And so much more to do
PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero-Ballescas (The Freeman) - January 25, 2020 - 12:00am

More tremors, steam, and magma buildup have been reported yesterday. The alert is still on that a hazardous Taal explosion may happen within hours or days. Let’s all pray that everyone in the danger zones may be spared and saved from any harm and injury.

The coronavirus death toll in China continues to increase. Tighter airport procedures as well as detection systems need to be strictly, rigorously implemented to prevent this alarming deadly virus from spreading to our country. Again, we need to pray together for all to be safe from this virus.

All the while we thought earthquakes had natural causes.

However, mounting evidence is showing that “oil and gas drilling is causing hundreds upon hundreds of earthquakes across the US.” While the quakes have been mostly small and with little damage “beyond cracking plaster, toppling bricks and rattling nerves, seismologists warn that the shaking can dramatically increase the chances of bigger, more dangerous quakes.”

Should there be intensive research about whether mining and quarrying may also be increasing the chances of bigger, more dangerous quakes in our country?

Disasters can happen anytime. Hence, everyone has to be prepared well for these.

So much needs to be done to prepare people and communities. Despite so much budget already poured into disaster management and preparation, we are all witnesses to how inadequate our people and communities are coping with floods, typhoons, fires, earthquakes, and now, a volcanic eruption.

Those in government are preoccupied about staying in power longer and siphoning public funds for private interests. Accountability and transparency are not prioritized in this present administration. Corruption has increased with the Philippines falling 14 steps down in the global corruption index.

While the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer. They are among the most vulnerable and especially during disasters, along with the women, children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.

While people reel in poverty, so much wasted public funds are showered on waste, on trash!

If only waste segregation and alternative waste management were practiced and mainstreamed, instead of the continuing wasteful and expensive truck-based waste collection and disposal system, so much billions of much-needed public funds can be diverted and allocated for people, especially the needy! So much hectares of residential and productive lands can also be used for people, instead of as dumping grounds and landfills for waste!

Plastics are also destroying so much of nature, killing precious marine species in the name of convenience and profit. There is much to be done to inform and educate everyone about how harmful plastics are for humankind and for our planet.

We all need to know alternatives to plastics. In order to save our earth, businesses must be required to find alternatives and stop producing and using plastics.

In the last Black Nazarene and Sinulog processions and festivities, plastic bottles and other single-use plastics were mindlessly, irresponsibly thrown anywhere, everywhere by the devotees. The revelers threw their share of garbage as well.

Thankfully, the Cebuano Church has started to be more pro-active about engaging their constituents in the protection of our world.

The Cebu Archdiocesan Commission on Environmental Concern through Fr. Murphy Sarsonas as chairman will hold the first Archdiocesan Convention on Climate Emergency this January 31-February 1, 2020 which “aims to draft concrete actions, commitments and response to issues related to renewable energy, water security and sustainability, climate change and disaster resiliency, waste management, and, marine ecosystem conservation.”

Also, the multisectoral #WayPlastikayCebu campaign which aims to ban single-use plastics by 2021 in Tañon Strait, Metro Cebu, and Cebu Province will be launched during this convention.

cballescas@yahoo.com

TAAL EXPLOSION
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