The effects of Ondoy and Pepeng are long-term. As we speak, Typhoon Parma is battering the North, with its strong winds and heavy rains. Pangasinan is under heavy flooding after San Roque dam burst itself open. Benguet and the rest of the Cordillera provinces are also affected. More than 100 people have died.
The swath of destruction caused by these typhoons has brought a heavy toll on government resources. The government has asked the international community at least US$ 76 million dollars worth of aid, but with the costs of damaged properties rising still, all of us would have to face the fact that recovery might take a few more years.
This disaster will surely reconfigure the political landscape. People are desperate for someone who will provide not just leadership in the face of extreme and mounting challenges; but also, the right vision to lead this country out of perdition.
We are not asking for an Obama, nor do we need a Stalin. What we need right now is a Mao Zedong who will inspire the people to move in unison and face all these problems squarely together.
Whoever takes the cudgels for rehabilitation will win the hearts of the people, desperate for needed help. Whoever takes action in spite of extreme personal safety and dangers will win the votes of the majority.
We need not just an engineer to be able to recover; nor do we need a lawyer as our president.
We need a General who will lead the troops of change agents to rehabilitate our suffering communities.
We need a De Gaulle who will marshall both soldiers and the people towards nation-building. We start the rebuilding today, not in 2010.