BusinessMirror

The fruit of nature’s neglect

- Rev. Fr. Antonio Cecilio T. Pascual

In Montalban and San Mateo, the quarrying or large-scale breaking of mountains to gather rocks and other materials still continue. DENR suspended these operations after the floods brought by one strong typhoon in 2018, but these operations truly didn’t stop. Montalban is also considered as one of the many illegal-logging hot spots.

Brot hers and sisters, this past week, memories of our grueling experience during Typhoon Ondoy in 2009 horribly resurfaced. On Wednesday, a major part of Metro Manila and neighborin­g areas have been submerged due to the flooding caused by Typhoon Ulysses. The following day, Thursday, the overflowin­g rivers and canals drowned villages and houses, forcing people to go to their roofs to shout for help.

Seeing our fellowmen who had no means to fight against the rising flood mixed with mud, oil, and garbage is quite tragic. Seeing the elderly, children and infants, pregnant women, and those bearing illnesses and disabiliti­es that were in danger while trying to reach evacuation centers or going to higher grounds, as well as our fellowmen who chose not to leave their homes, is a pitiful site. It is worrying for these events to occur during the time of a pandemic. The authoritie­s continue to give updates on how many Filipinos have been affected, including those who perished, and the gravity of the damage left by the supertypho­on that hit our country this year.

There are some who say that the

floods caused by Typhoon Ulysses are worse compared to the one caused by Typhoon Ondoy. If the flood is greater, we would assume that the rain that poured during the typhoon is greater as well. However, this is not the case, according to Philippine Atmospheri­c, Geophysica­l and Astronomic­al Services Administra­tion (PAGASA). If we talk about the amount of rain that poured, Typhoon Ondoy still brought in more water.

But why was the flood caused by Typhoon Ondoy more devastatin­g?

As PAGASA said, it is possible that the water came down from Sierra Madre, particular­ly from the area called the Marikina watershed. The water brought by the succeeding chain of Typhoons Quinta, Rolly, and Tonyo, built up and accumulate­d even if these typhoons didn’t directly hit Metro Manila. The mountains just couldn’t absorb the water brought by heavy rain. Aside from the saturated land, it is visibly obvious that the mountains surroundin­g Metro Manila are severely destroyed.

In Montalban and San Mateo, the quarrying or large-scale breaking of mountains to gather rocks and other materials still continue. DENR suspended these operations after the floods brought by one strong typhoon in 2018, but these operations truly didn’t stop. Montalban is also considered as one of the many illegal-logging hot spots, which is why there are many lost trees that caused the soil to erode; the effect of this can be seen through the color of the floodwater. In many areas in

Rizal, there are resettleme­nt sites and private subdivisio­ns, which are needed to be constructe­d with concrete, are seen left-and-right. So instead of the rainwater being absorbed, it flows down to nearby rivers.

In other words, we are gathering the fruits of violating nature, and many innocent people are affected. Pope Francis said in Laudato Si, if we treat our environmen­t as a way to make profit, there will be serious consequenc­es. Which is why both environmen­tal and social crises can never be separated. These create one complex crisis, and addressing the needs of small communitie­s is accompanie­d by preserving nature.

Brothers and sisters, if we allow nature to be destroyed, let us not be surprised if we experience heavy floods like what we just did these past weeks and for the years that came in our “world filled with His unfailing love” (as said in the book of Psalms 33:5). Despite this, we have faith in God’s love that we are blessed through helping each other and every one in need during these times of tragedy.

Make it a habit to listen to Radio Veritas 846 Ang Radyo ng Simbahan in the AM band, or through live streaming at www.veritas846.ph, and follow its Twitter and Instagram accounts @veritasph, and Youtube at veritas846.ph. For your comments, e-mail veritas846­pr@gmail.com.

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines