DISASTER, as previously discussed in my previous columns should not be an alternative to anything. We don’t want it to happen. And what better way to avoid it when we cannot prevent it, should be “change”, which businessman and millionaire Elon Musk has quoted; “Some people don't like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.”
So what do we have to change now? Everything?
Our priorities in investments should be the first. Yes, we are developing. But have we considered the level of capacity of the people living in our place which is being developed? Because if not, our development projects will be gone to waste when not made to withstand disasters, for the people. The point is, if we are developing our community physically, we need to educate those that lives there too, especially now, on disasters.
I have an example. Say we build a slope protection in an area. The people knows that the slope protection is a mitigating measure to landslides and it implies that when there is a built slope protection, it is now safe. Inevitably, this has to change! We have to inform them that when they build a slope protection, the area is prone to landslide, and it means they cannot build their house there.
Another one here: Some information is now floating that the Cordillera Administrative Region just recorded the first ever measles death case in years! So what happened? I think we forgot to re-educate ourselves about measles? I think we were looking way forward forgetting about some history? That because we haven’t had a case in years means we are measles free? Maybe we have to think again. And change the priorities. Invest more in information-education-campaigns to re convince everyone to never disregard the measles vaccine, before it gets our community. Educate ourselves and our neighbors that we do not want measles.
Last week in Sagada, Me and Cordilleran Colleagues Harvey, Leo, Vans, Kenneth and Colt, was lucky to be alongside instructors from Cebu; Sirs Batchie, Edsa, and Cons. We were tasked by the Office of Civil Defense-CAR to train the men and women of the Provincial Government there for them to become Instructors of Various Training Programs on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. (This is change! Change in investment priorities.) During the sessions, it has always been commended that the Provincial DRRM has intensely invested in a program such as this to educate the maximum number of their people. Something that we should all follow, especially in the Local Government Units. Once these graduates (of Training for Instructors) return to their areas of responsibility, they may now teach their constituents on their own on DRRM, not needing to hire or invite other speakers anymore. Isn’t that a kind of Investment? Kudos Mountain Province Provincial DRRMC!
We don’t mean that we have to stop developing physically. We just have to develop with an addition of much responsibility. Change those that doesn’t work in our development and add simple but effective investments on DRRM. Because in these times, we need to consider now the effect of possible disaster, more so, climate change.