Doomsday Preppers
OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide (The Freeman) - June 30, 2013 - 12:00am

I have been regularly viewing a television program of the unusual kind. It is called Doomsday Preppers. No, it is not because I have watched it for quite a time that I might be influenced by it. If I write about this program here, it is for the reason that the apparent basis of the thought processes of the so-called preppers has, while uncommon and weird, some degree of plausibility and practical application we all can learn from and better still, act upon.

Most of the characters in this program are well-to-do. They can afford some degree of luxury yet, their life styles are peculiar. For instance, instead of spending on fashionable things, they construct homes in isolated places. A family accordingly paid the US government for an abandoned missile bunker which they converted into a hideaway! My eyes popped viewing an episode when few families assembled a formidable cache of high powered armaments to fortify their homes with as if bloody neighborhood war is inevitable. They also buy food that can be preserved for extended periods of time and keep them in secure and well-designed places.

First, they are called doomsday preppers because their actions are anchored on the forecast that some event disrupts the normal functioning of the world. They project that the world is doomed. In their foresight, natural calamities like earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions will tear apart nations and then, chaos reigns. They also do not discount economic and financial breakdowns and the ensuing disruptions to society lead to lootings and killings.

To anticipate all these doomsday scenarios, they prepare. That is probably why they are called preppers.

Cebu City, according to the banner story of this paper last Thursday, is among the best places in the world to retire in. This report is both good and bad. It is good because it highlights such important factors that tend to attract people, foreigners principally, to reside our city. The glossy picture it portrays will bring migrants to our city. Most of them will come here ready to spend. Despite the reportorial context that it is affordable to stay here, these incoming migrants can add up to our economy. Their dollar expense here can open and operate middle size business establishments, employ workers, build new homes and so on and so forth.

That is one side of the coin. The repercussion of this report can also be bad. It has the tendency to make us believe that Cebu City has everything we need for a residential city. That belief is bad because the truth is that we are a trading city and we get most of our supplies from nearby island provinces. It may also drive us to sheer complacency. Assuming that we are capable of self-provision, it will be worse to accept our city as it is and fail to develop it further to meet future demands.

Urgency dominates the mind of the prepper. Let His Honor, Mayor Michael L. Rama, adopt the prepper's mind. The mayor should consider that he has only three years for his new term. His plans must be started and completed within this time frame as though the earth is, God forbid, nearly doomed. Our city chief executive must also consider that the city mountain barangays may be capable of generating all its people's necessities, mainly food stuff, if its idle lands become productive.

Why do I say that? There are areas in the mountains that have remained untilled. Many landowners are unable to cultivate because their lots are inaccessible and they lack of agricultural equipment. It is useless to farm a parcel of land that is unreachable by known means of transport as it is costly for them to undertake any cultivation. To answer these twin urgent problems, the city should acquire new equipment, for road construction and as farm implements, and move them 24/7 to open up and maintain new passable roads and help owners plow the earth.

Aside from crisscrossing the mountains with roads, the mayor's urgent target is to render technical support and give initial material inputs to farmers and provide them post-harvest facilities including infrastructure to store surplus. If he thinks like a doomsday prepper, we are one step ahead of doom!



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