Editorial: Bracing for the worst

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Monday, May 5, 2014

MALACANAN announced it has put in place enough measures to ensure food security to prepare for the long El Nino phenomenon expected to hit starting June this year.

Saying that food security is one of the priorities of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Presidential Communication Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. in yesterday’s Sun.Star said, “Kaya kapag tinunghayan po natin ang kanilang budget sa General Appropriations Act of 2015, makikita po nating nakahanay doon ang mga kongkretong programa sa pagtiyak na magkakaroon tayo ng sapat na pagkain.”

Experience, however, tells us that preparing for the worst has never been a strength of this present administration. Being surprised is.


Thus, considering that the people who will be worst affected by what is shaping up as a Super El Nino, are our farmers and poor upland dwellers, local government units should as early as this time set up coping mechanisms and safety nets for this mostly impoverished sector.

We just have to live with the fact that the National Government is either too dense to understand what real calamity is or too huge, it cannot move fast and do the best we can.

In a recent interview, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte said the city never got any relief assistance from the national government in past disasters. So far, the city is coping, and coping well. This time, however, we have to expect a long drawn out situation that will not just push farmers to the brink of survival but will also cause prices of agricultural products to skyrocket. If indeed, the forecasted Super El Nino develops as expected.

Reviewing the past three and a half years of the present administration, we know that we will just get blamed if our people suffer the brunt of the weather phenomenon. Given that verifiable observation, where the blame is dished out to everyone except the national government, we might just as well make sure that our people are properly provided and armed against the worst so that they will not be boiling in rage when they are blamed for the plight they are expected to suffer.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 06, 2014.


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