“As a biblical inerrantist, I believe that what the Bible teaches is true and bow to the text, including its teaching about the Flood and its universality.” William A. Dembski
By Alex P. Vidal
Hot-tempered and impatient, many Ilonggos were quick to rib their public officials by calling them “negligent” and “incompetent” each time flash floods would cascade down the city and province of Iloilo brought by monsoon rains.
They scored their public officials’ failure to come up with comprehensive plans and management on flood control, and for their lack of foresight and preparations to deal with natural calamities.
While we have an abundance of neglectful and even incompetent public officials, our problems on flood control and other disasters won’t be solved overnight if the only quick-fix solution we believe to be most effective is to train the guns and crucify them only because we are irritated and inconvenienced.
Much as they would like to solve this gnawing problem, most of them just don’t have the capacity and extra time and energy to deal with floods, which requires devotion of their full attention, experience and technical expertise.
Most of our public officials become allergic to media interviews when the people start to become restless and hell-bent to wring their necks for being the convenient scapegoats.
Take note that most of our public officials are politicians and not urban planners. They are good in debates and SOPs (standard operating procedures, the euphemism for kickbacks on projects), not on dredging of dams, building of manholes and dikes, pipelines, water canals, and other technical works.
Many of us may argue that the public officials’ job is merely ministerial and they can always legislate or enact ordinances and laws, or issue executive fiats, to that effect, to commence the urban planning and widening of waterways and other infrastructure projects that can help address the flood problem. The tasks are inherent in their powers under the local government code.
But knowing the mentally of most politicians nowadays, worrying about gargantuan problems that would eat up a big bulk of their time and energy would be the least of their concerns.
After all, our politicians have fixed terms and aren’t married to their positions. They come and go and are normally at their best only when elections are near or when they are trying to deodorize their tattered image.
Floods, like power blackouts, have been the perennial problems of the Ilonggos. There is no escape, actually, whether we like it or not.
Geographically, Western Visayas sits in the area where typhoons from the east, west, north and south poles regularly pass, thus there is no way for us to be spared from their wrath. Plus Iloilo is a highly urbanized city with a large population. In thickly populated areas, garbage problem that clog the drainage is one cause of flash floods, not to mention the wanton cutting of trees in the province’s mountainous areas.
As city residents, we are living witnesses since high school days how flash floods rattled the commuters and pedestrians that are mostly students and office workers caught flat-footed while on their way to schools and offices vice versa; how traffic disrupted important schedules and destroyed appointments.
Floods also wreak havoc on business establishments that lose substantial amount of income when potential customers are stranded and unable to go shopping.
Instead of pointing accusing fingers at our public officials it is best if we do our own share in the preventive measure. After all, an ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure.