December 24, 2011

Reblogged from The Daily Tribune - Without Fear or Favor

The Daily Tribune - Without Fear or Favor


UN to Noy: Address root causes of tragedy

By Michaela P. del Callar


Lessons should be learned from such a tragedy that struck northern Mindanao and immediate steps must be taken to improve disaster mangement practices to avoid a repeat of such a massive tragedy, the United Nations said yesterday.

Catholic bishops as well as a congressman also said that government officials responsible should be held liable for such a tragedy as tropical storm “Sendong” that as of the latest count has claimed 1,000 lives and still counting.

The Philippines should learn from the recent tragedy where at least 1,000 people were feared to have been killed and the leadership should take immediate steps to improve its disaster

management practices to prevent another catastrophe of such magnitude, the UN said yesterday.

Poverty, environmental degradation, poor coordination and lack of preventive warning systems in the Philippines were identified by the UN as the major problems that resulted in enormous loss of lives and damage to communities and infrastructure when Typhoon Sendong lashed out on Cagayan de Oro, Iligan City and some parts of Visayas region over the weekend.

Margareta Wahlström, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s Special Representative on Disaster Risk Reduction, condoled with the typhoon victims and at the same time urged the Philippine government to immediately address the root causes of the tragedy.

“There are many lessons to be learned about risk management from this tragedy,” Wahlström said.

“First is that more must be done to ensure early warning systems are effective in an age when climate change is intensifying the impact of typhoons,” she said.

The storm was identified two days before flash floods swept through Cagayan de Oro City and Illigan City but complacent, unprepared residents ignored warnings by state weather officials as Mindanao is rarely hit by typhoons. At the same time however, local government officials insisted there was no warning issued at all. In fact, Pagasa came up with storm signal number two only for Cagayan de Oro and neighboring towns.

Wahlström said “more must be done to educate people on disasters and climate change so they understand the risk they run when they refuse to heed warnings and do not evacuate on time.”

The second, she said, is to “understand the deadly cocktail of exposure and vulnerability created by poverty, rapid urbanization and deforestation which results in huge loss of life, homes and hard-won development gains when a storm of this magnitude strikes.”

She noted that the proportion of the world’s population exposed to typhoons and cyclones has almost tripled in the last 30 years and disaster management is not keeping pace.

Philippine officials on Monday said the number of killed is threatening to breach the 1,000 death toll mark as 957 bodies have been recovered with 49 still missing.

With the devastation wrought by Sendong, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said he is “very concerned” by the impact of the storm in the Philippines.

Speaking through his spokesman, Ban expressed his sympathies to the families of those affected, to the government and the Filipino people.

Ban, along with US President Barack Obama, said the UN and Washington, respectively, stand ready to support the Philippines in responding to the disaster.

“In the spirit of our long history of friendship and cooperation with the Philippines, the United States stands ready to assist the Philippine people and government should humanitarian assistance and recovery efforts be needed,” Obama said in a statement.

Japan announced that it is providing emergency relief goods such as water tanks and generators amounting to 25 million yen or about P13 million while Australia pledged P55 million.

On top of this Australian commitment, Australia already begun distributing sleeping mats, mosquito nets, hygiene kits and cooking items are now being mobilized and distributed to displaced families in the typhoon-hit areas.

Australia will also give an additional P42 million to help the Philippine government procure essential medicines to treat the injured, provide temporary shelter for the displaced, and extend livelihood support to families who have lost their incomes.

The European Union, on the other hand, dispatched a team of humanitarian experts on the ground to identify specific needs in order to decide on appropriate response and support to be extended to the victims.

From early reports received, the major immediate needs are in the areas of food, water, clothing, blankets, lights, mosquito nets, shelter and medical assistance, the EU said.

Union officials in Manila said the forthcoming concrete support from the EU is likely to be confirmed in the coming days.

A group of Catholic Bishops slammed government officials concerned who bishops said should be held responsible for the Mindanao tragedy brought about by flashfloods from tropical typhoon Sendong which killed a thousand,with a number still missing, along with the destruction of millions worth of properties.

Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma stressed that the responsible government official found to have disregarded his responsibility that caused the deaths of a thousand caused by floods should be held liable.

Ledesma said this is a good chance for the government to remove government officials found irresponsible as he should be removed from his post.

Ledesma added that the tragedy should be investigated after continued calls for the government to provide water shed or water basin protection which up to now has never been attended to by the Aquino government.

