I take the recent flooding in the Philippines personally, not only because it caused so much inconvenience, not only because it involved evacuated relatives who lost properties, and not simply because it made me part with a small amount of money which represents a big chunk of my lifetime savings, but more importantly because of bigger reasons which though externally distant feels more like one with proximity to me .
I do not simply take it personal that power failure, food shortage, worsened traffic, epidemic and all other things that I despise in this already miserable world would further complicate my burdens but that further and beyond all these lies the original sin of this damned lives of ours.
The deluge brought about by the back-to-back typhoon cum flood brought out the best in Pinoy spirit and the worst in Philippine state of affairs and demands that the issue of calamities and natural disaster be finally raised to a higher discourse and not simply get buried in the mud and debris of the aftermath.
When the extent of devastation and its frequency of occurrence undeniably increases it is not correct to view the disaster as simply a charity issue where every conscience responds with a token donation and volunteer work.
The masses of poor people are always the worst hit by any calamity owing to their sub-human living conditions — living in their makeshift houses in flood-prone areas — and lack of resources to restart their lives. It is necessary that direct government responsibility be stressed as it is the chief overseer of the country’s affairs. It demands of accountability as the state and its apologists try to obscure the issue.
But this should not stop at government action, reaction or inaction.
Beyond its response or lack of it to the calamity, it should be made to answer for the laws it passes and the policies it upholds not only about disaster preparedness but also relative to the overall economic and political system it protects that exploits the people and condemn them to poverty — making them suffer the most during natural disasters.
Further beyond this is the mother issue of climate change, a wanton destruction of our fragile atmosphere by the corporations of rich industrialized countries, chief of them the US, whose greed for profits not only destroyed our environment but exploited the peoples of the world as well.
The global capitalist order has caused so much poverty and destruction through wars and climate change that its criminal record against humanity warrants a deluge by the people more ferocious than the ones the exploiting countries have caused nature to produce.
This has been causing me serious anxiety and sleepless nights, so I take climate change personally.