Wednesday, December 01, 2004


today, i woke up to the news that a lot of people died due to typhoon winnie. the hardest hit were in the provinces of aurora quezon and part of nueva ecija. dswd says about 300 already died. the national coordinating council lists only about half.

typhoon winnie was mostly rain. heavy rains, yes. but actually not too heavy to cause so much casualty. it was because of flash floods. these areas could no longer hold heavy rains, being denuded of trees. a day of continuous rain is enough to trigger a killer flash flood. this was not the order of things before. half of the year is rainy in this part of the globe since the time of abraham. but there were no flash floods because water would seep into aquifers held by forests. forests are gone. gone to logging. gone to mining.

the media is blaming "illegal logging." this is not true. illegal logging does not denude forests, because illegal loggers don't cut trees as much. the legal ones do. they haul thousands of trees in months. they have equipments. they have labor. they have permit. blame it to LEGAL loggers.

another culprit are the LEGAL miners. most mining in the country are open pit mining. being so they remove the forest cover to dig into the mines. the government encourages mining because of the suppossedly high financial returns in terms of taxes, investments and labor. after decades of mining in the philippines, where are those financial gains? can anybody cite an instance where the mining industry has uplifted the economic life of the the country--or even the locality where the mining is? there is none. and yet the government, particularly this neda secretary neri who should be at the payroll and graces of mining companies, is doing all it can to propagate mining activities.

while wealthy loggers and miners are enjoying--or are they?--their wealth, people are dying. and most of us are bystanders!

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