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ROUGH CUTS | We’re paying for our forebears’ omissions




NOW THIS generation knows who are paying for the wanton disregard of the 1950 to 1970 people to the country’s environment. It is us, the present inhabitants of this land.

Of course, some of those who helped in the destruction of our environment, especially our mountains and forest are still around. Some are still among those suffering from the consequences of their abuses and others are enjoying the fruits of their environmental crimes done in the guise of economic development.

Who are these debtors who are making us pay for their sins and omissions? They are the big individual and corporate loggers who had deforested our mountains, the corporate and individual small miners, the property developers who turn every available space in the urban and the suburban areas into large housing subdivisions or industrial complexes.

Then we have the slash-and-burn farmers who cut every remaining tree from the logged-over areas in the mountains. In the urban center we have the informal settlers led by the “professionals” among them who turned every vacant downtown and shoreline space into urban settlers’ agglomerations.

So many of them were driven from the rural and upland areas by the lack of livelihood opportunities by the loggers and corporate farmers that they are even invading the natural waterways on its banks. Some are putting up colonies right on top of canals and drainage facilities.

Now, where are the big-time loggers of the middle 50s, the 60s, and the early 70s? They are closing their shops – the source of their wealth. They are now diversifying into several other ventures that they claim are helping the economy of the country to grow.

This they do after sapping the resources of our forest and mountains, our rivers and lakes. Now their heirs are building skyscrapers that are in the process of invading the airspace. So, what’s going to come next? And what about us, the ordinary citizens of this country? The farmers, the laboring class, the fisherfolk? We are pushed flat to the walls of perdition. We are the ones who suffer the most when nature gets back on its abusers.

The eroded mountains could not anymore serve as the natural barriers of storms. The bald hills lay bare that the absorptive capacity of its soil is no more to prevent rainwater from flashing down soil and other debris to the rivers and into the plains including farmlands and the urban centers.

Should we wonder why we have floods in most part of the country including several areas in Mindanao every so often? Should we be surprised why our food sources in the country are dwindling and the prices are rising because these are wanting?

Even the supposed legal miners nowadays are adopting new technologies in reducing the cost of their pursuit for the metals they are salivating. They are now mining without digging underground. They are scraping the mountain surface through the so-called open pit procedure.

Only this week, the farmlands of Cotabato Province, the streets of some of the urban centers including Davao City’s, were submerged in water. People have to be evacuated. Houses are destroyed and government infrastructures like roads and bridges as well as irrigation dikes are badly damaged and now require rehabilitation work.

And it is in everybody’s knowledge that even as we are struck with a health pandemic for the last eleven months already, more whammies hammered the country last year all as nature’s way of getting back against its abusers. We have a volcano eruption early last year. While there was no destructive earthquake that hit the Philippines last year there were a series of typhoons and floods. The most devastating of course were those that hit the country toward the end of last year.

What with the typhoons coming one after the other and bringing with them heavy and continuous rains that inundated many metropolitan cities and agricultural provinces and towns in Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao. And these disastrous events happened while the economy of the country is brought down to its knees by the CoViD 19 pandemic.

Yet, we still find our officials embroiled in their politics. Senators are grandstanding wanting to show they are the only ones who have the monopoly of knowledge on how to run the country’s response to the pandemic and the rage of nature. Indeed there are so many woes for us the present day majority of Filipinos!
And who are these politicians? They are mostly scions of the destroyers of nature in the country. Just take a look at their profile and we will know exactly who they are.

And quite certain, they’d be the first to be vaccinated when the vaccines against the Corona Virus come. They may even be making money out of the deals. What a tragedy for the ordinary Filipinos indeed!

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