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UP shows the way

Good news has been in short supply in the sad aftermath of Supertyphoon “Yolanda,” but here’s a report that blazes a small trail for helping students in need. As a means of offering relief to its students from devastated Eastern Visayas, the University of the Philippines is waiving collection of tuition from at least 30 students who have cross-enrolled in UP Los Baños, in order to allow their families breathing room to take stock of their situation and begin the daunting process of rebuilding. Additionally, three students from UP Tacloban will be given free accommodation in UPLB dormitories. And UPLB Chancellor Rex Cruz has also called for pledges to cover the students’ meals for a semester.

Posted: November 30th, 2013 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

A literal relief drive

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I’m sure I won’t remember their faces, nor will they remember mine. Never more than an hour together, never any face time, never much conversation. My hands were only on the wheel, eyes only on the road. Our interaction was limited to me opening my car, popping the trunk, and getting them to their destination. A few directions given here and there, and some small talk about the distance I was driving—nothing more.

Posted: November 30th, 2013 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Let’s do this right

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We cannot keep making the same mistakes. “Yolanda” was not the Philippines’ first encounter with a category-5 typhoon. In 1990, Cebu and other provinces was hit by “Ruping” (international name: “Mike”), which left damage worth P10.8 billion and a death toll of more than 700.

Posted: November 21st, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Lament

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The incredibly—or miraculously—providential thing, the dazed survivors would say, was that it was a holiday. There were no classes, there were no open offices, there was no hustle and bustle that went with the normal workday. Or else a lot more people would have died. A lot more people would have had stone and concrete tumble over them. A lot more people would have been buried under the rubble. A lot more people would have been trampled on the violently shaking streets.

Posted: October 17th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Meditation on earthquakes

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Active geological faults, or fractures in the Earth’s crust that show movement over time, have been known to cause most earthquakes.

Posted: October 17th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The 2013 we face

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We begin the new year with a mixed bag of goodies and booby traps. And, hey, before you raise your eyebrows too quickly and too high, this is a good place to start. Before, we just came from booby trap to booby trap – in all nine years of Gloria.

Posted: January 3rd, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Viewpoints | Read More »

Disasters and the poor

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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.

Posted: December 13th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Survival

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Change subject, if only out of an instinct for survival.

Posted: December 13th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Typhoon ‘Pablo’: ‘Grim reality check’ on natural disasters

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.

Posted: December 13th, 2012 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

When development is good for the environment

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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.

Posted: September 10th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Political ecology of migration and climate change

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The record-breaking severity of the recent natural disasters in the Philippines demonstrates the economic and humanitarian consequences of climate change. Though the country’s physical geography—its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire and the typhoon belt—contributes to the risk factors associated with living in the Philippines, social factors also add to these natural crises. For [...]

Posted: December 31st, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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