Ideas for Pasig River

How you can help save Pasig River.

  1. Stop littering.
  2. Practice recycling.
  3. Minimize your plastic waste.
  4. Support this site. Share it.
  5. Subscribe to keep updated.
  6. Write and publish your own thoughts about Pasig River, preferably good ones that suggest real solutions to the problem.
  7. Write your favorite politician. Tell him/her about this advocacy. Order him/her to participate and to use his powers to bring about real change.

If you have other ideas tell me about it.

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Industrial Pollution To Hinder Pasig River Rehabilitation

Now this is what I’ve been talking about. Last Tuesday, a news report came out that the city government of Pasig is now monitoring two factories after it was discovered that these facilities have been discharging chemicals into the Marikina River.

The reports:

AY Tantuco Manufacturing Inc. and its sister company Pure Essence International Corp—manufacturers of diesel and soaps—-made another blunder when an environment team found a pipe discharging chemical substance coming from their plants going to the Marikina River, Raquel Naciongayo, city environment officer, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The two were also given 30 days to purchase an anti-air pollution device after a pungent odor was reported in two barangays in Pasig City in Aug. 11.

“We have also found out that there had been a contamination in the river twice sometime in July and August,” Naciongayo said.

The city environment office had already ordered the sister companies to remove the pipe. “It’s possible they drain their waste in the river whenever their sewerage treatment facility is turned off,” she said.

Now imagine the same thing happening along the Pasig River and its tributaries. This is exactly my biggest concern about focusing river rehabilitation efforts on band-aid solutions such as clean-ups and fun runs. Removing squatter colonies and removing the buildup of waste materials may do the river some good but nothing that could be considered permanent.

I would argue that as long as these factories and manufacturing plants continue to operate along its banks, Pasig River will never really get the chance to heal and come back to life.

A Greenpeace report on industrial pollution in Pasig River provides a clearer picture.

In September 1999, Greenpeace collected wastewater and sediment samples from and around the effluent outlets of two factories – Chemphil and Republic Asahi. The samples were analyzed at the Greenpeace Research Laboratories at the University of Exeter, UK. The findings vindicate Greenpeace’s hypothesis that the Pasig River environment is being steadily loaded with non-degradable and poorly degradable toxic substances.

Read the Greenpeace report, for more details.

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Pasig River Needs Carlos Celdran

I’ve been hearing a lot of things about a certain Carlos Celdran, who, as some of my friends say, is the best tour guide this side of the planet. My curiosity piqued, I googled him and found that a lot of people look up to him as some sort of crusader.

From the little that I know now, Celdran is not your garden variety tour guide. He is so much more than that. He is also a historian of sorts and a promoter of Filipino pride. I’m not a big fan of this “proud to be Filipino” craze or movement or whatever — I find it rather misplaced and suprficial — however I can respect Celdran’s approach to promoting the idea.

I’ve since learned that Celdran specializes in walking tours in the City of Manila specifically Intramuros. I also learned that he is also into biking and recently organized a bike ride in support of the Department of Tourism.

Sorry for putting you on the spot, but Pasig River really needs your help.

Photo by Nena Wuthrich. Copied from Ramblings From A Gypsy Soul.

Based on the photos I’ve seen of that event, I think I can safely say that Celdran is quite influential, the sort of person I would love to see involved in campaigns for the rehabilitation of Pasig River. After all, the river does run through the City of Manila (his favorite subject matter) and it does have some historical significance (something that I’m sure he can incorporate in his presentations if he hasn’t already).

No sense in being coy about it. This post is an open invitation to Mr. Carlo Celdran to use his influence to raise awareness about the urgent need to clean up and revive Pasig River.

Mr. Celdran, in case you find yourself reading this page, please take some time to read the following blogposts of mine so you’d know exactly what I’m advocating.

Should The Government Remove Factories Along Pasig River?

What About Them Manufacturing Plants?

A reader informed me that the photo was taken by Nena Wuthrich.

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Campaign Against Plastic Pollution

Here’s a report from that is related to my previous post about the group Alliance For A Cleaner Earth or ACE.

Plastics and ‘Ondoy’

By Rina Jimenez-David
Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE MINUTE floodwaters from last year’s “Ondoy” disaster receded enough to allow vehicles on the road, my husband and I motored to SM Marikina to buy food supplies and other necessities, such as plastic pails and basins, brooms and a transistor radio.

