Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Aftermath of the Storm (Part 2)

You might be wondering, who is responsible for this mess? As in, much of Luzon has been ravaged by this typhoon, so it's no surprise that people are now starting to passing the blame because of the apparent failures and errors that happened before, during and after the typhoon struck.

The initial response of the people will be "blame the government! they have done nothing to help those who are in need! In fact, some of their agencies even failed at doing their tasks right". Well, admittedly they can be blamed for failing to prepare for this kind of disaster. After all they should have seen this coming, even in the previous typhoons. They should've done preventive measures to avoid these kinds of things to happen. At the very least, they should have discouraged people from living near rivers/under bridges and become more responsible in leading advocacy campaigns regarding taking care of the environment and our surroundings. Even in city planning, the government should have done something. Now look what happened, 80% of the metro was underwater and areas in the reclamation areas in Laguna de Bay and nearby towns sank under the overflowing lake.

In particular, the government failed to have modernized Pagasa. The one agency that would be heavily involved in things like these have failed to determine the amount of rainfall Ondoy has until it was too late. If only the government gave more funds to Pagasa to modernize their equipment, they may be more accurate when it comes to forecasting as well as they can be able to utilize modern equipment to determine accurate rainfall and wind speed so that people can already prepare for the worst.

However, it's not only the government who should be held responsible for what happened. Those who keep on polluting and destroying nature, those who keep on throwing their waste and garbage on rivers, lakes and creeks, those who keep on clear cutting forests just for profit, those who destroy nature for their own selfish needs, they are the ones who have caused this disaster. If these people would have stop destroying and start cleaning up their act, none of these things would have happened.

So, how can we prevent these things form happening again? Let's start first from what the citizens can do. It's as simple as segregating trash and using clean and eco-friendly materials and fuels. People can also recycle materials such as plastic and glass bottles, paper, and other reusable materials. Those who live along the river/lake should opt to move out and find some higher place to live in, or just move back to the rural areas where they once came.

For the government's side however, things can be a bit more complex. They can range from legislation with regards to controlling emissions to laws concerning cleanliness of the environment. They can also opt for the halting of urban immigration, and instead convince people not to live in the city, specifically near rivers, lakes, creeks and canals. That way should heavy rains flow, the water can pass through smoothly and will not cause further flooding to the metro.

Also, a good emergency response plan would work too. Most of the LGO's are unprepared for what Ondoy and Pepeng brought upon, so it would be best for those government agencies and organizations involved to come up with an emergency preparedness plan in order to protect their citizens from all sorts of calamities, not just typhoons.

A good thing that could be considered completely important is the upgrading of PAGASA's current weather monitoring infrastructure. Some of the forecasting equipments of PAGASA are dated and might not give an accurate background on what is really going on, that would've made a difference. I hope that in the near future, the government will allot more funding and give more equipment to PAGASA to further enhance their forecasting capabilities.

In conclusion, this tragedy that has fallen upon the Filipino people had proved that the bayanihan spirit amongst Filipinos is still alive, and people from all walks of life will still be affected by what had happened during these past few days. There are many causes as to why this has happened, but regardless, may we learn from these mistakes, so that these kinds of things will not happen in the near future. I do also hope that the spirit of camaraderie, unity and bayanihan will remain within the Filipino people, even after the storm has passed.

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The Aftermath of the Storm (Part 1)
Another term flies by.
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