The furor on water
Water is the most abundant compound constituting 70% of the total Earth’s surface. It is a natural resource which is God-given and therefore must be shared and should not be monopolized by one person or by one community. As a basic necessity, every life form needs it to survive.
In Tacloban City, there are areas which are inherently endowed with this basic and natural resource. Since the City has been experiencing water problem, the City Government embarked on small water impounding projects to augment what it could get from other water sources through the local water district. Efforts were poured on these projects to somehow respond to the clamor of Taclobanons for water especially in the Northern villages.
The worsening scenario that is again stealing the air waves in the city recently is blown out of proportion by some people who have probably forgotten that they are also Filipinos. Worst, some politicians have dipped their fingers into the issue without much thought of doing something to solve the problem and alleviate the situation. They criticize the city government; they call for press conferences and go to the radio and TV stations to vilify, denigrate and condemn instead of suggesting, strategizing and helping the Mayor in solving the problem which has tremendously escalated since 2008.
People in Basper should be happy that they are able to share their God-given resource to their brothers in neighboring villages. They cannot claim their water for themselves all alone. If people in Tinguib and Dagami will also say, they will not share their water with their brothers and neighboring towns and city, there would be disaster and it would be a big blow to other areas with no water resource.
The role of leaders is to unite and not ignite! They must be able to rally behind the people pursuing common good for everyone. They must not use their positions, power and influence to manipulate, sow intrigues and other discordant moves. Time and time again, it has been said that the Filipinos are a broken people, we cannot unite, and we cannot foster unity and be there for one another. The crab mentality stays and is pulling us down. We hate to share ourselves and what we have for others who are in need. As the saying goes: “Ija-ija; aho-aho”, a statement which depicts our selfish attitudes.
We can never rise as a people if we continue such attitude. We will forever be tied to the shackles of poverty, pettiness and ordinariness. Even our own leaders, the very people in our villages who are supposed to lead everyone in pro-development activities and interests are leading our people to espouse such selfish sentiments. The mayor has always been open to discussions and suggestions. He has always shown an openness and consensus type of leadership. But what was supposed to be a small internal misunderstanding was made big and blown out of proportion by others who are supposed to be objective, neutral and unprejudiced. Our legislators should not have treated the issue the way the Basper problem was tackled. They are supposed to make laws, ordinances to straighten the problem if they realize there was a problem in the system at ball. Discussions on the floor should have been made in aid of legislation instead of treating the problem as part of their individual advocacies.
They are lawmakers, afterall. They are not implementers of programs.
The problem in Basper is just a tip of the iceberg. People are getting angry and restless because for a long time, they have been miserably taken for granted by the body which is supposed to provide them safe drinking water. The sacrifices of Taclobanons on the lack of water for domestic use have been there for many years. LMWD has not done any concrete move to ease the problem; even the Booster Pumps failed. It is high time; the LWUA must answer responsibly the clamor of Taclobanons. They should not wait until the problem will get worst. People can only accept intense hardship to a certain extent.
By: Dee A. Cairo
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