden rain-flooding serves as a convenient scapegoat for the government’s chronic inability to prove equal to the task – when disasters strike. Scientists just find no scientific basis for this theoretical spin. Rather, for as long as the government is not willing to buy Doppler radars that it needs for a few millions of pesos and its clear reluctance to free all waterways of ‘illegal inhabitants or squatters’ mushrooming exponentially, then floodwaters can be a regular happenstance.

Fourth, it is a bit paradoxical that whom the government really helps are the very people who must have contributed to the problem of clogged waterways along rivers, creeks, bridges and such structures? It does not take a rocket scientist to see this problem of large communities of people mushrooming everywhere making what use to be clean waterways as now dumping area for all sorts of waste. The very people who desecrate God’s given creation of an otherwise clean rivers, clean creeks, clean ridges or mountains are the ones who even demand that government extend their helping hands. There is a kind of a paradox, irony even, somewhere.

Fifth, politicians seem to embrace the vicious illusion that disasters build their political aspirations on solid grounds. For anyone to even as much as think that disasters make presidents must be at wit’s end to even believe that people can be swayed to appreciate ill-advised approaches to the problem. Certainly, if the government does not rescue those who simply refuse to be evacuated is tantamount to allowing other people to drown without having to lift a finger. If that is not an act of humiliating people, I don’t know what is.

Sixth, it remains the choice of donors, local or foreign, to whom they choose to course their cash contributions to. If they don’t trust the government, then they should be at full liberty to do so. Why indeed should government take away the initiative of private organizations to administer these funds for the sole purpose of relief, rescue, and disaster mitigating operations? Here we have a government even jealous with awesome amount of money flowing in with DSWD not being the conduit? This is absurd altogether.

Seventh, people can only be responsible for themselves. Let us not be treated like pecking pigeons in a case. The kind of government efforts that we have so far see is not the kind of that will really address the long term effects of disasters