Save nature to protect people
The devastation brought about by Typhoons Rolly and Ulysses is tremendous despite the presence of government agencies and task forces which appear to have redundant or overlapping functions in preventing destruction by harsh weather events on lives and properties.
Disasters that usually happen in our country are regarded as a divine punishment for the disobedience of people to the words of wisdom of the Almighty and destruction of His creation.
There are existing laws and regulations to implement in environmental protection but deforestation, habitation, cultivation, and pasturing are being tolerated, causing landslides and damage to the watersheds.
Without trees and plants in the forest that build humus to absorb and retain rain water and hold the ground, run-off erosion and overflow of dams take place that results to flooding.
While tree planting is done in denuded forests, this has to be done repeatedly due to poor survival rate – seedlings are not properly planted, not maintained, and not guarded against encroachment and burning.
People are allowed to dwell in danger zones on steep slopes, along river banks and coastal areas, and at the foot of a volcano, and when a furious typhoon approaches, inhabitants are warned to go to evacuation centers. These informal settlers should be permanently relocated to safer grounds.
People are now suffering and the solution to calamity problems is to get rid of vested interest, greed, and lip service.
The Lord will protect us from harm if we restore the integrity of nature. — PERCIVAL B. ALIPIT, Baguio City