Orlando P. Carvajal | SunStar

Orlando P. Carvajal

Orlando P. Carvajal

Orlando P. Carvajal

Orlando P. Carvajal

WATER exists to sustain life. It is only because of man’s misuse or abuse that there is water that kills.

There is, for instance, polluted and contaminated water that is killing people through diseases like cholera or through toxic chemicals like mercury. How many more deaths before LGUs man up to the responsibility of providing people with clean and safe drinking water?

Then, there is floodwater. Its onslaught is deadly like it recently killed three students in Argao. Frequent and sudden flooding has been with us for a while now yet
LGUs continue to improvise with merely political but really inappropriate, solutions.

The knee-jerk reaction of building a bridge over the creek is a mere political response because all it gives people is the impression that officials are responding to a need. It is, however, grossly inappropriate because building a bridge over a creek only answers the question of how to prevent students from being exposed to deadly floodwaters.

The more sensible questions to answer should be: why does floodwater suddenly and unexpectedly rush down a river on an otherwise clear day and how should responsible and proactive leaders stop or minimize this undesirable occurrence?

To the first question the answers are, one, there are no trees to hold rainwater and, two, there are no barriers like a dam to hold water (store for a dry day?) and regulate its flow downstream. Ergo, how to prevent floods…?

Over the long-term but starting now we need to reforest our hills and mountains. Responsible LGUs should get together with civil society and grow (not just plant) water-saving and flood-preventing trees. By the way, how about also stopping illegal logging, including the cutting of small trees for use as firewood or props in coal mine tunnels?

A medium term solution is to build a dam or dams in parts of a creek or a river. With a dam, floodwater can be controlled and released gradually. A dam has also the added advantage of storing excess water for the dry season instead of wasting it to the sea.

A bridge over the creek still needs to be built though. But LGU officials should understand that bridges do not solve the problem of the sudden (as in without warning) rush of floodwaters through a creek or river. Only trees can prevent rainwater from becoming a flood and only a dam can make the flow of excess water controllable and storable for use during a long dry season.

Water exists to sustain life. If it kills it is because the most intelligent being on earth, man, is acting stupid and abusing, misusing, wasting it. How many deaths will it take before we learn? Many more because the next flood could happen tomorrow and there is nothing yet being done to prevent it.

Columns

Carvajal: Deja vu

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

BESIDES being generally perceived as such, I also have it on good authority that the Land Transportation Office(LTO) is not any less corrupt under the Duterte administration. This means the agency is not any less incompetent because corruption feeds on incompetence which in turn fuels corruption.

Assuming this to be just mostly but not wholly true, still what can we expect from the two new laws on distracted driving and on the wearing of helmets and on children-passengers on a motorcycle?

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Carvajal: Decolonizing

Thursday, May 18, 2017

SCHOOL opens in a few days so I thought I’d start a conversation on decolonization. Not the political variety as we are no longer a colony but what a native Canadian Indian writer, Bill Mussel, in his piece “Cultural Pathways for Decolonization,” describes as “a process where a colonized people reclaim their traditional culture, redefine themselves as a people and reassert their distinct identity.”

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Carvajal: Work in progress

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

DETERMINED to hang on to privileged positions in the status quo, political and economic lords mislead people into reducing the rule of law to sheer compliance with it under any circumstance.

I would like to disabuse people of this oversimplification not to justify violation but to provide motive for positive action towards the attainment of the full complement of the rule of law’s essential features.

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Carvajal: ‘Mayokmok’

Thursday, May 11, 2017

IF Gina Lopez couldn’t make it, what could be Judy Taguiwalo’s and Rafael Mariano’s chances of being confirmed as department secretaries of Social Welfare and Development and Agrarian Reform respectively? I hope I am wrong but my answer is from slim to zero.

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Carvajal: Three monkeys

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

NOT too long ago, I came across an article listing fourteen flaws in our national character that we need to overcome in order to progress. All fourteen the author wrote are true and known to most of us. The problem is they are too many and we don’t know where and how to start doing something about them.

My own take calls for shaking off our backs only the three monkeys that are making it difficult for us to move forward faster and with more consistency towards a happy and progressive life. We take care of these critical few and the rest will follow.

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