As we sped along Marcos Highway, I wondered if there was a fiesta being celebrated as light posts and the fence on the traffic island was festooned with what looked like bunting. On closer inspection, the “bunting” turned out to be plastic bags and trash snagged on the posts and on the chicken wire of the fence, swaying in the wind and lending a cheery air to an otherwise somber atmosphere, what with mounds of dried mud on the road and roadsides, and disabled vehicles littering the highway.

The plastic trash could be spotted throughout the stretch of Marcos Highway, obviously borne by the floodwaters. The sight of them brought home the predominance of plastic material among the flotsam in our drains and ditches, leading one to speculate if these did not perhaps contribute to the extraordinary level of flooding that swamped much of Metro Manila almost a year ago.

These suspicions would seem to have been bolstered by a statement issued recently by the Alliance for a Cleaner Earth (ACE), a group of outdoor sports enthusiasts and environmentalists calling for measures to stop what it calls “plastic pollution.” The group sees the amount of plastic trash as a “major cause of the regular flooding experienced in Metro Manila and solid waste pollution in all parts of the country—from beaches to mountains, from creeks and rivers to seas all over the archipelago.”

* * *

ONDOY, said ACE, was a “wake-up call that should have been heeded” since plastic trash has been found to be a major cause of blocked drainage and floodways.

The government, said the group, could adopt and enforce measures that will drastically reduce the amount of plastic materials, as part of climate change adaptation measures. Among these are the creation, adoption and enforcement of a “plastics pollution tax” to be levied on all products that are packaged in plastic. In Ghana, said the group, both producers and consumers of products packed in plastic bear the burden of the tax.

Such a measure could be an expansion of a plastics tax bill recently filed in Congress covering plastic bottles, pouches, sachets, wrappers, etc. HB 127 seeks to levy a tax of P2.50 “for every plastic bag used at the point of sale of goods or products.” Indeed, the proposed plastics pollution tax would increase the price of goods packaged in plastic, and would in fact force consumers to buy fewer products packaged in plastic and force producers as well to seek alternative means of distributing their products. Moreover, said ACE, they hope the tax will “lead to the creation of a fund that would be used for the retrieval and proper disposal of plastic waste.”

* * *

WHILE we wait for the bill to make its way through Congress, and then wait even longer as the concerned bodies begin to implement the tax, there are some questions that need to be answered now as we approach the Ondoy anniversary.

First, what has the task force or commission created in the wake of Ondoy accomplished so far? I know the former President appointed tycoon Manuel Pangilinan to head this body, but aside from some preliminary steps, nothing has been heard from it since.

Second, what have local governments, especially in towns and cities badly affected by Ondoy, done to mitigate the impact of heavy rains and flooding? Have they at the very least inspected particular areas where flooding was pretty bad and begun to either dredge, clear or clean up waterways and routes for floodwater? Are they even now collecting all the plastic trash from drains to make sure these don’t cause floods in the event of heavy rain?

At the same time, have measures been taken to enable local governments to respond rapidly in cases not just of typhoons and flooding but of other natural disasters like earthquakes, volcano eruptions and landslides? In the first few weeks after Ondoy, we saw and heard a slew of suggestions, like re-designing barangay halls and equipping these with rescue boats and other rescue equipment, coming up with a system of alarm bells, sirens and other means to alert residents of incoming danger, and even clearing the floodways of obstructions to make sure floodwater makes it way to Manila Bay or Laguna de Bay. Have any of these measures been implemented?

* * *

ENVIRONMENT experts had a single message in the course of numerous briefings held in the face of tremendous media interest post-Ondoy. And this was: Ondoy can and will happen again, and sooner than we think. This is because, they said, measures that should have been taken decades ago to mitigate flooding in Metro Manila and other urbanized parts of the country were either ignored or laid aside due to lack of funds.

At the same time, local governments and private developers have tampered needlessly (but profitably) with nature, filling creeks, rivers and even lakes to build subdivisions or commercial centers. Others have not only felled trees but entire hillsides and mountains to build not just homes and commercial establishments, but also golf courses, resorts and casinos.

