Gener proves destructive
Nobody had anticipated that typhoon Gener would do a lot of damage to many parts of the country. Actually, as pointed out, it was the habagat that helped generate so much rain and gusts of wind that toppled trees and crested whirlwinds that aggravated the southwest monsoon.
In Negros Occidental alone, Gener and the habagat left behind some P5.6 million in palay losses, and destroyed fishing boats. These do not include the number of houses and school buildings damaged by whirlwinds and sea surges.
In Metro Manila, the damage was more extensive with many cities under water and massive destruction. So with Central Luzon and Southern Luzon such as Cavite, Batangas and other areas near Manila.
Until yesterday, the danger was more massive destruction of lowland areas with several dams in Luzon reaching their reservoir levels to the limit when it becomes necessary to open the slides for the excess water to flow out.
What are some of the lessons learned? First, there is imperative need to repair damaged or silted rivers and rid their banks of illegal settlers. And, the case in Malabon the immediate repairs of dikes and drainage system. Otherwise, the communities will remain under water most of the time with the population in crisis.
And, as the DPWH points out, there is need to extend the breakwater of the Bay to prevent sea surges from further eroding and battering the boulevard.
But if there was something more inescapable, it is the fact that there is imperative need for Pagasa to be able to alert local government units to the danger of sea surges.
In short, the government must be able to reassess its damage control to prevent incidents in the future. There are still supposedly three typhoons coming into the country. And it is expected that these will grow surprisingly stronger.
And unpredictable. And the rains come in torrents. Their volume has been increasing in the last few typhoons and storms.
In short, climate change must have been responsible for these. But it is just proper contingency planning should take climate change into consideration. We cannot forever hide our heads about that. It is a fact that the climate has changed. And how it will affect our country remains to be seen, although most of these dangers can already be foreseen and anticipated.
My heart bleeds for Rep. Mercedes Alvarez. She is put in a situation where she is held responsible for what her brother, Ilog Mayor John Paul Alvarez had reportedly been involved in.
Unfortunately, although she has nothing to do with it, one way or the other, she is part of the flak on Mayor Alvarez whether she likes it or not.
Of course, she could not be a party to it, much less that she had consented to what her brother had done, if he did it. But that's how the public will judge the situation now.
So with Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez, although not discouraged from running for the gubernatorial post or reelection as vice governor, Alvarez shows in his face his worries over the case of his son.
This is something he cannot run away from. Nobody of course, links him to the case of the gun-slaying of Kabankalan RTC Judge Henry Arles.
But the most dangerous ploy was that of Philip, son of Arles when he dared Mayor Alvarez to go to the National Bureau of Investigation and submit his statement declaring his innocence.
That remains to be seen, after all, Alvarez had never been interviewed by NBI while they were investigating the three RPA-ABB members linked to the Arles' slaying.
Anyway, I think that the case will be the centerpiece of next year's election. And Alvarez will have to face the issue whether he likes it or not.
But the way he looks at it, Alvarez seems to think that former Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco may still back him for governorship despite the scandal of the case.
But that depends now on the perception of the UNA members. If they risk facing the issue, then perhaps they will vote for Alvarez to replace Marañon as UNA gubernatorial bet. But that is a $64 question.*
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