ONLY IN understanding the past can we be prepared for the future and understand what comes, for history repeats itself.
That was the lesson learned from super typhoon Yolanda. Everybody, especially in Tacloban, was no longer complacent.
The Aquino administration prepared days before the arrival of typhoon Ruby. I learned that evacuation centers were readily in place and relief goods were available to evacuees. This is a good sign that our government’s response to warnings from our Weather Bureau is quicker too.
The more-than-a-million evacuees must bear in mind, that dole outs become relevant for some time but not every time. These evacuees have to understand that the situation is temporary and not to permanently rely on the government for assistance. The case in point is during the aftermath of the Zamboanga crisis. The evacuees were still there at the grandstand waiting and hoping that the local officials will continue to supply them for their subsistence. Is this good? American politician Mike Huckabee said, “It is easy to take a stand, governance is harder.”
Barangay Captain Leonida Goc-Ong of Estaca, Compostela in the Province of Cebu, spent days prior to the landfall of the super typhoon Ruby, monitoring danger zone areas and spent time convincing residents to evacuate. This is what I consider an “unnecessary undertaking” as these informal settlers already know that it is dangerous to establish residency along riverbanks. Gahi ug ulo (hardheaded) is the right reference for these kinds of people who simply refuse to obey law and order. The number of evacuees given temporary subsistence could be lowered and thus saving money for the government had the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) strictly imposed danger zones regulations. Our resources should not be depleted because of unnecessary spending.
We were prepared for Ruby. In consonance with this preparedness is the Advent season wherein we, as a predominantly Catholic nation, also have to be prepared for the coming of the Lord.