Catastrophe, Corruption and Compassion

Yolanda1Several months before the world’s worst catastrophe Typhoon Yolanda hit Tacloban, Leyte, the P’Noy government battered by three catastrophic events; the PDAF (pork barrel scam) of July, the bloody siege of Zamboanga by the MNLF’s Nur Misuari faction of September, and the 7.2, magnitude earthquake in Bohol Province of October. Then, the onslaught of the Typhoon Yolanda of November came. The destruction and devastation and lost of human lives are unprecedented. The year 2013 is the Philippine’s banner year for man’s and nature’s made catastrophe.

Because all these catastrophic events entail the cost of the victims’ rehabilitation, people could not avoid linking them to the Ten Billion PDAF (pork barrel scam). The Ten Billion pesos would help a lot in the rehabilitation. Sadly, some Senators and Congressmen together with Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind, pillaged the people’s coffer. Corruption is a catastrophe with deleterious impact on people’s mind. It has caused the people’s paranoia. Everything that the P’Noy government does now even if it is for the welfare and benefit of the people are under suspect.

One wonders, if say, Joseph Estrada or Manuel Villar won the 2010 Presidential Election. Would the PDAF controversy be out in the open? The likelihood of Janet Lim Napoles in the totem pole would remain to brandish her claim “she hold the Philippine Government in her hands.” In addition, the corrupt politicians with impunity would maintain their political status quo to cultivate the survival of their fiefdom.

When the Typhoon Basyang hit Metro Manila in 2010, P’Noy sacked Prisco Nilo, the Chief of PAGASA for his errors in forecasting the track of Typhoon Basyang and for his failure to disseminate to the public the extent of typhoon’s strength, which pummeled the nation’s capital. Moreover, P’Noy carried out the Project NOAH, a program that aims to reduce casualties during calamities by making people consciously aware before the impending catastrophe thru the use of modern technologies. As P’Noy said, “Any casualty for me is an issue,” and people felt his sincere efforts in saving lives during catastrophe.

With the sacking of the Chief of PAGASA, heads rolled since then in the various government agencies. The dawn of the new attitude in governance has begun. P’Noy fights for corruption won the admiration of the world. The Foreign Investment trickled in. The Philippines’ macro-economic fundamentals stand on solid footing. The world’s leading financial rating agencies notched up the Philippine’s Investment grade. These factors build good credential and goodwill for the Philippines in the eyes of the world.

When the catastrophic Typhoon Yolanda hit Tacloban, the LGU’s (Local Government Units) and the National Government seemed paralyze to function astounded of the unprecedented magnitude. The Government agencies shortly found themselves inutile. Immobilized of the typhoon’s initial impact, and as the government people mourned for their own kin’s death, and as nobody in authority took charge, total chaos followed. Survivors walked like zombies in the midst of destruction, dead people scattered among the debris, looting ensued, and the blame game erupted.
However, as days passed, chaos lessened when the relief goods distribution get in order and the compassion efforts coming from the different parts of the world started pouring in. The established goodwill and the credential the Philippines’ attained under P’Noy’s helm boosted that compassion from people all over the world to send in what they can.

Of course, the paranoia brought about by the pork barrel fraud lingered. The Filipinos all over the world through various social networking sites demand audit and transparencies on how, where, and when these massive donations are used.

In a catastrophe maligned by corruption, the redeeming feature is compassion.

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