By Randy David
Of the first images of the devastating power that Supertyphoon “Yolanda” bore as it barreled through the Visayan islands, what struck me most was the grainy footage of the frenzied swaying of chandeliers in an old cathedral in Leyte whose roof was torn piece by piece by the howling wind. Throughout the day, television stations had seemed hard-pressed to show scenes of massive destruction that somehow would match the worldwide attention Yolanda had garnered even before it made landfall.
By Cielito F. Habito
With the series of calamities that hit us lately, both man-made (the Zamboanga City violence) and natural (the Bohol earthquake), I’ve been asked what impact these would have on our economy. The question is usually posed in terms of impact on gross domestic product (GDP), especially in the context of the stellar economic growth we have been experiencing this year so far. I see the question as misplaced because GDP is hardly the right measure to assess the cost of disasters, even if one defines “cost” in its purely economic dimension—and we all know that costs go well beyond economic. To be sure, the economic costs would be substantial. Infrastructure damage inflicted by the Bohol earthquake will run into hundreds of millions (possibly billions) of pesos, and damage to lives and property, while defying accurate measurement, is likely to be well over that. In Zamboanga City, damage to lives and property has no doubt been staggering, not counting the tremendous damage to the social fabric itself. Indeed, economic costs are a mere fraction of the total negative impact that such calamities pose on people’s well-being.
We’ve heard something like this before. Of hard rain never before experienced. Of flooding so severe it strains the memory to recall a precedent. Of the extent of devastation so wide it is both awesome and awful.
By Edilberto C. de Jesus
The year 2012 was a good year, government officials, academics, and business executives, both foreign and Filipino, agreed. Objective indicators sustained the consensus view.
By Randy David
The devastation caused in Mindanao by Typhoon “Pablo” is, for now, largely measured by the number of dead, injured and missing people. The number of recovered bodies has reached 714, says the NDRRMC. About 900 more are reported missing. Thousands of others suffer from wounds and various forms of injury, not to mention deep trauma, but only a few can be attended to in clinics and hospitals. The scale of the destruction is becoming clearer as the attention shifts to the staggering number of families who have lost their homes and their livelihood. The prospect of starvation and disease looms before them.
By Conrado de Quiros
Change subject, if only out of an instinct for survival.
The effects of Typhoon “Pablo” in Mindanao revealed to the nation what can happen when Nature’s wrath is coupled with unabated extraction of natural resources. Hundreds of people were killed after flash floods, accompanied by fallen trees and boulders, swamped entire communities in Compostela Valley. Hundreds of others remain missing.
By Neal H. Cruz
The recent floods spawned by the monsoon rains that hit Metro Manila and parts of Central Luzon have triggered widespread finger-pointing. Many were quick to blame the squatters who had built their shanties along the banks of rivers, creeks and estero. The problem has become an urban nightmare prompting the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and its 16 cities and one municipality to agree to relocate some 100,000 squatter families by 2016. But who is to blame for the spread of squatter colonies? Poverty and that stupid Lina Law which should be repealed.
Following the recent calamities that struck Mindanao, I have come across many articles calling on the government, its agencies and even President Aquino to act so that such disasters may be avoided or minimized in the future. I don’t have anything against these calls, I just wish to point out that we can have an effective government provided we, citizens, help in pursuing its goals.
Quite often, the morning after dawns radically different, as though what transpired in the previous day was a mere dream, or, depending on one’s circumstances, a nightmare. Thus it was in Luzon on Wednesday morning, 24 hours after Typhoon “Pedring” swept howling through it, knocking out power lines and triggering floods the likes of which [...]