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On Target
Let’s plant trees to prevent floods

By Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:57:00 10/16/2009

Filed Under: Pepeng, Ondoy, Landslide, Flood

MANILA, Philippines--Instead of blaming the government for the floods, mudslides and landslides caused by Tropical Storm ?Ondoy? and Typhoon ?Pepeng,? let us do something so there will be fewer deaths and less destruction in the future.

?Us? means the people, the ordinary citizens. You and I.

Let?s not depend on the government to make things happen for us, since our government cannot be depended upon.

From now on, let?s not throw garbage into our rivers, creeks and canals.

And when we see people throwing garbage into our waterways, let?s tell them of the future consequences of their action and cite the destruction caused by Ondoy and Pepeng.

Let?s tell them that plastic waste clogged our drainage system and rivers, and so the water overflowed and flooded our homes.

If they don?t listen, let?s report them to the authorities.

If the authorities don?t listen to our complaints, let?s go to the media and report their indifference.

Floodwaters rampaged from our forests and mountains because there were no trees whose roots could have absorbed the rain water.

Let?s report illegal loggers, kaingineros or people who cut down trees indiscriminately to the authorities.

Our collective indifference, our ?I don?t care? attitude toward the destruction of our forests and the clogging of our waterways was the cause of the many deaths and great destruction from Ondoy and Pepeng.

They say that bitter experience is the best teacher. Our bitter experiences from Ondoy and Pepeng should prod us, the citizenry, to take the initiative to protect ourselves in the future.

For starters, let?s plant trees on our mountains and in our forests.

Let?s do what the people of Puerto Princesa City and Palawan are doing. They plant trees in the forests and guard the environment.

I suggest we plant the fast- growing ipil-ipil and mahogany. The seeds from these trees that fall to the ground themselves grow into trees.

* * *

Let?s stop blaming Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes for the increase in the prices of gasoline and other petroleum products.
He doesn?t have the power to control the law of supply and demand.
If there is an excess supply of a certain commodity, its price goes down.
Conversely, if there is a great demand for the same, its price goes up.
Reyes said the Oil Deregulation Law prohibits the government from intervening and regulating prices of petroleum products.
You don?t have to be an economics expert to understand Reyes.

* * *

An anecdote?it may be apocryphal?about Ramon Magsaysay said that the most popular president the country ever once asked his advisers to bring down the price of rice, the country?s staple food.

?Sir, we cannot do that since we?ll be interfering with the law of supply and demand. Rice is scarce in the market because we had a poor harvest,? said his economic adviser.

Magsaysay is said to have stared at his adviser long and hard and then said: ?I will ask Congress to repeal that law.?

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