Thursday, October 01, 2009

Flooding in Manila Not Entirely Typhoon's Fault



My heart goes out to all of those affected by this recent occurrence; however, although it can be said that the extremely heavy rains brought by Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) was the direct reason for the devastating floods in the Metro Manila region of the Philippines, it is not the original culprit of this catastrophe. I am one of those who firmly believe that the bizarre and extreme weather being experienced today is a result of global warming. However, the extraordinary flooding was more than a product of global warming. It is a manifestation of our longtime, ongoing mistakes and problems...

Pollution and Global Warming

Indeed, it is scientifically evident that global warming is occurring. If you do not believe it, read this thorough article "Global Warming: A Look at the Cause and the Future" that I wrote for college. Although I have many fond and beautiful memories of the Philippines, I also remember quite vividly its ugly side. In fact, I am reminded of a major contributor to this ugliness immediately upon stepping out of Ninoy Aquino Airport--air pollution. The streets of the Philippines are congested with vehicles that emit diesel fumes, while the chemical factories and coal-powered power plants continue to pump out toxic air waste. The volatile poisons are not only poisoning the lungs of Filipinos but it is a major contributor to global warming, which is causing calamities such as the one just experienced in Metro Manila.

Overpopulation and Poverty

But it doesn't stop there. The extreme amounts of pollution that is being produced throughout the Philippines not only contributed to global warming and the likes of Ondoy, but paired with the effects of overpopulation and poverty, it also exacerbated the flooding in Manila. The wide wealth gap in the Philippines, where the majority of the money is concentrated amongst the few elites, still exists today. The rich get richer, and the poor remain poor. And not only that, the number of impoverished Filipinos continues to rise. And what's worse, the elite are amassing wealth at the expense of the masses. Take SM mall's employee exploitation as an example, or Jollibee Foods Corporation's addictive and unhealthy foods, or how about San Miguel Corporation's liquor selling? These are some things to think about...

Poor Urban Planning and Corruption

Overpopulation and poverty (by way of the wide wealth gap) have made urban planning difficult. Yet it is corruption in the government that have caused slow or inadequate construction where it is needed. Neglect of infrastructure as well as job creation has left the metropolis with an odd-pairing of tall skyscrapers and expansive slums as well as millions of people crammed together in one dense urban jungle that even water has a hard time draining through. Inadequate flood-control mechanisms was already a problem in several areas of Metro Manila. This incident with Typhoon Ondoy is just a pronouncement of this past issue (as well as the other aforementioned problems) and hopefully a major wake-up call.

8 comments:

Eibhlin said...

Hi, great and insightful piece... fact remains though that people need help. I donated to the World Food Programme - takes a little to make a difference: https://www.wfp.org/donate/ondoy

taympers said...

tama ka, di lahat kasalanan ng bagyo ang pagbaha. korekekekekekek ka dyan.

Everlito (ever) Villacruz said...

ganun din ang dahilan sa ibang lugar, ang kapabayaan sa kalikasan.

Walongbote said...

That was so devastating but I know God will help us to start again.. Lets just thanks that we are lucky that were still alive.
Nice to visit my co n0minee for the PBA. Gudluck to us.

kumagcow said...

Well your sentiments are true Mr Coconuter... nothing different from any Filipino for that matter. Though for any standard outside of the country you would always consider every part of the metro uninhabitable... but hey, you and I can only do much... if people in the government and the Philippines do what they are supposed to do, things would have been easier... what can you do if disaster relief is the disaster?! right?!

dodong flores said...

I agree. There's nothing else we could blame for the calamities that recently happened except us, the people who don't have any concern towards the environment...

Katz said...

David... you are absolutely right. Typhoon is not entirely to be blamed. Even in Baguio, we have a garbage problem and overpopulation. Houses built in areas prone to landslide..

There should be a plan. Because I am afraid that probably the worst has yet to come.

Anonymous said...

Filipinos are still a rare breed. Manuel L. Quezon quoted he favors a Phil. gov't run like hell by Filipinos. Ninoy Aquino maintains the Filipinos are worth dying for. Rizal loved the Phil. so much he bids Adios Patria Adorada. The new generation is the product of 400 years Spanish rule & 4 decades of American conquest. Let the dead past bury its dead. The Phil. is still a God fearing country despite all odds. Mabuhay!

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