Philippine News: Is The Philippines Better Prepared For Super Typhoon Parma?
As I write this, news of super typhoon Parma (Pepeng to the Philippines) is on its way bringing a devastating 200+ km/h winds. Weather reports have said that this super typhoon could become even more devastating than tropical storm Ketsana (Ondoy to the Philippines), and we’ve already witnessed the destruction left behind by Ketsana.
The Philippines was shocked by Ketsana, and no one was ever prepared for what was to happen with the massive flooding throughout various parts of Metro Manila and other areas that killed nearly 300 people, left half a million people homeless, and destroyed so much property.
When the Ketsana floods struck, rescue operations were at a snail’s pace, and the Philippine government was indeed ill-equipped to deal with such a disaster. Even now, nearly a week after Ketsana struck – the process of rescue and relief is difficult.
However, when super typhoon Parma hits the Philippines, I believe that the Philippines will be prepared. In fact, the Philippine government and its leaders have already taken the necessary precautions to assure the safety of the Philippines:
1. PAGASA is ready. PAGASA has already recognized the arrival of Super Typhoon Parma, and has Filipinized it as Super Typhoon Pepeng. This is important to protect our own cultural identity lest we give in again to any kind of colonialism. This strategy to rename the Super Typhoon Parma to Pepeng is also essential in confusing the foreigners abroad when we seek for calamity aid. This is done so that the Philippine Government can seek international financial aid for Super Typhoon Parma, but to show the Philippines that there is no support for Super Typhoon Pepeng in the accounting books. It also works vice-versa – that when they account for the relief for Pepeng, that aid can be easily misplaced to the Parma fund. As an example, a $100 donation to the International Parma Relief Fund will show up as a $5 donation to the Oplan Pepeng Relief Fund, because in essence those are two different funds bearing two different names. So yes, PAGASA is ready.
2. The Philippine National Red Cross is ready. In fact, PNRC Chairman Senator Dick Gordon is already on stand-by in one of 22 rubber boats complete with a team of videographers and photographers to document his selfless action of rescuing the helpless victims of super typhoon Parma. In fact, even before the storm hits, PNRC Chairman Dick Gordon already has his victims rescued, and the two disabled elderly women bearing twin babies is on standby with him on the rubber boat as well.
3. The MMDA is ready. MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando has already admitted that the insufficient drainage and irrigation due to the garbage from recent typhoon Ketsana/Ondoy was his fault. That way when super typhoon Parma/Pepeng hits, then he will no longer be held liable since he already admitted to his blunder.
4. Philippine Congress is ready. Philippine Congress is already on standby to make speedy enactment on laws while everybody else is busy doing relief operations. During typhoon Ketsana/Ondoy, pro-administration Representatives were able to railroad the impeachment complaint due to the absence of opposition Representatives. This time, the pro-administration will be ready to railroad the Reproductive Health Bill among other things.
5. The Local Water Utilities Administration is ready. The LWUA Chairman Prospero Pichay is making sure that all the water utilities will be working to provide uncontaminated water for the victims of Super Typhoon Parma. In fact, LWUA Chairman Prospero Pichay had also prepared a lavish seven-course feast, consisting of baked musselss, lechon, kare-kare, chicken barbecue and salpicado in commemoration of the LWUA’s 36th anniversary during the height of Typhoon Ketsana/Ondoy, but was only able to feed a handful of victims that included President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and political adviser Gabriel Claudio among others.
6. Henry’s Catering Service is ready. Many Filipino citizens around Metro Manila have been doing their part in preparing meals and packing relief goods to help out the half a million homeless Filipinos, who weren’t able to eat for several days since they were waiting to be rescued. However, Henry’s Catering Service has been prepared to cater to the meetings of the National Disaster Coordinating Council connected with relief operations for typhoon Ondoy. Henry’s Catering Service is also responsible for the quick response in putting together the lavish feast for the 36th anniversary celebration of the LWUA among other feats.
7. The National Disaster Coordinating Council is ready. They improved their rubber boat count from 22 to 30, and have increased the number of lifevests for their office by 10.
8. Congressman Mikey Arroyo is ready. His stockpile of tequila is unmatched.
9. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is ready. In fact, she’s been the most prepared of everyone. Even before typhoon Ketsana/Ondoy hit, she had already put aside some cash for emergency situations. Considering her very diligent experience in putting aside funds for a rainy day, you know for sure that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is well prepared. Certainly, should Super Typhoon Parma/Pepeng cause an unparalleled disaster to the Philippines, she has prepared her emergency kit, made sure her valuables and loved ones (not necessarily in that order) are taken care of, and that she is ready to evacuate if need be. In fact, we should all emulate her example and also be prepared.
How about you? Are you prepared?