Friday, October 11, 2013
This is abhorring, to say the least. The initial public reception of the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Coronado Corona and the recent expose against Senators Enrile, Estrada and Revilla was that the government was pursuing the straight path, matuwid na daan as it is called.
But it was found out that Mr. Aquino was an imbecile enough to pay out 50 Million pesos each to the Congressmen and about double that to the Senators just to impeach Corona. And now it came out that Aquino, De Lima and Napoles are no strangers at all. De Lima, the lawyer of that blob and Aquino, De Lima's boss pulling the puppet strings. So what happens now?
Again it was reported in the same internet site that these issues will be diverted. Aquino, De Lima and whoever else tagging at the butt of the big man from the palace, will create scenarios that will swing public attention towards other supposedly delicious, truly newsworthy items. But satisfying the hunger for scoops is not the only be-all of journalism. Lying over and over through their mouth pieces inside the public sector and the private media organizations in the way Goebbels did for Hitler will not necessarily sway people's attention that fast anymore. This is not the World War II era any longer.
Furthermore, for the sake of nation building and patrimony, if what Omnibus Blog says is true, the act of this government of fault-finding, witch hunt, and other Inquisition type acts, in a despairing world full of social concerns such as poverty, hunger, shortages, high oil prices, rising criminality, bespeaks of a highly deranged kind of governance. Especially so that the high-and-mighty attitude of being holier than the rest of the world is coupled with large scale ransacking of wealth of this country.
This really has got to stop and people, all you people out there, it is time, I think to be more angry, to nourish more hot emotions and hit this government with whatever little we've got. The collective effect of our small assaults will certainly give this corrupt government a big start.
Start small and start today. Remember, we have a lot to gain.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Pres. Arroyo and Sec. Teodoro: Will they measure up to Ondoy?
It’s now a wee bit sunny. The common dialogue and buzz words yesterday was a narration of one’s and others’ personal heroic effort for helping save lives with shaky voices to boot, lunod, anod, baha, flood, water and nature’s stampede, patay, ilalim, tubig, walang tubig, walang ilaw, taas ng tubig, ligtas, global warming, perwisyo, perdisyon, parusa ng Diyos, bata, dasal, matanda, babae, lampas taong tubig, walang pasok, di makaalis, hate weather, masamang panahon, kawawa, may sakit, ebakwit, evacuation center, iskul, etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.
An old woman was shouting at her supposed rescuers why they arrived so, so late. Bakit ngayong lang kayo dumating, ika niya. Di niyo ba alam, wala na kaming kain-kain? Tingnan ninyo ito, wala na nga akong panloob, o! (Why did you arrive only now? she asked. Didn’t you know we don’t have anything more to eat? Look here, I don’t even have any panties to wear!)
God would not have smiled. Like President Bush, God would have looked superlatively mystified.
Now that portion yesterday at the very middle part, up to the tail end of a disaster is always very expensive, women’s underwear considered. The president has to authorize the release of millions, up to billions of calamity funds. Down below, officials of various capacities have to spend those millions and billions due to the after effects of a calamity.
Social loss is so great. In the case of Typhoon Ondoy, hundreds, thousands, up to hundreds of thousands or even millions, of individuals will either have lost their entire belongings or even loved ones, to great floods, or else lost opportunities for income, commercial enterprise, or some other event caused by the disaster. In North Metro Manila, for example, a fire broke out in the middle of yesterday’s storm. Always in low areas where vehicles are parked on streets, these are usually crashed into one another by flood. Highly unlucky if anyone is caught in the car stampede.
When you look at the situation, you can see a lot of sensational media treatment and non-media editorializing of water and wind, humans in distress interspersed with panic over available transport assets, rescue boats, ropes, or simple raincoats, umbrellas, hats, boots, food, medical supplies. In truth, this is not the real problem.
