Editorial: Preparations for rain-drenched Mindanao

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Sunday, January 19, 2014


AGATON is here, but life goes on. Thus, let us count ourselves lucky we live in the age of information. That is, since life goes on and there are businesses we have to attend to in and around Mindanao, it pays to know how everything is going between one destination to another.

There’s of course the Pagasa website (http://www.pagasa.dost.gov), or you can download the Project Noah app. It’s cool, really.

After getting an idea of hose the weather situation is in the area you intend to go, then double check it with your friends in social media networks. Everyone loves to talk about the weather and how they are getting it bad, go ask, they will fill you in with the details. These are information sources that you can tap in so that you can plan a travel that will not be a waste. These are information sources that are literally at the tip of your fingers.

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Now that we realize how bad weather can change all our plans, let us make productive use of our stranded states to think of the future… like, Mindanao agriculture.

We all know Mindanao is agriculture-based. Its economy rises and falls with the produce of the land. Guess what dies with floodwaters and landslides?

Mining doesn’t even fit in, because with mining, we get the tons upon tons of soil crashing down on our heads.

Bananas? Rethink.

Typhoon Pablo practically crippled the banana sector. Now Panama disease and other fungal afflictions threaten the industry. Should we continue in the same direction or should there be solid moves and clear visions now for the next five years and beyond? What are the lessons we have been learning so far and how do we ensure that the Mindanao economy imbibes these lessons and not repeat mistakes over and over again? How do we make farming more efficient so that the little contributions of every farmer all contribute to the giant pie everyone is partaking of? What machines should we fully develop for the betterment of farmwork and efficiency, and who and where are the inventors and engineers whom we can bring in?

Floodwaters do not recognize plantation boundaries, not even residential territory lines. They will crash where downstream goes and drag along whatever it can, including our lives, our homes, our future, and our economy. The faster we accept this reality and really do something about it, the better we will prosper in the coming years.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 20, 2014.

Opinion

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