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Metro Opinion

Blame Game

account_balanceMetro Opinion account_circleLeigh Bellosillo chat_bubble_outline0 Comments

Others call it resilience. I call it a litmus test of our strength and faith in the God Almighty.

I have enough of the Filipino resiliency which is likened to bamboo that sways wherever the wind blows. Our resiliency was once again tested with the havoc caused by Typhoon Ulysses.

It seems like a congratulatory note is in place for the synergy displayed by the national government, the private sector, local government officials, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the Filipino people for disaster preparedness.

It started with moderately strong Siony, which quickly made her presence felt.  Then there's Rolly, the world's strongest storm this year.  It was followed by Tony and most recently there was Ulysses. The cumulative rain or water brought by all of them, especially Ulysses, sent most of our kababayans spinning in flood, reminiscent of Typhoon Ondoy that submerged low-lying areas of the metropolis.

Most affected were Marikina in Metro Mania, Sorsogon in the Bicol Region and Cagayan and Isabela provinces in the north. One resident described the flooding in Cagayan as “like a thief in the night.”

While they were asleep, water was released from Magat Dam which submerged vast swaths of Cagayan Valley, the worst in the last four decades. Cagayan Valley is naturally a catch basin as water from nearby watersheds flows towards the valley, which is also the rice granary of the country. 

Isabela Governor Rodolfo Albano, in an interview on national television, said the local government was “prepared but was caught by surprise with the magnitude of the flooding.

It is during this time when the good samaritan in us, the bayanihan spirit, innately springs out.  Fund-raising or goods donation such clothing and other basic needs follows. One of the groups doing this philanthropic activity is the League of Filipino Students tagged to be a left-leaning organization.

LFS is accepting donations for victims of Rolly and Ulyysses, which CNN tweeted and retweeted, to highlight its signifcance. The re-tweet is necessary as it has awakened our kindred souls and encouraged other civic organizations to respond.

We’ve seen in the footage the sufferings of the typhoon victims. Can’t we just let go of the finger pointing, the blame game, the uncalled for innuendoes, and the overtures.  

Can we do away with the verbal exchange and focus on the more important issue--lending a helping hand to the victims? In the words of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, “each crisis presents opportunities and challenges.”

In these uncertain times, hope seems to be distorted, blurred among the victims. However, the good Samaritans are responding--the various Rotary Clubs, NGOs, and the private sector such as the MVP Foundation and the untiring industrialist Ramon S. Ang, president of San Miguel Corporation (SMC).

With the slogan "ready to help", SMC vows to “no let-up” in its efforts to deliver food donations to thousands of families across 22 provinces and cities.  Its total donations for typhoon victims have reached P15 million to date and rising.

SMC is a silent worker, filling the gaps, to help others.

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