BY ED LIBRANDA
Typhoon, and more typhoons
Devastating typhoons just for November 2020 have left the island of Luzon feeling the wrath of nature in Metro Manila, in the Bicol Region, and lastly in the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, and the Ilocos Region.
Typhoon season has brought sadness in the minds and hearts of the Filipino people where residents died of drowning, electrocution, people buried together with their homes by the ravaging flow of mud and overflowing rivers.
It has been this way during typhoon season in the Philippine regularly, agricultural lands, and fishery business is affected by the onslaught that has brought havoc to the Filipino people.
Damage to the Philippine infrastructure amounting to P480 million has been lost.
Still, the Philippine government has not. at the moment, find a way to strengthen the warnings coming from the Philippine Weather Service.
Again, as we have previously seen and observed, different government agencies have banded together, the PNP, Philippine Coast Guard, and the Philippine Army, and not to mention other volunteer services such as the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA), the Civilian Relations Service (CRS) of government agencies were deployed in the search and rescue operations of the typhoon victims.
This has become a way of life in the Philippines during typhoon season where we have seen the damage caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Internationally known as Haiyan). Hardly hit as we all know is the city of Tacloban, where more than 4,000 men, women, and children perished, buildings were reduced to rubles, almost similar to the city of Hiroshima in Japan when the atomic bomb was dropped in 1945 to force Japan to surrender to the United States during World War II.
But what is more important is the catastrophic damage these typhoons have brought to its people and the government.
No one and nobody can ever fight nature. But technology, that of climate change, can alter the course of nature by way of strict implementation of laws against illegal logging, reforestation to control soil erosion, riprap, terracing, contour plowing, and fencing.
Construction of levees around the Cagayan River might be a wishful thinking but this was done in the 1950s precisely to avert the flooding of the Mississippi River. I can still vividly remember Hurricane Katrina in 2005, particularly in New Orleans, Louisiana, in which thousands of deaths and billions in damage were recorded by the U.S. government.
Also, is it necessary to open up the Magat Dam and release water, 2-3 days before the landfall of typhoon "Ulysses" which caused the massive flooding in Cagayan and Isabela?
This is just one question that should be answered by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) whether the NIA management has followed proper protocol in releasing water from the Magat Dam's reservoir.
Damage has been done to these two provinces, Cagayan and Isabela. No one can bring back the lives lost in this tragedy, and the economic dislocation it has brought to the Philippine government.
Will President Duterte succeeds in his effort to strengthen the structure of his administration, despite his ongoing drive to fight corruption in the government, and other perennial problems that have beset any administration, I believe President Digong with his iron claw can face the challenge head-on and emerge triumphant before his terms end in 2022, and let Inday Sara, mayor of Davao City, his daughter by his first wife, succeed him for the next 6 years.