Palawan Bishop Pedro Arigo has been firm in saying that government officials concerned involved in the illegal logging and indiscriminate mining in Mindanao which he said is the reason for the flashflood that killed hundreds of people, should be fired.

Arigo shared the same view that an investigation should be conducted and responsible officials should be made answerable to law for their negligence.

He added this tragedy doesn’t stop by merely giving relief goods to the victims. Justice must also be done for the survivors and those left behind.

Bishop Arigo challenged Aquino to seek the help in the international community for relief operations and rehabilitation for the victims of typhoon and admit that the government cannot cope with the needs of the victims.

Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said those officials should resign from their post and also called on Aquino to seek the help of the international community.

“Mining companies are responsible for cutting trees. They destroyed the environment and the country. They have the obligation to help the people there in Mindanao,” Bastes said.

The bishop also criticized Aquino for his attendance at a party of the Presidential Security Group at the height of rescue and relief operations in the areas affected

According to Bastes, what Aquino did was a shameful act and said he is sure that the Philippines would be the center of controversies in the other countries.

He even hit the slow response by the government on the victims of calamities and President Aquino favoring mining operations which is the main cause of nature destruction.

Iligan Bishop Elenito Galido blamed illegal logging and mining operation as the causer of flashflooding in Iligan City as well as various aprt of Mindanao.

Galido noted that due to indiscriminate logging there are no more trees to hold the water which caused the cascading in the lowlands that has left too many dead and missing bodies.

With deaths expected to surpass the 1,000 mark, even as thousands struggle to survive in the wake of typhoon “Sendong,” Kabataan Rep. Raymond Palatino yesterday said Aquino and his Cabinet should be held accountable for the veto of disaster preparedness in the 2011 calamity funds and for failing to install proper preventive measures to mitigate natural disasters.

“As early as Oct. 5 this year, during the budget talks in the House of Representatives, we had already raised concerns on the President’s veto of disaster preparedness in the P5 billion calamity fund and its impact on government capacity to mitigate calamities. In the aftermath of Sendong, it again becomes clear that the government still has no proper disaster preparation framework in place,” Palatino said.

“Typhoons are inevitable but the damage they may cause are preventable. Government officials are right in saying that massive destruction in Northern Mindanao was not simply caused by the heavy rains; they are mistaken, however, to downplay the crucial role of disaster preparedness in alleviating the shattering impact of the deadly typhoon,” Palatino added.

Responding to Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda who yesterday said Palatino should “not politicize the issue”, the youth solon retorted that the Executive is just evading the issue on the lack of a rational disaster preparation program “with its standard arrogance against valid criticisms.”

“More than the relief goods and the perfunctory visits of the First Family to affected areas, what our Mindanaons ultimately need is justice for the criminal neglect of the government,” said Palatino. “The issue of disasters is inherently political in this regard as it involves government policies and accountability.”

Palatino also chastised Aquino for being so insensitive to the plight of Sendong’s victims as he was caught partying with starlets when the rsidents of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan were busy looking for their missing relatives.

“That President Aquino was caught partying in the wake of Sendong is a form of insensitivity that exposes only the tip of the mud pile, as it were. The more serious kind of insensitivity the President is complicit to is the systemic disregard to the welfare of the poor who, in the absence of a rational disaster plan, are the most vulnerable during calamities,” Palatino added. With Pat C. Santos and Charlie V. Manalo

Reblogged from PHILNEWS.COM

The horrible outcome in lives lost andVillagers returning to their homes walk through an obstacle course of logs that are strewn everywhere property destroyed is totally unacceptable to this struggling nation of close to a hundred million people. The Aquino government must to get to the bottom of this. Already, the finger-pointing has begun. PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) claims their storm-warning bulletins were disregarded by local officials. Local officials on the other hand complain that they were never told how devastating typhoon Sendong (Washi) really was.

The United States sent several urgent communiqués warning the Philippines that the approaching typhoon seemed larger and more powerful than first thought. Like the other warnings, these too seem to have been downplayed or dismissed byA young boy retrieves what he can of his family's household belongings government officials whose job it is to inform the public of approaching weather systems and the potential havoc they bring.

