The Philippines Should Change Its Name to “Bahana Republic”

About a year after the Aquino Administration hailed the “Habagat” floods as not being as bad as the Ondoy floods during the Arroyo Administration, the severe flooding that happened all over Metro Manila last night and today shows that the Do Nothing government has done what was expected of it. Nothing.

Photo from Dennis Datu on Facebook. South Super Highway near Buendia (Sen Gil Puyat).

Photo from Dennis Datu on Facebook. South Super Highway near Buendia (Sen Gil Puyat).

Sure, Habagat was not as bad as Ondoy perhaps in the same sense that having your belongings soaked in creeping floods is better than your stuff being swept away by a raging current.

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Over in Marikina City, almost everybody living near the river (in my case, Provident Village), everybody stayed up till the wee hours of the morning hauling stuff to their second floors and packing things in plastic boxes just in case.   I spent a few hours looking at Marikina River on top of the dike at Riverside drive and keeping an eye on @MarikinaPIO, which is the official twitter account of the Marikina Public Information Office.

It wasn’t until four hours ago or 3AM that the water level of the river started subsiding after reaching 16 meters.

At this point, I have pretty much the feeling that in order to weasel out of any blame for not doing enough to prevent another flooding, the Aquino Administration is going to try and sell the idea that the rains were of an unusually heavy and widespread character — laying the ground work for saying that it’s helpless against ‘acts of nature’.

In June this year, the DPWH announced that it would complete flood mitigation programs between July and September.  Over in the senate, Administration Ally Ralph Recto questioned the effectiveness of a proposed Metro Manila flood control program.

But so far, all in all, it’s been a lot of talk and certainly no improvement at a time when the entire Aquino Administration is awash in talks of massive corruption arising from pork barrel misuse.

21 Replies to “The Philippines Should Change Its Name to “Bahana Republic””

  1. How can that be a comparison when all storms are not equal? The one during Noynoy ‘s time was not even a typhoon hence no real name . Ondoy was just something else. Rain coming down horizontally , factories suffering permanent dsmage. Any chance to chest beat for a guy who has zero accomplishments.

  2. Hi,
    I am new follower of this website. But my take on this is, It is not the government who have the sole responsibility in preventing such “act of nature” or flooding.

    1. You have a point, the people too have a hand. But the government is the ones with the resources, and yet this still happens on a frequent basis. If any, government activity has mostly been talk. Dick Gordon’s election ads put it best:

      = N.G.A.N.G.A.

      Resource mismanagement on the top level is not helping a single bit. On the bottom level, waste management in the household scale is still bad. Some civilians still prefer to dispose of waste improperly, leading to dysfunctional drainage, which causes floods. It’s mostly they don’t know how, or they don’t bother.

      But that’s my take.

      1. Yes,I agree that the government has to do something in preventing such. We can also see that there are minimal “panakip butas” projects that the government are up to. But I am also seeing a lot of filipinos who tend to just leave their litters on the streets. Recently I also heard that Pedicab drivers are blocking the water drainage to create flood in order for them to get passengers. So this small things that we can correct Can be of a great help. 🙂

  3. 3 years and this government still hasn’t put up a visible flood control project.
    The cancellation of the previous administration’s flood control certainly backfired in noynoy’s face since we are still suffering from frequent flooding.
    Lack of government action certainly doesn’t help Mr. Aquino’s real performance rating(SWS and Pulse Asia surveys lack credibility) in the eyes of the filipino people.

  4. It’s not only that the government and politicians must rectify the flood prevention infrastructures of the already areas but also must equip the LGUs with necessary equipment to meet emergencies.

    Since over three decades this cycle keeps on repeating and the usual justification of the government is “lack of budget”.

    Now the obvious rotting garbage that some senators, congressmen and local government officials is already floating up in the P10 billion Napoles scam.

    It will not be surprising that government officials will still keep on using the same alibi despite of the scandal. They have no shame to say the least. They feed their families with stolen money from the people. Most definitely their children will inherit the same parasitic nature that they have.

    What kind of hope will this country have with these kinds of new generation children?

  5. Poor country with inept president.

    I mentioned about 3 years ago that the biggest problem has not been fix yet by the Aquino administration -The flooding in the urban cities in Luzon.

    Noynoy Aquino has no leadership skills, he cannot solve the problem at once. As you notice he will let the issue subside without having a solution until it fades from Filipino people’s mind. Mind you, after few months later, these flooding problem, pork barrel scam, Lucio Tan’s corruption of funds from the poor community projects, Loren Legarda’s questionable assets etc..will become like a distant outer-space memory. SAD COUNTRY!

    Just like the Taiwan-Philippines issue about the elder man who has been killed by Philippine navy officers. The administration didn’t solved it at once. It lets the issue fades by time, until many new issues comes out and people focus on new issues. The old issues died without correct solutions.

    Noynoy Aquino has a delayed mentality.

    A smart and competent leader has a quick mind to solve the problem. Noynoy is zilch on it!

  6. We are being raped by our own countrymen who disguise themselves as our lawmakers/ sad..those funds could go a long way in improving the flood control in the metropolis and improving the lot of the less fortunate, ung totoong tulong ha..noynoy should shape up or be ship out!!

  7. I remember there was talk of dredging Laguna de Bay and keeping the dredging boat in operation full-time once the lake was made much deeper in many area’s…the cost I think was 27 million, peso’s. I feel this would be a great start and with more dredging this lake could hold much larger fish and more fish. Second issue would be that every municipality would have their own garbage truck working full-time and garbage disposed of properly, is that to far-fetched and wrong, my back yard is full of diapers, I clean and burn as best I can and the smoke smells like hell and must be hard on people’s breathing or heart but the trash is out of control, people dump sacks of plastics right on the beach or next to the water, you never see them ever do it, they pay kids 5 peso’s to dump it, maybe 10 peso’s. Final issue is that the garbage trucks also need huge garbage cans like I remember in the states and put them next to every water entrance so people can dump it there and not pay either, if not people will continue to dump plastics, bottles into a fresh water lake, way crazy practice here, the bottle guys don’t pick up many of the bottles such as medicine bottles, foreign made bottles, why not? Plastics not all of them are picked either, plastic bags were re-cycled when I shopped at Wal-Mart, why not here? And these plastic bags were bio-degradable another important issue.

    1. It’ll take more than just garbage trucks and trash cans to make the Filipino society start to pick up after itself. Filipino culture has a wretched fascination with the strange act of soiling their own land and then beating their chests like crazy about how proud they are of the Philippines.

  8. As a foreigner living over 10 years at a low income area of Manila, seeing and feeling all the natural disasters in person, let me tell you another version.
    No matter what your government will do, this situation will never become better. For one and only reason. The Filipino citizen. Each and every one for their own. They will do something for the common good only if it serves their own good, if not they will do nothing despite if their fellow neighbor will get drawn. I can write an entire essay on it but since Filipinos read that, you know very well. despite the fact that you are nice, hospitable, worthy people, you lack the ability to unite towards the common good. You lack the ability to follow rules too, if the barangay will tell you building besides the river is not advisable or will not give you license…you bribe and do what you plan. But you never planed that another one a few meters away will block the drainage for his own reasons and your building will flood, then you accuse the government!!!!!
    I am not against neither I dislike Filipinos, rather the opposite since I live here due to love of this country and people instead of many foreigners because they cannot make it in their country or the disgusting sexpats.
    So next time you plan to do something, think how it can negatively affect someone else. If everyone does so, trust me no more floods!!!

  9. It all seems to come down to one sad reality. The priviledged/high-society class of the country simply do not care about the average filipino. The selfishness and sense of entitlement is disgusting.

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