Thursday, July 25, 2024

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Don’t blame the nature for the flood

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In 2009, we had typhoon Ondoy (codename: Ketsana) that wreaked havoc because of massive rainfall that led to to the flooding of Metro Manila and neighboring provinces in Luzon. The horror was unimaginable and many blamed the nature for what happened. Three years after, on August 2012, there was another flood brought by typhoon Haikui and monsoon rain that also created a horrible flood in Metro Manila other provinces. Now, we have Karding and monsoon rain that reminded a lot of people about the tragedy that Ondoy had created.

Again, people blame the mother nature, the government and other people they can without realizing that they only have themselves to be blamed for everything.

The 80 thousand tons of garbage that was accumulated speaks for the lack of discipline, stubbornness and indifference.

We all know that when Ondoy struck us in 2009, then the monsoon in 2012 and as well as Maring in 2013, and yet we experience the same flooding all over again.

With the flood getting worst each year, we were hoping that people have already learned a painful lesson caused by their indifference towards the environment. The ningas cogon and mañana habit traits of Filipinos strike again.

When Ondoy hit us, many of us blamed the plastic and styropor makers and users. But can we blame the makers if there are no cheaper alternative sources or materials that are environment friendly?

The proposal to ban the plastic and styropor by some noisy environment activists such as Green Peace is not only idiotic but also self-centered and self-serving. Assuming their wish to ban the plastic and styropor would be followed, where will the people who are working in these companies go? Will the environmentalists feed them and give them job? How about the companies that will be shut down because of the banning?

The issue here is not on whether we use plastic or styropor, but on the discipline, strict implementation of the law, lack of political will, corruption in the government and greediness of some corporations. Let us go one by one on each item.

If only people are disciplined, even if we use plastic and styropor, that would not really matter as long as people know how to properly dispose of their garbage. In the same way, even if we use biodegradable materials for packaging and bags, if people do not have discipline the purpose of using the environment friendly materials will be useless.

Ultimately, it all boils down to discipline. The second is the strict implementation of the law. In Singapore, everybody is scared to violate the law there because it’s a “fine city”. You get fined if you smoke in the non-smoking areas, chew gums and throw your trash.

But in the Philippines, the lack of balls and the double standard yardstick bastardize the laws created to be of service to men and women. We often see people throwing their trash everywhere even if the trash bin is visible and within their reach, as if they are holding trash that weighs a ton or more.

If government will implement a graduated penalty and fine to the erring people, I wonder if these violators will continue to grow. We see a lot of people even the ones driving their expensive cars and with government and diplomatic car plates throwing their trash out their car window! In countries like Canada and US, the penalty will cost you a fortune.

Can we not do the same in the Philippines? Perhaps, it would be a good idea if there will be a rule or law wherein a citizen can report or apprehend erring people either by text or calling a certain number and report the car plate, color, time and other pertinent information that will easily identify the culprit.

The lack of a political will is another factor that affects the flooding in the country. The will to eradicate the “informal settlers” commonly known as “squatters” who contribute tons of garbage and mess through their nonchalant attitude by invoking their being the down-trodden of the society.

But if this appeal to pity will continue and prompt the government to go easy on them and allow them to emotionally manipulate us, then we will never cease to experience this kind of problem of flooding, landslide in the metropolis, malnutrition and other crimes as result of justified squatting.

The Lina law must really be junked or repealed because this is the main reason why professional squatters grow by leaps and bounds. Unfortunately, this is where the main chunk of vote that our politicians capitalize on. The corruption in the government has been contributing a lot in the chronic problem of flooding in our country. Where does the pork barrel go?

It is very disgusting to see that most of the evacuation centers and assistance come the non-government organizations such as church, schools, and other civic organizations. Last but not the least, the greed of some corporations who unfortunately brag their wealth in Fortune Magazine not realizing the irony of the name Fortune Magazine is that the fortune that these super rich Filipinos brandish has caused the MISFORTUNE of the many people.

The indiscriminate building of malls, condominiums and other edifices that killed the natural drainage have caused flood in the country. There are many areas in Metro Manila that were not flooded before.

With the advent of the malls built left and right, traffic congestion, flooding and even waste and water management problem occurred and will continue to chastise us as Mother Nature inevitably strikes back.

Not only in Metro Manila, even in the provinces such as Cavite, Tarlac, Pangasinan and Baguio, but God forbid, in all other key provincial cities someday when malls are built, flood started to happen unexpectedly. Indeed, gold has corrupted many kings.

I wonder how much money were coughed out or greased to get approval from the places where these malls are built like sprouting mushrooms. Now, here is the funny thing. These mall owners even tried to trick people by coming up with bags that they claim as “biodegradable”. But to date, such claim is still debatable and whether it is truly an environment friendly material if such claim as “biodegradable” truly exists.

For sure, we do not want another Ondoy, Haiku, Maring, Karding or any flooding to happen, right? Because these catastrophe cost a lot of lives, damage to properties, illness and other social problems. We also appreciate the employment created by the development in the rural and urban areas of the country, but as long as we don’t prosecute these undisciplined people, we are all bound to experience the same problems all over again.

The effort of the government to improve the drainage system is no match to the undisciplined and indifferent Filipinos. Blaming the nature is an idiotic and lousy excuse either. The one million pesos question is, When will we ever learn?

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