By Cherian K. Mathews
The closure of the 6th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) last week in Bangkok is the next big step for global and regional work toward the 3rd World Conference on DRR to be held in Sendai, Japan, in March 2015. The Asia-Pacific region has, over the past few years, borne 80 percent of the global losses resulting from disasters.
We expect local government officials to warn their constituents—as they should —about the disastrous consequences to our cities, towns and communities should a major earthquake like the one that struck Bohol or a supertyphoon like “Yolanda” hit them.
The litany of tragedies is by now a familiar one, but the calamities both natural and man-made which marred the year 2013 demand yet another, closer look; they bear critical lessons that may shape, or disfigure, the next several years.
We are confronted by three calamities: typhoons, earthquakes and the Philippine government. We are run by a government of political dynasties established by superrich families who seem not to know the real problems of this country. We are now a country earning P135 billion a year from our oil and gas fields, with enormous revenues [...]
By Rina Jimenez-David
This is the time of year when, while the post-Christmas glow has yet to fade, and the manic welcoming of the coming New Year slowly builds up, we are given a respite from celebrating. In the Filipino style, this includes moments of rest from overindulging in food, shopping, merrymaking, list-completing, spending and menu planning.