Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Age of Stupid 2

The strong rains brought floods that exposed a weak state and a weak republic. Let me add to that. The floods also exposed what we suspected before, the weak candidate of the administration will be a weak leader too. A blog exposed that the coordination efforts of the National Disaster Coordination Council was a disaster. A television footage of an NDCC meeting at the height of the relief efforts showed the military generals with heads bowed in shame because the NDCC was ineffective.

Meanwhile, life goes on in San Juan. We have always been in the forefront of flood stories before, but we take a backseat now despite the heavy damage Ondoy brought because other places were more devastated.

The photo at left shows the scene in front of our house four days after the flood. Contrast that with the other photo showing the actual flood in its early hours. The photo was taken around 1:30pm. The flood was deepest at around 7:00pm, when it was 2.5 ft more than the 1:30 level.

It took a while before things got a semblance of normality. But the people living under the bridge near SM Centerpoint (Sta. Mesa) were back as soon as the flood subsided. I observed them returning to their abode on the 27th, the day after the flood. The pictures, taken on the 29th, indicates that they have washed their clothes, salvaged their belongings and have started to move on. The SM high rise condominium complex in the background is less than 100 meters away.

There are hundreds of other households living near esteros, under bridges, and on other waterways. They clog the canals not only with their waste but with their very presence. They endanger their lives with every coming of the rains.

But how does a weak state implement existing laws against settling on these places?

It doesn't. This is the age of stupid.

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