Why the Philippines Will Face the Next Monster Flood

One saturday, the 26th of Septemer 2009,  a  1000mm rainfall struck the Philippines. Over a period of three days, rains were hardly ceasing, thus unkempt waterways were filled up with water. The garbage problem of manila exposed its stench as waste clogged pipes and drainage. Neck or waist high flood were the results in various areas.

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For the next 10 years it seems it is improbable for proper resolution to be made, citing several reasons.

First off is a weak view of garbage collection as a nation. Generally in the Philippines, the work of a garbage collector is not as respected and paid as it should. It is a looked down upon work. First world countries adequately pay, support and develop such ventures. If we are to avoid being the dirty Venice every so often, we may need to review the way we look at and treat garbage disposal.

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Second is Filipinos lack of trust in each other collectively. We cannot come together to agree to vacate certain flooding lowlands, and still insist on staying despite hazards. Instead of allowing these zones to be ponds or forested, we allow these to be occupied. Officials cannot be trusted to put money into true flood prevention means, such as cleaning drainage and preventing garbage non-collection.

Third is everyone flocks to metro manila. The concentrated density of people and lack of garbage disposal equal sure flood problems the next time. We may need to make means for people to have sufficient livelihood in the provinces so they don’t all force themselves to manila.

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Fourth is government officials, especially officers, aren’t made wealthy transparently. Top posts should be paid top money also, so that good people will be attracted to vie for government posts. We need to dispose of the all-around-low-pay-martyr that is usually expected of leaders. People suffer from floods as a result of the wrong people are in power.

Hopefully we may learn our lessons, as we may have another flood to learn from again.

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