GMA-7, RPN-9, ABS-CBN and God knows what media outlet else, made good fodder out of movie and television starlet Miss Christine Reyes who was complaining why everybody kept asking about her address but no one came to rescue her! She angrily said in between sobs, her whole family could no longer occupy all the floors of their house in Marikina City that were taken over by quietly rising waters. At least she was still successfully interviewed, with matching emote, on her house’s roof. (I would have paid good money to be the one to do that interview.)
This time everyone has to listen. This is not an unsolicited suggestion. This is looking reality straight in the eye. This is being exactly in the center of the storm. This is about the need for: monitoring, warning, controlling flood, removing rats, replanting trees, belated damage control over the decades-old central Luzon volcanic eruption and the Northern Luzon killer earthquake.
Overdue positive action and preparation is the actual problem. Behind-schedule damage control, Technology and Logistics for Forecasting, support for public warning mechanisms, many other things. The ruckus about the media sensationalized horror, and seeming panic and mass conflagration, all the talk about global warming is only that. Media hype and pure talk. Senseless consequences of past bad policy, decisions and executive action.
We are obliged to make this simple presentation of the need to provide solutions to at least five to six key areas that could help lessen the impact of a Hurricane Katrina-like situation in the country. We almost had that in Typhoon Ondoy, almost.
And remember, Hurricane Katrina left even the United States President baffled as to how that kind of disaster could ever hit one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful country in the world. Concerned scientists said they gave the warning many, many years ago about the floods. Nobody listened.
From 1990, it was already advocated with the Department of National Defense (DND) to improve the data basing, mapping and completely overhauling the obscenely obsolete system of typhoon or calamity detection, reporting and warning system.
Due to the extent of corruption in government, this correspondent bloated the final figure of damage assessment and proposed rehabilitation fund of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption and continuing work on the Baguio earthquake from a total of less than 1 billion pesos (about 777 million plus, coming from all the agencies of government) to exactly 10.5 billion pesos. 7 billion for the eruption and 2.5 billion for the ongoing rehabilitation efforts from the earthquake’s damage. Everyone raised their hands to vote for my figure to be accepted as the gospel truth about money to be allocated for a little post-disaster reconstruction, and some for private and personal consumption (otherwise called by foreigners as skim or in plain Filipino, nakaw).
While all the higher ups were surprised as to how 700 million suddenly became 10 billion, that came to be known as the Pinatubo Fund (talagang tumubo), no one seemed to have raised a voice over the remaining conflagration happening in the entire country due to the after effects of the volcanic explosion, the wide-reaching ash falls and lava overflows from Mt. Pinatubo towards the populated areas.
Until the time when the former President Corazon C. Aquino stepped down from office and then President Fidel Valdez Ramos was the sitting head of state, we continued the advocacy.
Eventually the advocacy turned to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) because under the World Bank unwritten policy, no non-military aid, loans and other form of funding could be made available to security related agencies like defense, the armed forces, police and similar public offices. This picked up once more in 1994 to 1995 and continued up to 1999.
Nothing happened to the advocacy. No one appeared to want to listen. There were enterprising quarters that took notice. In 1995, the Americans offered nominally 10 million US Dollars and subsequently 60 million dollars investment for safety in the country.
Not long after, the government-backed financially well off private sector of Belgium offered millions of dollars of funding for an Emergency Crisis Coordinating Center (ECCC) for the country and for the DOTC to be equipped with the state-of-the-art in monitoring disaster as well as transportation, communication coordination and monitoring during crisis.
No one wanted this kind of project to prosper. When Americans and Belgians are involved, unlike Japanese and Chinese benefactors, it is hard to see how one will get skim. Hmm, that word again.
