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Opinion

The world gearing up for four major disruptors

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

War, famine, disasters and pestilence or plague. These are represented by the four horsemen in the Apocalypse as prophesied in the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. These are also described in the Book of Ezekiel in the Old Testament. And they are precisely happening today and may soon accelerate as the modern world's greatest disruptors. And these were discussed by this writer as the main facilitator of the National Convention of the League of Cities of the Philippines being hosted by its National President, Cebu City Mayor Michael L Rama.

There are troubles all over the world and the Philippines is bound to be affected by them because of the global supply chain. The prices of food, oil and gas, and other commodities are directly impacted by the War in Ukraine, by the troubles in the Middle East and the tensions confronting China and its neighbors like Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines. There are thousands upon thousands of OFWs in many war-torn and war-threatened economies and these Filipino migrant workers are the ones saving our economy by sending billions of remittances that prop up our dollar and peso exchange rates and stabilize the country's foreign reserves. City mayors and provincial governors are bound to be affected as their constituencies are expected to suffer from the adverse consequences of political and military conflicts worldwide.

There is a very serious food crisis that is real and imminent. The country does not have a sufficient supply of basic commodities. We are an agricultural country that cannot produce enough rice and corn for our people. We even import chicken and beef from other countries. We do not have wheat nor enough materials for baking bread. Once the food supply chain is interrupted by the exporters' own domestic priorities to hoard food for their own nationals, then our country's more than 110 million people are bound to suffer from hunger, malnutrition and ultimate starvation. Our agriculture sector is weak and is saddled by corruption as exemplified by the unauthorized importation of sugar and even onions that are hitting both our domestic producers and consumers. The rice tariffication law is killing our small farmers. Massive smuggling of rice and other products make our own farmers no longer competitive.

The health crisis is resurging. The number of infected Filipinos is rising again, and there are other variants and viruses coming up. The nation's coffers were practically emptied by Covid 19, and the last administration incurred tremendous debts both from foreign borrowing and from domestic creditors. The country is saddled with a debt to the tune of P13 trillion and our annual budget has to allocate a major part for debt servicing. The president could not find a doctor strong enough to head the health portfolio. The acting Health Secretary has all the professional and technical expertise but she is lacking in political clout to manage a huge bureaucracy that is largely suspected as being afflicted by the viruses of ineptitude and graft. The health crisis is real and we are losing thousands of nurses who leave the country each day to work in Canada, USA and Europe.

And as if wars, famine and pestilence are not enough, the climate change is ushering many recurrent supertyphoons that bring floods and destroy crops, houses, establishments and even government buildings. All of these mean loss of lives and properties which shall result to untold pains and sufferings among the people and gargantuan problems to governments including cities and provinces. Governors are facing multiple problems and the revenues are not enough to respond to all these challenges. That is why Mayor Mike Rama, as the new National President of the League of Cities of the Philippines, has convened the general assembly of city mayors in order to prepare for all the four major disruptors.

It takes a leader with the powers of a Superman or a Cardo Dalisay and a Darna to be able to win over all the four horsemen of the apocalypse. War, famine, disasters and pestilence may signal the beginning of the world's end. A nuclear war between China and the USA is bound to pulverize the entire humanity. Disasters can kill all people like the days of Noah. Plague and famine can slowly and painfully push all of us to sufferings beyond our human endurance. The mayors and the people should be forewarned. We are facing doom and gloom. Mayors, governors and presidents can only prepare but only God can save us from total annihilation.

DISASTER

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