Davao City assists as Mother Nature speaks-A A +A
By Jun Ledesma
Monday, August 13, 2012
IN HOURS of calamitous calamity it is better to give than to receive. This week, like when Typhoon Ondoy ravaged the National Capital Region, Davao City government shared its calamity funds for the victims of Ondoy through the Philippine National Red Cross. If I remember right the city doled out cash donations of P10-million to PNRC. This time the city once more extended its helping arms to devastated towns and cities at NCR and also cash and food items to badly hit municipalities in Pampanga, Zambales, and even Bataan.
City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio had instructed that the food items be coursed through the Philippine Army 7th Infantry Division which will in turn distribute the goods to affected designated areas. In calamitous situations we can indeed rely on our men in uniform to carryout missions like this in a situation where nearly every inch of earth is underwater.
Last year, Matina Pangi, a low-lying district of Davao City was hit a massive flood that inundated squatters’ houses along Pangi River and claimed the lives of 31 victims. Just about the help that the city received from outside were those coming from Vice President Jejomar Binay.
In fact the only national official who came was Binay. When the ground had dried up and the dead buried only then did DPWH Sec. Roberto Singson show up. He stayed for a couple of hours and issued a promise that he will send a dredging equipment to de-silt Pangi River. Before the sun set in the west, Singson hurried back to Manila never to return again. More than a year had elapsed since he gave an assurance to our city mayor that he will have the Pangi River dredged, not a shadow of that equipment is seen. I think that went the way to Timbuktu.
It is best therefore that the city do it alone. In times when the river is virtually dry, other equipment may be used to scoop or scrape the silt that had settled in the river bed. Silt and debris deter the flow of water and can cause disastrous floods like what happened in Matina Pangi. Better still, stop the quarrying activities and irresponsible housing development in upper Pangi because these are where the mud and loose soil are coming from. Next, for the city leadership to have the will to stop the intrusion of squatters in the easements for they are potential victims of flash floods.
Mother Nature has vented its fury on Metro Manilans. And Mother Nature expressed itself in measures that hopefully civilized people like us could comprehend. She whipped monsoon rains and raise the tides for the waves to gather all the debris thrown by man to the rivers, esteros and the coastal areas and then brought this not just any place where it is not visible or accessible but right in the stretch of Roxas Boulevard in Manila and Pasay for everyone to see. The silent but eloquent message of Mother Nature is seen not only in the giant domestic television networks but viewed worldwide for man to understand and be warned.
The heap of debris tells us how man abused Mother Nature. Tons of what man had thrown on the waterways were cast back to the coastline of Metro Manila. The debris are a mass of plastics, bottles, cans styrofoams, fecal wastes, animal carcass, feminine napkins, diapers, condoms, tires, clothes, bed cushions and logs to name a few.
Mother Nature has spoken and I hope that we have not only seen or heard but, more importantly, listened.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 14, 2012.