Ondoy, as many commentators said, was nature’s way of warning us that we abuse her at our own risk. But a repeat of Ondoy—and I don’t doubt that it will happen sooner rather than later—would be nature’s way of slapping some sense into us. It’s time we were shaken awake.

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Alliance For A Cleaner Earth Bats For Plastics Pollution Tax

A group identifying itself as Alliance for a Cleaner Earth sent me a press release about their own initiative against the improper disposal of waste materials specifically those made with plastic. The group is basically pushing for a plastics pollution tax.

Remember Ondoy, stop plastics pollution

A group of concerned citizens has come out urging the national and local governments to prioritize the speedy implementation of measures that will mitigate the occurrence of another Ondoy flooding disaster and solve the regular occurrence of flooding in various parts of Metro Manila.

The Alliance for a Cleaner Earth (ACE), a group of outdoor sports enthusiasts and environmentalists, calls for measures to stop plastic pollution which it sees as a major cause of the regular flooding experienced in Metro Manila and solid waste pollution in all parts of the country – from beaches to mountains, from creeks and rivers to seas all over the archipelago.

The Ondoy disaster last year, which will mark its first anniversary in a few weeks, is a wake-up that should have been heeded as plastic trash was found to be major cause – and continues to be a major cause — of blocked drainages and floodways.

ACE calls on the government to adopt and enforce measures that will drastically reduce the amount of plastic materials both at its source as one of several Climate Change adaptation
Among the many measures the group seeks the government to create, adopt and enforce the imposition of a plastics pollution tax to be levied on all products that are packaged in plastic, similar to a proposed plastic tax in Ghana where both producers and consumers of products packed in plastic share the burden of the tax.

Such a measure would be an expansion of a plastics tax bill recently filed in Congress covering plastic bottles, pouches, sachets, wrappers, etc.

House Bill 127 or an “AN ACT IMPOSING AN EXCISE TAX, TO BE KNOWN AS ENVIRONMENTAL LEVY ON THE USE OF PLASTIC BAGS IN SHOPS, SUPERMARKETS, SERVICE STATIONS, STORES AND/OR SALES OUTLETS, CREATING THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION SUPPORT FUND, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES”. HB 127 seeks to levy a tax in the amount of Two Pesos and Fifty Centavos (Php 2.50 or US Dollar .06) for every plastic bag used at the point of sale of goods or products.  Only plastic bags used as original packaging of products will be (sic) excepted from the proposed tax.”

The plastics pollution tax would increase the price of goods packaged in plastic, thereby forcing consumers to buy less products packaged in plastic and force producers to seek alternative means of distributing their products.

Moreover, it should lead to a creation of a fund that would be used for the retrieval and proper disposal of plastic wastes.

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Parallelisms Between Yangtze River And Pasig River Situation

Here’s an article from The Epoch Times. I am reposting it here in full. Please note the parallelisms to our own situation. The relevant parts will be highlighted by me.

Heavily Polluted Yangtze River Endangers 400 Million Chinese
Toxic cocktail causing fish mutation
By Rona Rui

A recent brief report by Greenpeace, titled Swimming in Poison, analyzes the prevalence of hazardous chemicals in the Yangtze River and its fauna, showing how the river’s fish are riddled with a variety of poisons, and how the river is otherwise badly polluted.

The Yangtze is the longest river in China and one of the longest in the world. One third of China’s population lives near its banks and relies on it for fresh water, including the 20 million residents of Shanghai; its health affects the health of 400 million Chinese.

The river receives more waste than any other in China, from factories, heavy metal industries, fertilizers, pesticides and weed killing solutions.

The Greenpeace study found hazardous chemicals in nearly every sample of carp and catfish. According to the report, “Among the identified substances were [chemicals] used for water repellent coatings in products such as food wrappings, clothing, carpets and leather. Greenpeace also found … derivatives [that] are widely used in detergents, textile and leather finishers.”

“These man-made chemicals have been proven to be hazardous to living organisms. They can act as an endocrine disruptor and accumulate in the body for long periods of time,” the report states. The production of some of the more perfidious chemicals that were discovered has been reducing in other countries, but growing in China.

Many of the findings are not groundbreaking. A 2006 investigative report by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection disclosed that there were 20,000 chemical plants in China at the time, with nearly half of them on the banks of Yangtze River.

