Reading the newspaper can be amusing, especially in the opinion pages where article content can show completely opposite views on an issue.
In today’s Philippine Star, columnist and former Senator Ernesto Maceda scores the President and his Cabinet members, particularly Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson on their supposed inaction and insensitivity regarding the flooding situation in Cotabato.
Echoing Cotabato City Mayor Japal Guiani Jr.’s assertion that the President did not bring any aid to the flood victims, Maceda ends his column by saying, “another glaring example of an incompetent, slow-moving government who can’t get rid of water lilies fast.” Maceda, of course, is referring to the considerable growth of water lilies on the Rio Grande River which has contributed to the flooding in the area.
Before Maceda goes on his tirade against the Aquino government, he should probably take a look at his newspaper’s editorial, which focuses the blame more on local officials such as Guiani. As the editorial states, “a massive carpet of water lily does not appear overnight,” and questions the inability of local officials to have cleared the waterways of the water lilies on a regular basis. The editorial also observes that other communities such as Las Pinas and Pampanga have actually utilized the water lilies in cottage industries, so why couldn’t Cotabato officials have done the same?
I like the way the editorial concludes. It goes, “Those who don’t clean up their own backyard should not blame others for its consequences.”
It isn’t fair for Maceda to place the blame for the flood aid on the President, who isn’t supposed to micro-manage and provide quick fixes in situations such as these. The blame clearly lies with the local officials, who had failed to practice proper waste and flood management, and probably should be investigated on what they did with the funds allocated for such purposes.