Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chaos in Metro Manila after Basyang hits

Let's call a spade a spade, shall we?

The Philippine weather bureau failed to inform government agencies of the possibility of Typhoon Basyang actually hitting Metro Manila. This information is crucial. It could have prompted the national leadership to mobilize state agencies for immediate emergency response. People crucified PAG-ASA yesterday for failing to do its simple job of informing this possibility. Therefore, when President Noynoy Aquino berated them publicly, it was justified.

PAG-ASA is the first agency in our government's risk reduction strategy. How will government react with promptness if we give forecasts that are not as accurate as desired? Twenty people died in the process and scores were injured. 

Worst actually is the failure of MERALCO to provide a better risk reduction solution. Imagine, it plunged the entire island of Luzon into total systemic breakdown. Everything stopped. 

There was total chaos in the streets last night. There were no traffic enforcers, no traffic lights and obstructions filled the streets.

It was like the entire state machinery broke down.

I am sure we not only lost 20 lives, we lost billions of pesos worth of economic opportunities yesterday.

Government must come out with a better risk reduction strategy.

We all know that our country is disaster-prone. Government must prioritize crafting a better risk reduction plan.

There must be an agency of government that will continue to function effectively even in crises. It does not augur well that even Malacanang suffered from blackouts yesterday. It revealed how weak we are as a government.