Flood Control Project
Years ago, from 1986 to 1987, as Carie mentioned in 2005 in her blog post about the skimming of the money for metro manila flood control, the department of public highways was used to divert money coming from Japan to private bank accounts. The funds amounted to billions of yen, or Sixty Million United States Dollars (USD60,000,000). At the time in 1986, that was a huge sum of money anywhere in the world. Especially to the Japanese. The DPWH official in charge said, it took more than ten years to gestate and finally obtain the money from Japan. Indeed, as all official development assistance (ODA) packages go. The usual development assistance are gestated for thirty three (33), thirty seven (37) or more months, but others take longer. In case of the flood control funds, there was a regime change in the Philippines that stretched the gestation period exceedingly. But then the funds only ended up stolen or might really have been meant to be stolen in the first place.
A Japanese contractor was involved in the scheme. The Japanese are wise when granting development assistance to poor countries like the Philippines. They do not give out cash. They only give in terms of Japan manufactured products, contracted by Japanese contractors, delivered as much as possible by Japanese forwarders and the funds handled by Japanese banks. The purpose of the money (or development assistance) was to buy for the entire metro manila and suburbs, heavy duty submersible pumps, set up filtering devices, etcetera, etcetera to effectively reduce by to a large extent, the occurrence of floods in metro manila.
The anomalous scheme involved the Japanese contractor making ghost deliveries of irregularly priced (highly bloated) pumps and filter or screen materials. The funding source, the government of Japan, will pay the contractor. The contractor will give the money to Madame Cory’s representative, minus his share of the loot and become invisible (just in case trouble erupts and therefore a legal action will be brought against him and his company.)
One of the Japanese sounding names of companies that cropped up during the Madame Cory family’s guys and the DPWH was “TSURUMI”. It is not certain if TSURUMI was the actual final choice of the Madame Cory gang, but the possibility is quite high.
These pumps and filters or screens were to be placed in the sublevel sewerage network of the metropolis. Whether the DPWH people or the local government of the City of Manila as well as nearby localities within the metro area knew about it or not, there was an impediment to the laying of this flood control mechanism. Click here for more.....
2. Create a specific super body to study and manage a Calamity Monitoring and Public Warning System that will be either an adjunct of, or co-equal with the NDCC
3. Increase the capability of NDCC to provide early response during disaster
4. Create local structures and response capability to confront calamities. (In China, communities near rivers set up a system of ropes and handles from bank to bank to prevent people from drowning and dying during heavy flooding and provide access from one side of the river to the other.)
5. Restore the Flood Control Project fund and create funding for additional flood control systems not only in Metro Manila but also in many other vulnerable areas
6. Resettle many of Metro Manila’s squatters in major or minor bridges, and completely relocate all of the human rat peoples inside Sewers everywhere in Metro Manila and open up the entire sewerage system to let surface run-off water seep into the sewers
7. Stop the Forest denudation by recreating a fully armed, heavily weaponized Forest Ranger Brigade from a composite of AFP, Coast Guard, PNP and other armed services. No DENR employee shall be allowed to enter any Forest Ranger facility except to cooperate with them
8. Conduct behind schedule damage control from the following -- Baguio killer earthquake and Mt. Pinatubo eruption damage by reconstructing the landscape destroyed by eroded ash from Caraballo and other ranges and greening of the these ranges to prevent further flash flooding, erosion, avalanches and landslides
9. Heavily sanction all the illegal logging and indiscriminate dumping of toxins from mining operations from north to south and stop the syndicates that are willing and fully determined to kill their enemies and detractors by putting them in jail for life
10. Stop the killing of Manila Bay by providing solutions to the erosion, toxic dumping from point Agno down to Pasig River.
If President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Secretary Gilbert Cojuangco Teodoro listens, it will change the course of future calamities in the magnitude and scale of Typhoon Ondoy or greater. Now they are at the center of the real storm. Ondoy is not the last typhoon of 2009, but it will prove to be the benchmark of forthcoming disasters. Will Arroyo and Teodoro measure up?
Perhaps, if they are not deaf, dumb and blind and simply greedy like the late Madame Cory and rest of the others, they just might not get swaddled by dirt once the shit hits the fan.