Wu Lihong, an environmental activist nicknamed the “Taihu Guardian” has for many years studied the pollution in Taihu Lake, which is situated near the Yangtze River. He told The Epoch Times that according to his estimates, the number of chemical factories on the banks of the Yangtze may be even higher than official reports.

He gave an example that, by 2007, there were 2,800 chemical factories just in the city of Yixing in Jiangsu province, a city with 1.6 million inhabitants located on the bank of Taihu Lake. The local government later claimed they had closed down many of the factories, but according to Mr. Wu, only some very small chemical plants were closed while the major polluters continued to operate.

The Chinese regime adopts the “treatment after pollution” policy, Mr. Wu said, which means that the citizenry end up merely suffering in silence, unable to stop the pollution before it turns into a media incident. “Due to extreme pollution found in Taihu Lake, we started to drink water from Yangtze River instead. If Yangtze River water is so shockingly bad as stated in the report, the results could be very dreadful.”

Environmental Crisis

Mr. Wu believes that pollution is hard to manage in China because the local governments all try to protect their own interests. Orders given by those higher up have little effect at the local level. The environment is now a sensitive political topic in mainland China: “Due to the upcoming United Nations Conference on the Environment in Mexico and the failure to reach agreement during the last meeting in Copenhagen, mainland media try to stay away from these sensitive topics.”

Mr. Wu believes that shutting down the unqualified factories is the key to solve the water pollution problem. “However, in trying to achieve political and economic success, the local government are working counter to the central government, in effect playing a game of cat and mouse. This is a very complex topic,” said Wu, adding that currently the pollution problem is only talked about, or discussed during meetings; no real action has been taken.

A transparent environmental impact assessment process with public involvement is crucial: “What kind of environmental threat does [a new plant] potentially create for the Yangtze River or Taihu Lake? What kind of impact do you have on the local environment? We need to see real data, not fake numbers, and the data must be publicly available.”

Just two decades ago there was little pollution, and the country had no need for such as the “Model Environmental Protection City” award. Today, with so much pollution, cities around the lake have suddenly all become a “Model Environmental Protection City”. He said, “In an attempt to present themselves in a favorable light, the government is doing public relations projects, with fraudulent numbers showing their success, they need to make up some lies to deceive the general public.” However, the report from Greenpeace International clearly points out that “In reality, (China) is in an environmental crisis.”

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Greenpeace Philippines Launches Water Patrol Campaign

Greenpeace Philippines has launched a new campaign, which aims to get the government to institute policies that will ensure public access to information on toxic emissions that end up in our water.

I will support this campaign as it is in line with my own advocacy. I encourage you to do the same.

Here’s some info on this initiative.

“Ano ang nasa tubig mo?”
Greenpeace demands Zero Discharge Policy in the Philippines
August 27, 2010

Quezon City, PHILIPPINES — Greenpeace asked Filipinos “Ano ang nasa tubig mo?” (“Do you know what’s in your water?”) to elicit their participation in the campaign for immediate implementation of a mandatory chemical disclosure system for industries, and to eliminate harmful wastewater from factories through a ‘zero discharge’ policy (1).
“Greenpeace is launching this initiative with a challenge to the public to think about what hidden chemicals are lurking in our lakes and rivers. These freshwater bodies are the ultimate sources of the water we drink and use. But our rivers and lakes are continually threatened by chemical industrial pollution — hidden dangers that are difficult to detect and are even harder to clean up,” said Beau Baconguis, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Toxics Campaigner.

“The public has the right to know what’s in their water. Today we are calling on people from all walks of life to join us in raising the alarm for government action to enforce concrete and effective measures to protect water quality, beginning with a policy that will openly disclose hazardous chemical use of factories,” she added.

The quality of fresh water sources in the Philippines is steadily declining while the costs of obtaining clean water is rising. And although government agencies monitor water quality, the parameters are severely limited and do not include many toxic substances from new technologies, including some of the most harmful compounds known to humans such as persistent organic pollutants or POPs (2). Previous Greenpeace researches (3) reveal that many industrial discharges often contain hazardous chemicals which are persistent, bio-accumulated and toxic. The problem arises from poor environmental protection control, dirty industrial production using hazardous chemicals and blatant disregard for environment laws.

To date, no laws or regulations give Filipinos the right to know about hazardous chemicals use by factories, and their transfer and release to the environment. Thus there is no information available on the types and amounts of toxic chemicals which are released into water bodies.

