HEADWAYS have unquestionably been achieved in disaster-preparedness in Pangasinan and efforts towards reducing risks are continuing. Just last week, the provincial government, through the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC), conducted the first tsunami drill at Barangay Tobuan, Labrador as the culminating activity for the National Disaster Consciousness Month celebration in July.
The provincial government’s initiatives should not make officials of city and municipal governments simply thankful and then sit complacently, happy to just take the cue from the Espino administration. Instead, local government units (LGUs), inspired by the leadership of the capitol, should undertake themselves disaster management plans and programs in their respective communities.
Of all the natural disasters that threaten Pangasinan, flooding has been the most pervasive. Floods now appear to be a normal occurrence every rainy season and it does not necessarily take a typhoon to get the water rising. In Dagupan, the high tide alone puts parts of the city knee-deep in filthy water.
LGUs, no matter how far they have stretched their budget, need to prioritize and invest in new studies and research in geohazard so that a master plan for both the medium and long terms can be drawn. It is necessary if real and sustainable progress is hoped to be achieved because recurrent floods hurt the economy. Millions are lost in investments and infrastructures every time it floods, especially in agri and aquaculture which remain the biggest sectors in Pangasinan. Furthermore, the public, especially the children, face health risks as water-borne diseases are more easily spread and breeding areas for disease-carrying mosquitoes build up.
Water, surely, is life. But too much of it in the wrong places – which is what flood is – and all too often certainly spells destruction.
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WHY the fuzz over President Aquino’s recent tirade against Noli de Castro, the former vice president of the Philippines? Since this is now a free country, free speech is guaranteed by the Constitution.
However, timing is of primary import when that right is to be exercised. When Mr. Aquino verbally hit De Castro in public last week, the president was a guest at an anniversary bash to mark ABS-CBN’s smashingly successful TV Patrol program being anchored no less by De Castro.
Freedom of speech was at work, yes, when Mr. Aquino did what he did. But, alas, in its observance, simple etiquette, if not ethics, was breached. Aren’t guests supposed to behave at all times in front of their hosts? Certainly, even the Chief Executive isn’t exempted from this rule that is as old as Christianity.