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Problems crying for solutions

/ 11:45 PM June 30, 2011

MANY VITAL issues are begging for solutions. These have to be dealt with promptly and judiciously as well.

1. After the devastating flood caused by tropical storm “Ondoy” on Sept. 26, 2009, many suggestions were offered in various forums to avoid a similar recurrence or mitigate its impact. Sad to say, one year and seven months after, nothing concrete has been done in this direction. President Aquino should take the initiative to bring together the concerned government agencies and relevant private entities to evaluate the maze of suggestions and recommendations offered earlier and take definite steps to avoid another catastrophic flood. Valuable time has already been lost due to inaction. Action resulting from the agreed measures should start not later than mid-2011. Assistance should be sought from the Netherlands, United States, China, Japan and other countries known for their experience in controlling floods.

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2. The alarming rise in the incidence of crimes against persons should goad us, especially government, to restore the death penalty for heinous crimes. Capital punishment is the most effective deterrent that delivers the right message to the criminal mind. Civilized society has the right to defend itself with measures that effectively thwart criminality. Extreme situations call for extreme measures. The death penalty used to be part of our criminal justice system. Unfortunately, some do-gooders and bleeding hearts convinced the government to expunge capital punishment, using a convoluted interpretation of human rights. We have to restore the death penalty because the human rights of the poor and helpless victims of criminality are wantonly being trampled upon.

3. Buildings inside the Quezon Institute (QI) compound in Quezon City are reportedly structurally unsound and may not withstand the effects of a major earthquake. Reacting to this report of the Department of Public Works and Highways, the PCSO transferred to the PICC Complex along Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City. There is another side to the story. It has been bruited about even during the past administration, that a private party was interested in acquiring the QI compound and have this converted into a commercial facility. To settle the matter, once and for all, the associations of structural engineers of the Philippines, United States and Japan should be invited to undertake independent assessments of the structural integrity of the buildings. Regardless of their assessments, the property should never be converted to a commercial facility. We have enough of these already. The area can well be the site of a future second Philippine General Hospital (north of the Pasig River), a relocated Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital (the Lope de Vega site has been returned to the owner), another specialized government Medical Center, or another government institution for as long as it caters to the sick.

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—APOLONIO G. RAMOS,

42 Mindanao St.,

Marikina City

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