“Pollution is not a secret. Freedom of Information must extend to industrial use of poisonous chemicals. Effective protection of our water resources depends highly on public access to information and public participation in decision-making. Greenpeace is therefore calling on the public to be part of this initiative to protect the water we drink by joining us in demanding the government to institute legislation to address the rights of the public to know about toxic releases from industry. This will open toxic chemical use to public scrutiny and safeguard each citizen’s right to a healthy environment,” said Baconguis.

The problem of water pollution aggravates the problem of water scarcity which is a serious threat to the country during dry season. The campaign “Ano ang nasa tubig mo?” is a continuation of the Greenpeace Water Patrol initiative “Saan galing ang tubig mo?” conducted last April. Both projects aim to deepen public awareness regarding threats to our water supply and every citizen’s role in protecting it.

If you want to help please visit the Water Patrol page.

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We Can Bring About Real Change

Here’s a report from that should serve as an inspiration to anyone who wants to make a difference in this world. This one should be particularly interesting to real advocates of Pasig River’s rehabilitation.

Chinese photographer wins RM for helping save a river

By Ma. Ceres P. Doyo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:10:00 08/29/2010

ONE DAY, Chinese photojournalist Huo Daishan was shocked to see that the Huai no longer looked like the river of his childhood.

It was highly polluted, emitted toxic fumes, yielded dead fish, and killed people. It had become a river of death.

“I lived there,” Huo, 56, told the Inquirer. “I played there when I was a child. The water was clear and we could see fish. We could even drink the water.”

Huo is one of the seven 2010 Ramon Magsaysay (RM) Awardees who will receive honors on Aug. 31, the birth anniversary of the late President after whom the award is named.

He is being recognized for “his selfless and unrelenting efforts, despite formidable odds, to save China’s river Huai and the numerous communities who draw life from it.”

Huo is one of three Chinese RM awardees this year, and the 16th from the People’s Republic of China since the RM Awards began in 1958. The two others, both government bureaucrats, will not attend the awarding ceremony. (See banner story.)

The RM Awards Foundation honors individuals and institutions that have shown “greatness of spirit in selfless service to the peoples of Asia.”

The award is given to “persons—regardless of race, nationality, creed or gender—who address issues of human development in Asia with courage and creativity, and in doing so have made contributions which have transformed their societies for the better.”

The great Huai River is known to have cradled ancient Chinese civilization.

By its banks lived great figures in Chinese history, among them Confucius, Mencius and Laozi. Legendary figures Fuxi, ancestor of all Chinese people, and Dayu, water control hero, were associated with it.

The powerful river gave life but it has also been known to take its toll, through floods, on communities thriving near it. A thousand kilometers long, it meanders through four provinces and forms a major agricultural basin where more than 150 million people live.

In recent years the Huai came close to dying because of pollution. Also dying were many people living in riverbank communities that became known as “cancer villages.”

Industries had long been unleashing millions of tons of waste into the Huai, turning it into China’s most polluted river.

But Huo, a newspaper photographer from Shenqui, did not want to give up on the river and the people that he loved.

He embarked on his crusade by showing the state of the Huai through thousands of his photographs. His efforts opened the floodgates of concern that led to a concerted action to save the river.

Full-time mission

In 1987, Huo started documenting the river’s dying. He was alone when he began.

“I had only a Minolta camera, a notebook and a pen,” he recalled.

Although the Chinese government had tried to address the Huai problem with a multi-billion rehabilitation project, its impact was not enough. Worse, a local government produced a fake report on the river’s state.

Huo resigned from his newspaper job and, in 1998, decided to make his river documentation a full-time, self-funded mission.

In 2000 he formed a group called “Guardians of the Huai River” and mounted his first photo exhibit that showed the true state of the river and the communities near it.

With the help of his wife and two sons, he hung photographs on clotheslines along a street in his village. He had little resources to go by, but he was so determined that he eventually drew the attention of the public to the dying river.

He was no longer alone.

Huo’s efforts over the years yielded more than 15,000 photographs taken in more than 20 cities and counties across Henan.

He has held more than 70 photo exhibits in cities, villages and schools. His photographs of children wearing masks to protect themselves from the Huai’s toxic fumes shocked many.

