Editorial: Faces of disaster


Disaster is briefly defined as a calamity, or a catastrophe, even described as a misfortune. And it seems to be happening too often in the Filipino life nowadays. Here north of the country, Benguet Province farmers were just recovering from too much inundation from almost three months of rain and then Typhoon Ompong rages thru. When farmers have recovered from a devastation like this on their own, it is said to be due to the resilience of the people or simply the ability to bounce back.

Last week, a report came that the AFP soldiers had left Dandanac and were reportedly not seen now encamped in the houses or in the village they used to be since July this year. The village folk asked them to leave and hopefully they are relieved that the soldiers have left even if it is only to the next village.

Nevertheless, such is a disaster for simple folk. Now they have to deal with the aftermath of an imposed military occupation: the trauma, especially among the children; the losses incurred from being prevented to care for their daily source of livelihood, the abandoned rice harvest and the missed planting season, the animals lost to fend for themselves, the losses of those who chose to evacuate and seek refuge out of town to avoid the military in operation, and the legal bills for cases of trumped-up charges some soldiers filed against the less fortunate of their kin who had no choice but to stay home in their militarized village. These count as another calamity.

Aside, from the depression brought by the storms and extended rainy season this year, and the threat of one’s community being militarized, there now is this forecasted super typhoon. International name Mangkhut and locally called Ompong, that trashed the northeastern towns of Cagayan Valley, Cordillera and Ilocos Norte this weekend.

While the data on the devastation wrought by Ompong is still streaming in, we, the people are again, much more on our own to save what is left, be grateful for the little assistance thrown our way and trying harder to move on. Above that, it is moving on thru the effect of the 6.4% inflation imposed on our country’s economy by imperialist neoliberal policies. Not just another calamity but the highest in 9 years, analysts say, inflation always hits the poor most.

The nationalist think-tank, Ibon (#UpholdPeopleEconomics #IBON40) says, the “Long-term solution is to strengthen domestic agriculture and Filipino industry to provide cheaper food, goods and services in the domestic market, lessen imports, and lower pressure on the peso to depreciate. Reverse the privatization or commercialization of water, power, education and health that make these services more expensive for profit. These steps the Duterte administration’s economic managers hinder due to their stubborn adherence to failed neoliberal policies.”

For us poor Filipinos, the least we can do is buy Filipino produced and made products, conserve and preserve the environment, and make our government know their only mandate is “Serve the People”! No militarization, never again to martial law, no to corruption, no cha cha, damn imperialism. # nordis.net


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