“NABALHIN na ang Manila sa Davao (Manila has transferred here in Davao)” is what Davawenyos bragged about when Duterte won the presidency. It seems even typhoons and traffic have changed residence too.
This typhoon is named Chedeng, which reminds me of how old folks call a flashy rich car “chedeng”. Typhoon Chedeng did come like a running water truck, pouring rain for over 24 hours in Davao Region.
Chedeng reminds me of Mar Roxas, who once directed traffic under the rain. Great publicity stunt. Wish he or someone else could have done that again here.
But seriously, Davawenyos are concerned about this “new normal”. Traffic has increased, making commuters and passengers feel like we are becoming like Manila. Typhoons have veered to places that never had them like here.
Every city and town now is already vulnerable. Climate change has brought us to this state and disaster preparedness is a must. We are no longer the exception. That joke that the Duterte kamao will slap storms away is no longer working. Maybe someone up there thinks the political and media storms of our president and his allies are stirring things wrong. So the storm is the equalizer.
Political storms are an added burden to our folks who may be affected by calamities. Farmers and Lumad cannot farm and harvest because of how Martial Law made soldiers and paramilitary lord over their places. Not only is peace affected, but food security is affected as well. And pray, the storms will bring about more hardship to the folks.
Another political storm is this congressman who built a flyover in Tagum City highway. The cost of this flyover is staggering at P4 billion. Residents and political rivals criticized this politician for prioritizing this over flood control measures and other concerns.
Our highways in the region, whether north-bound or south-bound have always suffered from cracks after heavy rains. Take the case of the roads in Davao del Sur. One wonders how these roads are doing after Chedeng running rough shod over this.
One wonders also are new highway and bridge projects are heavy-duty to withstand the weather.
It seems what is needed is not just disaster preparedness, but also political preparedness. Like, how are we folks prepared to take the role of vigilance and democracy, and our elected officials on their part be held accountable and transparent of their service?
Guess the “pagbabago” is still finding its place in our country still.