Research and training

Huo and his group produce not only still photographs but also video documentaries in DVD that can easily be shown to big numbers of people. (But a book of photographs and stories is something Huo would really like to do.)

Apart from producing photographs, Huo also did research and organized river visits for students and interested groups.

He trained hundreds of volunteer “guardians” who monitored the Huai and tested the water. One of his group’s shocking findings was the high incidence of cancer, particularly in the respiratory and digestive systems, in the riverbank communities.

Huo also discovered that the water used for agriculture and even the ground water for drinking had been contaminated by the pollutants in the Huai.

Initially, local officials and factory owners did not look kindly on Huo’s advocacy. At one point his website was hacked.

But he was undeterred and continued working hard until his relations with uncooperative groups improved. In fact, one major polluter of the river, a producer of MSG, now collaborates with him in putting pollution controls in place.

Huo has succeeded in involving government and private groups in his crusade to save the Huai. But the so-called cancer villages remain among his major concerns.

He worked to have deep water wells and low-cost filtration systems installed in the riverbank communities and for hundreds of cancer patients to receive medical aid.

Huo hopes to see the Huai restored to its original pristine state in his lifetime, the way it was when he was a child.

Mr. Huo’s achievement is proof that no matter how small, a person’s actions can influence and bring about bigger events. Of course this applies on both positive and negative action. For instance, the simple act of throwing small trash into our waterways. That small shampoo sachet may seem inconsequential but look how millions of them clogging waterways and sewage systems can cause a lot problems.

And you probably think this won't happen again.

We surely can bring about real change, if we’re willing to change ourselves first. We can start with our bad habits.

Congratulations to Mr. Huo not only for getting this recognition but for actually getting some real work done on the Huai river. I hope my kababayans will follow your example.

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Pinoy’s Lack of Preparedness To Ensure Inevitability of Another Ondoy

It rained on Metro Manila last Friday and guess what? Yes, many parts of Metro Manila got flooded. And, that happened when rainfall wasn’t even that heavy.

Now imagine what would happen if we get hit by another Ondoy. Surely, the same devastation we had last year would just happen all over again. And why wouldn’t it? Have we been doing things differently since that great flood of ours? Have we become more conscious and concerned about our environment?

I have been using this blog for about a month now to push for Pasig River’s rehabilitation and I think I am not really making any significant impact. I checked on my statistics and found that two posts of mine that had the keywords “Dingdong Dantes”, “Angel Locsin” and “Venus Raj” were getting the most hits. The rest not so much. The exception was my “Panawagan Sa Aking Mga Kababayan” which was my response to the tension caused by the Quirino Grandstand Hostage Crisis.

If most of us will remain more concerned about show business stuff then I see no hope of us avoiding another major disaster like what Ondoy caused last year. If we don’t start changing our ways starting with shifting our focus on things more important than showbiz then we can all just start kissing our asses goodbye.

I really can’t understand why we are like this. We don’t seem to know how to anticipate and prepare. What we’re good at is reacting and oftentimes in an over-the-top manner. Perhaps this is the effect of watching too many telenovelas and chismis talk shows.

And that I think is this country’s major, major problem.

Someone sent me a link to a website whose author also feels frustrated about how we can’t seem to get our heads together to prepare instead of just reacting to disasters. Do check it out and find out if you’re the Filipino that blogger is trying to describe.

Here’s the link

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Panawagan Para Sa Aking Mga Kababayan

Subukan ko Tagalugin ang blogpost na ito para tayong mga Pilipino lang ang makaintindi.

Una sa lahat, umaasa ako na magpapakahinahon muna ang lahat sa sensitibong panahon na ito. Huwag na sanang dagdagan pa ng ilan sa mga kababayan natin ang sakit at galit na nararamdaman ng mga taga-Hong Kong. Tanggapin natin na kung ano man ang nararamdaman nila ngayon ay dala lamang ng galit na natural lamang na mararamdaman nila dahil sa nangyari sa kanilang mga kababayan.

May kumakalat ngayong litrato ng ilang mga kabataang estudyante na nagpapakuha ng litrato malapit sa lugar na pinangyarihan ng hostage taking. Huwag na sana natin itong ipakalat pa. Umabot na sa kaalaman ng mga taga-Hong Kong ang naturang litrato.

