PAMPANGA

Pangan: Unrest

At Close Range

PROTESTS. Mostly violent and very assertive, on different issues have been staged globally, led by Hong Kong, Venezuela and lately by Chile.

The demonstrations in Chile spurred the authorities to pull out of hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit and the COP25 climate change conference, thus causing significant damage to the South American country's tourism industry and a big blow to its national currency, the Peso.

Despite the assurances given by Chile's president Sebastian Pinera to institute structural reforms, the Chilean people still resent the country's policies on low salaries and pensions, poor public health care and education and the ever-increasing gap between the rich and poor classes, scenarios very similar to the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the robust economy of Hong Kong, which residents demonstrated against the unpopular proposed extradition bill, has suffered negative results as more tourists and investors shied away from that erstwhile vacation and investment paradise.

Before the protests, which have been going on for some time now, Hong Kong enjoyed economic prominence and growth. As a de facto province of China, its annual incomes before the upheavals, have been the envy of most developing economies. Now, Hong Kong suffers a reversal of fortune!

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Preparing for the inevitable. There is yet no instrument or system to forecast or predict the occurrence of earthquakes.

The tremors and aftershocks felt by the people of Mindanao have shaken and demoralized hordes of people who suffered immense damage on their houses and buildings and businesses.

The rescue and recovery efforts by the local governments of Cotabato and Davao have been relentless with one mayor claiming that calamity funds in his town have all been used up and called for assistance elsewhere.

No amount of preparedness, drills and trainings can offset the fear and anxiety once the great leveler-the earthquake-comes and brings about damage to everybody, including the President of the country.

There should be bills filed in Congress to address the shortage in funds and resources caused by earthquakes.


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