Beggared By Nature And Pummeled by Ineptitude; Misuse of Calamity Funds Next?
This is our thoroughly depressing state of affairs, with Philippine society’s status as international panhandler spotlighted by the United Nation’s own appeal for $ 7-4M in disaster donations for us.
Don’t get me wrong, there is no ‘automatic’ dishonor in that.
But what’s appalling is how our government put on show its ‘culture of unpreparedness’ despite its constant chest-thumping about pro-active hazard mapping and such.
Any wonder why there’s a call for the abolition itself of the National Disaster Coordinating Council given the revelation that it was caught napping in the critical 48 hours of storm Ondoy dumping a month’s worth of rains over Metro Manila in just a 12-hour period!
This report captures the NDCC debacle:
Uncoordinated disaster: The first 48 hours of Ondoy
Two cases where this writer had close proximity to are the ordeal residents of Barangay Sta. Lucia in Novaliches Quezon City and the 14 barangays of Talim Island in Laguna De Bay went through.
It took the posting of SOS appeals on Facebook and other socnets to mobilize help for the, notable of which was the immediate action from US Ambassador Kristie Kenney and tireless work by the PhilippineNational Red Cross Rizal Chapter.
(U.S. Eembassy Manila Photo)
Ambassador Kenney lost no time calling out a US Navy Sea Knight helicopter which undertook the first survey flights over Talim and then proceeded to deliver relief supplies.
I disdain finger-pointing and ranting, but sometimes it seems that’s the only way for our own government to be slapped into action, delayed as it already is.
Now in an effort to save face we are being told the calamity declaration will be in force for one whole year, conveniently spilling over into the campaign period for the 2010 election.
Where’s the rub, you ask?
Well. we may now witness how this calamity declaration could open the floodgates for rampant abuse of calamity funds for supposed ‘emergency procurements’ and ‘negotiated/no bidding contract awards’ to favoured suppliers characterized by under the table arrangements where corruption will mortgage EVEN THE TABLE.
So you could witness disastrous lightning hitting us twice or even thrice with public coffers empties of calamity funds diverted or stolen for political ends in 2010!!!