Hindi katakatakang galit ang reaksyon nila dito. Hindi rin naman magiging katakataka kung dahil sa litratong ito ay makapagbitiw din ang mga taga-Hong Kong ng hindi magagandang salita laban sa mga Pilipino at sa Pilipinas. Kung mangyayari man ito huwag na sana nating patulan. Walang mapapala ang sinoman sa atin kung mauwi pa sa awayang Pilipinas at Hong Kong ang isyung ito.

Alalahanin nating may mga kababayan tayong nagtatrabaho sa Hong Kong.

Dun naman sa mga batang nandoon sa litrato, sana naman maging aral ito sa inyo. Batid kong kaya nandoon ay dahil kasama kayo sa mga dumalo sa ginawang seremonya para sa mga namayapa. Bagamat maganda nga at ginawa ninyo iyun, ang pagpapakuha ninyo ng litratong ito kung saan kitang kita pa ang inyong mga ngiti ay walang kaduda dudang makakasakit ng damdamin ng mga pamilya, kamag-anak, kaibigan at kababayan ng mga nasawi.

Sana maging aral ito sa inyo at sa iba pang mga kabataang Pilipino na marahil ay nagaakalang sa lahat ng oras ayos lang na magpa-cute.

Dun naman sa gumawa ng isang laro na halaw sa nangyaring trahedya ang ginamit na tema, kung totoong Pilipino ka nga sana mabasa mo rin ito. Pakiusap lang brod, alisin mo na yung ginawa mong laro at huwag mo nang ilabas kailan man. Sablay na sablay ang diskarte mo.

Sa Philippine National Police, sana naman maging mapagkumbaba rin kayo sa panahong ito. Kahit ano pa ang sabihin ninyo malinaw naman na naging palpak ang inyong operasyon. Nariyan ang pruweba — siyam na tao patay. Oo, alam na namin na ginawa ninyo ang inyong makakaya, alam na namin na may mga kakulangan kayo sa gamit at marahil maging sa training. Ganunpaman responsibilidad ninyong tiyakin ang kaligtasan ng sino mang tao na nandirito sa ating bansa. Pumalpak kayo. Maging mapagkumbaba kayo at tanggapin ninyo ito.

Sa Media, sana maging mas responsable na rin kayo. Oo naiintindihan namin na trabaho ninyo ang maghatid ng impormasyon at balita. Nagawa ninyo iyun ngunit medyo sumobra. Sa inyong kagustuhan na ma-iskupan ang bawat isa umabuso kayo. Sana maging aral din ito sa inyo. Tigilan na ninyo ang mga ulat kung saan kitang kita naman ang inyong paggiging defensive. Hindi ito nakakatulong para pababain ang tensyon at nagliliyab na emosyon ng mga tao. Sana maging aral din ito sa inyo.

Sa ating Pangulo Benigno Aquino III, heto ang susubok sa inyong kakayahang mamuno. Noong panahon ng eleksyon, buong pagmamalaki ninyong iniharap ang inyong sarili bilang tagapagligtas ng Pilipinas mula sa mga kasamaang bumalot dito dulot — ayon sa inyo at sa inyong mga kaalyado — ng pamumuno ng dating administrasyon. Sana patunayan ninyo ngayon na isa kayong tunay na lider.

Sana matutunan ninyong dumiskarte base sa kung ano nga ba talaga ang tama. Bawas bawasan ninyo ang inyong dependence sa inyong mga eksperto sa komunikasyon. Tapos na po ang kampanya. Tigilan na ninyo ang pagpapatakbo sa bansa na para bang isa lamang itong palabas. Gawin ninyo ang tama hindi ang sa tingin ninyo ay maganda lamang tingnan o pakinggan.

Marami ang bumabatikos sa inyo ngayon dahil hindi naramdaman ang inyong pamumuno noong kainitan ng hostage drama. May basehan man o wala ang naturang batikos, tanggapin niyo na lamang. Pigilan ninyo ang inyong mga eksperto sa komunikasyon na diskartehan pa ang isyung ito gamit ang kaalaman nila sa public relations at propaganda.

Ito ang hamon sa inyo. Sana gawin ninyo ang tama at maging tunay na lider kayo sa mga panahong ito.

Nawa’y gabayan tayong lahat ng tamang pagiisip at paguugali.

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