Achieving Happiness

October 20, 2009

Health and infrastructure issues in the wake of Pepeng and Ondoy

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ina Alleco @ 1:13 am

Help!Lists, lists, lists all running in my head like a very, very long ticker tape. The world inside my head expands like a balloon slowly filling with helium, and I feel giddy. The lists are about needs and desires. There are so many things I want to do, things I want to happen, wish for, want; but the sorry fact is there are limits. Boundaries must be respected, limitations acknowledged. It’s far from being a perfect world, otherwise we could all do so much good and not just for our own selves but for other people, and humanity would be a few more steps closer to heaven on earth.

1. Repeal and junking of the oil deregulation law

2. Repeal and junking of the energy privatization law.

3. Repeal and junking of trade liberalization.

4. Free or substantially subsidized health care

5. Free or substantially subsidized education up to university

6. Free public housing

7. Genuine agrarian reform

8. Labor rights

9. Human Rights

10. Justice for all victims of state neglect, repression and killing.

11. Intelligent, humane and compassionate leaders with no concept of greed or personal ambition.

12.An independent and sovereign foreign policy.

Right now, though, I am very concerned about the state of the health care system. If it were a person, he would be one afflicted with so many diseases he’d be barely standing up. He pops a paracetamol tablet for migraines — the same way he relies on antibiotics for more serious complaints.

The news are disturbing. Over 700 cases of leptospirosis, and already, almost a hundred people have died. All because of the floods, and many areas remain flooded. Imagine wading and swimming through polluted water. Then imagine your own children doing the same. It’s  horrible. It’s dangerous. And now people are sick.

Besides leptospirosis, there’s cholera and the whole gamut of respiratory diseases because of the terrible living conditions in the evacuation centers. Skin diseases also proliferate.

As of this writing, there are still large areas of Pangasinan under water, and the same goes for areas in Laguna.

In the meantime, the landslides.  How horrible is it that Benguet and Baguio have run out of coffins and there’s a need to import them? Almost a hundred have died. Schools have collapsed.

I know that the positive attitude would be to work towards solutions and not to point fingers, but still, who and what is to blame?! I’ve been waiting for the anti-mining and anti-illegal logging groups to speak up. The areas that collapsed because of the massive rainfall were mountainside areas, and the houses were buried under soil and mud. There were no trees with spreading roots to hold the land together.

I’ve been reading reports about city planning. Sheesh, it’s only now that the experts are speaking up. There ARE plans to make the cities safer from floods and earthquakes and other natural phenomenon, they just haven’t been implemented because of lack of funds.


It’s no less than shocking, reports from the Department of Public Works and Highways saying that that some eight million residents in Metro Manila will still have to suffer from floods for at least ten 10 more years from flood and similar calamities because of lack of funds for infrastructure to prevent said floods.

Get real. There’s money alright, but this wretched, corrupt-to-the-bone government is spending it wrong.
Squandering is more like it.

Through the numerous financial scams and scandals the Arroyo administration has gotten itself into, a particular truth was exposed and affirmed:  there IS money, but it is not being utilized for the public good. This latest revelation of the government’s infuriating inability to address the urgent infrastructure problems of the country yet again point to corruption and twisted priorioties  as the reasons for its failures.

According to the DPWH, the government’s  estimated P82-billion flood-control projects that could have prevented killer floods caused by strong typhoons like Ondoy remain unimplemented for lack of funds. Plans to rehabilitate the damaged areas and prevent future disasters will be at a standstill for 10 more years as the projects go through the process comprised of feasibility studies, government and funding-agency approval, and bidding and construction.Nine of 15 projects that could have prevented massive flooding in Metro Manila have have not even been started.

Red tape! While people drown and their homes are submerged!

In the meantime, at least P30 billion is supposedly needed to implement the relocation of more than half a million squatter families living in danger zones, particularly riverbanks and other waterways. The Metro Manila Inter-Agency Committee on Informal Settlers, in a report submitted to the Supreme Court, said the task would involve the construction of 22,689 social housing units a year at an average cost of P3.225 billion annually to provide some 544,609 informal dwellers with decent and safer homes.

Great. And Gloria Arroyo and her sycophants gorge on steaks abroad.

Obviously, these are the things that Macapagal- Arroyo deliberately left out when delivering her State of the Nation addresses. It took Ondoy and Pepeng to force the government to admit its failures, and now it’s the Filipino people who will again suffer the consequences. There is a serious need to reorganize and restructure the government’s priorities when it comes to budget utilization. The implementation of projects that will ensure the safety and security of the populace against the ravages of natural phenomenon must be prioritized.



  1. […] Happiness warns that aside from Leptospirosis, other diseases are spreading in flooded communities and even in evacuation centers. Imagine wading and swimming through […]

    Pingback by Global Voices Online » Leptospirosis outbreak in the Philippines — November 1, 2009 @ 8:16 am

  2. […] Happiness warns that aside from Leptospirosis, other diseases are spreading in flooded communities and even in evacuation centers. Imagine wading and swimming through […]

    Pingback by Leptospirosis outbreak in the Philippines :: Elites TV — November 1, 2009 @ 11:57 am

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