No country has a perfect record determining the severity that storm systems bring. Even the United States, with all its state-of-the-art detection equipment was caught flatfooted in the wake of hurricane Katrina that hit New Orleans in 2005. What the Americans have done is put systems in place to prevent a reoccurrence from happening. It took them years but the U.S. managed to reinforce the levees around most ofArial view of inundated villages in Cagayan de Oro Louisiana’s flood-prone parishes, they reassessed their flood protection system as well, and now have new procedures in place to prevent a repeat of their inadequate response to Katrina.

In the end, this is what Filipinos want from their government officials. The country is being hit harder and more often by typhoons than it had been in the past. The people want an effective and well coordinated response from their government. At the same time they want to see long-range plans put in place so future generations of Filipinos can live in relative security despite nature’s wrath.

Soldiers carry coffins to a mass burial on Tuyesday, Dec 20, 2011 in Iligan CityIllegal logging appears to have magnified the devastation wrought by Sendong. Denuded forests and timber-clogged waterways amplified the catastrophe in the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro.

The Philippines used to be a country blessed with an abundance of natural resources but previous generations have been lackadaisical in their stewardship of those resources. That responsibility—to preserve these gifts of nature for future generations to cherish—now falls on us. Published 12/21/2011

November 21, 2011


Dear Students,

With our recent trip to Subic Safari, may I solicit your feedback of our activity. With the fauna close encounter, describe the learning and immersion experience you had. Tell it in two paragraphs or less. Post it here.

*Only those who joined the outbound trip may give feedback. Indicate your complete name and section. This also means the student qualifies to the incentive.

November 08, 2011


Objectives of the Field Trip:

1. To have a guided and realistic exposure to swarm behavior;

2. To observe, study and acquire first-hand information about the different insects and animals in our environment;

3. To develop sensitivity and care for the environment and the animals around us;

4. To provide insights in the Flash program that will be developed in the course.

The field trip is a whole day activity.

Schedule of the Field Trips: Nov. 16, 2011, Wednesday with two buses for S13 & S15

Destination: Subic Safari Zoo

Field trip fees: P650 (transportation & other incidental fees) + P300 (for the entrance fees). Pls pay the P300 to Gigi. Pay the P650 to the accounting office (Secure the payment form from Ms. Hazel and return the OR yellow duplicate to Ms. Hazel.)

The trip includes --

o Close Encounter

o Aetas’ Trail
o Savannah
o Serpentarium
o Animal Museum
o Aetas’ Cave
o CrocoLoco
o HipHop Bay-a-Wak
o BirdThrill
o Tiger Safari Ride(excluding chicken for the Tiger)

Guided Tour. Approximately 3 hours to complete the tour.

Waiver form will be released on Thursday, Nov. 10 after the open lecture on Emergency Management.

Payment deadline is Nov. 15, 2011.

Departure time is 7:00am (Departure time will be strictly followed.)

Bring water, towel, hat, and your own camera. You can wear shorts but not slippers.

October 20, 2011

Let's tackle the AIDS issue

This is a group assignment due on Nov. 3, class time.

Based on the movie--
1. What is AIDS? What is the nature of this disease? What are the symptoms, characteristics and manifestations? What are the different ways it may be contracted?

2. Given the statistics in the film, what is the rate of mortality of AIDS? How would classify this as an epidemic?

3. Describe the topology or network ho it can easily spread.

4. What were the issues faced by CDC? What were the weaknesses of the American and French researches on AIDS?

5. Gather additional information on AIDS at this time, 2011. Is it still considered an epidemic? or pandemic? Differentiate epidemic from pandemic. What are the glaring problems faced by different nations.

6. Research and provide facts and statistics on AIDS in Southeast Asia. How would you assess the Phils in terms of being in a hazard zone?

AVERT (2011). History of AIDS as of 1986. Retrieved from
Schulman, A. (1993) And the band played on' the movie.

September 27, 2011

Soliciting donation for the victims of Typhoon Pedring

EMER-IT students are encouraged to give donations for the victims of Typhoon Pedring. I will be giving incentives to be credited to the class reporting.

Choices of donations:

4 packs of instant noodles - 3pts
2 small bottles of water - 3pts
10 sachets of coffee - 3pts
pair of toothbrush & small toothpaste - 3pts
pair of bath soap & 4sachets of shampoo - 3pts

Bring your donations on Thursday, Sep. 29, in class.

Ms. Stef Ulit, in-charge of our Pagkamulat Committee, is also accepting donations of old clothes, blankets & mattresses.