The last quarter of the year seemed to bring the most calamities and catastrophes in the Philippines and the world. A string of very strong earthquakes had been rocking Asia and the Pacific from Indonesia, to Samoa to Vanuatu even Jolo, Philippines. Very strong typhoons have been visiting the Philippines and nearby countries almost simultaneously. The disasters brought about by these natural disturbances are alarming.
Thousands of people died in Padang and the damage to properties are widespread. Same with Samoa and American Samoa wherein hundres of people die in the Earthquake plus Tsunami it generated. In the Philippines, the death in Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) is over 500 and as I read the news online, reports confirmed that there are 264 deaths in Typhoon Pepeng’s (Parma) wrath and counting especially since rescuers have to dig through the massive landslide and floodings in Benguet and Pangasinan provinces and many other areas of Northern Luzon.
Many residents fear that the big dams in the area are damaged due to the big volume of rains. However, the government assured that the Dams specifically San Roque, remained strong and firm.
I saw a news article in ABS-CBN news website of SM Rosales Pangasinan being submerged in water up to the 2nd level. The news reported that over 1,000 people are either staying in the higher floors of the mall or on the roof when the flood waters rose very fast. This scenario is very much alike what happened in the Metro during the onslaught of Ondoy’s presence in the country.
Now it is imminent, the effects of Climate change is already affecting people’s daily lives. The compelling question is how the Government can at least assure the people that they are given assistance to rebuild their homes and livelihood. Of course as a citizen of the world, everyone has to have its fair share of responsibility. But the Government should impose stricter policies to help prevent continued denudation of the forests, initiate better garbage collection and disposal thru the local governments as well as have mass cleaning and re-forestration projects. The government should be busy on helping the nation instead of being more of a liability as what many Filipinos perceived them to be.
We don’t know what comes next after Pepeng. The least we can do is pray. As a nation, we have to move forward. We don’t know what’s gonna happen next and we should all be prepared. This actually applies not only to us Filipinos but anywhere in the world what with disasters frequently happening in many nations of the world today.