Train floods volunteers

RICHMOND Orbinar is the youngest victim of typhoon Pedring.

He was just seven-month old when he was hit by a fallen tree in Bacnotan, La Union.

He is one of the 52 people who were among the casualties by Pedring.

As of latest report by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, 63 others were injured, 30 missing and an estimated P6 billion damages in properties both in infrastructures and agriculture.

We are fortunate to have survived typhoon Pedring early this week.

I’m sure each one has a story to tell about his ordeal with Pedring.

In my hometown Malabon, I grew up to regular flooding even when there is no rain at all.

But typhoon Pedring – and typhoon Ondoy that wrought unimaginable damages to us two years ago – led us to accept flooding has not only become a feature of our daily life, but also has become even more extensive and severe due to climate change.

We are no longer just stranded in the streets or trapped on our rooftops. We are hit by landslides, and yes, trashslide! However, most of these casualties are preventable.

One could not help but wonder why the government always seems to be ill-prepared to address this perennial flooding problem.

Alright, we have invested millions in flood control infrastructures, creating river embankments, building up pumping stations, flood walls, drainage systems, storm drains, canals and flood retention areas.

Yet, when we pin all our hopes to these structural measures, we might just lose our heart or worse, lose our house and loved ones.

One wonders too what happened to the multi-million flood control project for the CAMANAVA (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela). Nothing!

Rather than blame the national government, including the Metro Manila Development Authority,  for its failure to lessen, if not at all prevent, damages and casualties due to floods, our own local government units, especially our barangays, must also exhaust all other means to improve anti-flood measures.

Other innovative ways can be considered.

Setting up an early flood warning system and the formation of a team of local or community-based flood volunteers who can be trained and mobilized during emergency situations may be worth our consideration.

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