Philippines in 2013: Year of disasters!

Philippines in 2013: Year of disasters!

Manila : Philippines | Dec 19, 2013 at 9:10 PM PST
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FILIPINOS are about to welcome 2014, leaving behind 2013 with some sad memories. One case in point is the onslaught of monster typhoon “Yolanda” in Central Philippines that killed more than 6,000 people. The killer typhoon unleashed its wrath in the early morning of November 8. As of this date, more than 1,000 people are still missing.

Killer typhoon “Yolanda” struck while the provinces of Bohol and Cebu were recuperating from harsh effects of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that occurred October 15. After the quake that also killed hundreds of people, Director Renato Solidum Jr. of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said there was no indication that it can cause a tsunami since its origin was inland.

True enough. But more than 1,000 tremors were recorded after the onslaught of the quake, damaging several properties and structures, including centuries-old churches, in Bohol, particularly in Loon and Loboc towns. The provinces of Bohol and Cebu were immediately declared under a state of calamity because of its mammoth damage to lives and properties.

After these twin nightmares, prices of petroleum products played see-saw again in mid-December. While most of the Filipinos were trying to hurdle another fence of survival, nobody even wants to talk about the price rate of basic commodities that was at its all-time high.

Prior to these nightmares, a P10-billion “pork barrel” (fund) scam was rocking both houses of Congress. Four senators and seven former congressmen were charged with bribery and plunder before the Office of the Ombudsman. According to the findings of the Department of Justice headed by Secretary Leila de Lima, senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Ramon “Bong” Revilla and Ruffy Biazon committed the crime in collusion with businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged brain in the multi-billion scam.

Political observers say both houses of Congress lost its honor and dignity because of this controversy that also aggravated the difficult situation of poor Filipinos who could not even have three meals a day.

China is still showing how big its muscles are as it inch closer and closer to owning a national territory. Instead of facing China squarely, the Philippines ran to international arbitration to solve this issue between two countries regardless of what else are involved. We have seen the national hero turned politician win another boxing match and we have seen Filipinas win pageants after pageants but the P10 billion question overshadows the P10 trillion.

The year 2013 started with a mass murder in Cavite. February saw a standoff between Malaysia and Datu Kiram on the celebrated Sabah claim. Who remembers the bomb blast in Cagayan de Oro last July? Are the churches demolished by the 7.2 earthquake already repaired? How many Filipinos actually died by matter of facts, in the super typhoon?

The devastated islands in Central Philippines are still recovering from the onslaught of “Yolanda” and the 7.2 magnitude earthquake. We all know that natural disasters are not manmade and that environmental care and issues are another topic seemingly unrelated to Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and Development Acceleration Program (DAP). Zamboanga province in Southern Philippines just experienced rebellion while celebrities have posted viral videos of sex scandals.

It’s almost Christmas. But who wants to rejoice when some island folks still do not have food and shelter? How many Filipinos actually died by matter of facts, in the super typhoon?

Let’s wait for 2014 to post more questions!

OmerOscarAlmenario is based in Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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