So now the supposedly lively debate and argument is centered upon lifeboats, or other piecemeal remedies to disaster, after the fact.

Meanwhile, a government such as the Philippines’ that has more than a trillion  pesos of fiscal leverage, gives only slightly over five billion pesos to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) — definitely a mere pittance and twelve billion to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), then slashes the two billion so that only ten billion is left.  Twice the pittance but definitely a terrible, serious insult to the tax payers.

And to think that safeguarding and managing the environment is the key to the future of our young generations today and the generations still to come.

For the rehabilitation requirement of the entire country following the recent disasters, there is a lot of brouhaha going on about lifeboats and other senseless items.

In a scenario where no one is salvageable by lifeboats, it would have been better to have in store body bags instead.

A large number of real and would-be-heroes want to be known for raising hundreds, thousands, millions of cash for relief.

The question is thus asked: Where were they when the proactive solutions were being propounded? As early as 1966, Sen. Edgar U. Ilarde proposed the Department of Environment, and in a short while, the solon made a painstaking survey of nearly the entire the Pasig River network only to conclude with his findings that Pasig will be dead in ten to twenty years. And that was around forty years ago.

The solution to the need to gather information from outer space was recommended as early as 1988-1989. Nobody listened to the proposal. What were our heroes and heroes-to-be doing?

In 1992, the government played deaf to weed seeding in Regions 1 and 3. From 1993 onwards little rains cause flash flooding in Central Pangasinan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, far far away downstream of the places where the billions of ash were originally deposited by Mt. Pinatubo.

Thus the defect penultimately lies in the wrong dynamics prevailing among the various levels of society.

Redirected, these individuals that wield enormous might and the capacity to change things, can actually use the resources at their command to ensure that losses in terms of life and belongings will not amount to billions and trillions of money.

On another level, the powerless individuals do not look inside ourselves so much and do not think about how a disaster needs not affect us in negative ways.

No single individual nor group of individuals had the gumption to bond together and demand that appropriate proactive measures be undertaken to guarantee safety of life and minimize loss of property.

We need to look more at ourselves, inside ourselves; and instead of being negative most of the time, we bring our thoughts into things positive. We dwell more on how we ought to deal effectively with disaster in ways that it should strengthen us, improve us, elevate our enlightenment. Heighten our awareness of the inner self.

Therefore, instead of worrying about what will happen to us, what will happen to our houses, to our possessions, to how strong a typhoon is or will be, to how fearful is a tsunami or a super earthquake, lest we forget, we should focus on winning, on triumph over adversity and calamity.

As in the teaching of the Tibetan Buddhism on the concept of “bardo” or death, at the time of our departure, we command our consciousness, toward light. We command our soul to the right path. Toward God.

But as both the traditional and modern interpretation of “bardo” goes, on many occasions and on every single day we feel death, experience death, big and small. Thus every time this happens, we should have the presence of mind to command our consciousness immediately toward the good place instead of trap our consciousness in warped surroundings.

The holding of disaster risk reduction events and conferences like the 2010 Geo Hazard Mapping and Environment Summit, seeks not only to pursue the coordination of technology and scientific capability to reduce the dangers and hazards of disasters.

An underlying purpose is to attack the political, economic, cultural, psychological and social dynamics that could enliven, strengthen Disaster Response and minimize the hot cauldron effect and the many other potential threats of climate change. The solutions that will be surfaced however, need to be firm and strong to withstand resistance that will defeat the positive intentions of laying down disaster risk reduction plans and programs.

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