Monday, November 25, 2013

Papa Speaks: Disaster Preparedness Part1

I would like to thank my beautiful and gorgeus wife, Nerisa, for giving me a corner to write my thoughts. To all the readers of this blog, my wife and I were always sharing thoughts over dinner or whenever we feel like [most are out-of-the-blue discussions] of whatever things that is under the sun. This promotes good communication and healthy debate. To my fellow dudes lurking here, your wife is the best buddy to share your comments instead of posting your insights in the net, talk them over with your wives and you will see that you have just married a Ms. Universe, beauty and brains.

Thank God for keeping my family safe and dry for the past weeks that our country has been battered with extreme weather conditions. But, we sympathize with the victims and are always ready to send out help. Even in our own little ways, we are trying to give and share to help out the relief operations to those who are affected.

I came from Cagayan Valley, which we all know is always on the path of typhoons. AFAIR in my childhood days, Signal #3 kami palagi, suki ba. Topographically speaking, Cagayan Valley is surrounded by Sierra Madre in the east, Caraballo at the south and Cordillera on its west.  Cagayan Valley should be thankful that she has these mountains covering her. Why? If you compare it to Leyte, Leyte is more flat than Cagayan. That's why Leyte caught all Yolanda's wrath. There's no mountain range to block the waves and strong winds. It is unfortunate that this is all happening to our country.

Now, we have seen Yolanda's wrath. Needless for me to say what she had caused and what is currently happening in relief operations. But what we are seeing right now is Humanity-at-Work, and some blunders.

The Players:

1.    Yolanda - Alam na natin kung anong ginawa nya, at kung anong pwedeng gawin ng kakambal niya. When this typhoon is still brewing up, my wife and I already know that this one is BIG. I have some courses on Meteorological Sciences and Nerisa having some weather-related work before.

2.    People of the Philippines - The one who suffered most. Please unite and help one another.

3.   Government
a.    Scientists - PAGASA scientists should be given a round of applause for predicting and accurately relaying information about this phenomenon. This prompts the President to give an aired plea and warning to those who will be affected of the possible disastrous effect of Yolanda.

b.    LGU - IMHO, a President’s warning should be taken seriously. I think the information was relayed down to the LGUs of the incoming disaster. The most devastating effect of Yolanda was the storm surge. They did not expect that to come and to go a few hundred meters and not as high as 16ft. Even Tacloban’s Mayor was at the ground level and his house near the seashore when the typhoon struck experiencing the big time surge. So why did he not evacuate? Hmm…

c.    Executive - Any amount of preparation was just swiped out by Yolanda. Yes, IMO, the Government was prepared. Well, hindi ka naman makakagalaw habang bumabagyo diba? So after ng bagyo, andun dapat ung execution ng plan. But, honestly I do not know what was their plan, if there’s any. And they should not point fingers to the LGUs for being at fault, kasi nasalanta din sila. The Executive level should have placed those areas under the full control of the Office of the President immediately before and after Yolanda came since they know what is coming. And the interviews did not help, and it shows more lack of competency from the words that they said. Less words, Less mistakes.

4.    AFP – A BIG round of applause for our soldiers. Now you know how we heavily depend of our Armed Forces. (I am an AFP Modernization fanboi.) Even with a depleted fleet of aircrafts and fleet, they are the main workhorse of the relief operations, 24/7. Prof Winnie Monsod asked AFP’s report. Her article in PDI Last Nov 16th “Blame Game” narrates how the AFP manages to perform well. We have no right to blame them in any way. The disaster also unfolded the dire need to modernize our assets. It just sucks to see that it needs to have a Yolanda to realize that we are ill equipped.

5.    Media / Press - They were helpful at the beginning, offering feeds of the current situation. But with the current media-to-media conflicts happening, they're turning this unfortunate event into a circus. They are better if they keep their mouth shut kung hindi rin sila nakakatulong.

6.    The World - We are not alone. Thank you, World for lending us some help. I think we are doomed without them. Agree?

7.    Private Organizations - Everyone helps out in their own way they can. Humanity is alive.

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