Published November 25, 2020, 11:36 PM

by Jullie Y. Daza


Jullie Y. Daza

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.

An easily quotable line that’s also the figurative and literal truth. More than a million customers of Maynilad still have no water. Neither do thousands of other victims left high and dry and mud-wrapped by typhoon Ulysses.

In an archipelago of 7, 600 islands not everyone has access to potable water or to own flushing toilets.

Investigate, investigate! After every flood, the cry is to crucify those “responsible.” Why don’t we just wait for the next flood and drown them?

Ocean upon ocean of floodwaters from mountains, rivers, dams but not enough to fill a bucket to store for next summer’s drought.

We pay good money to create agencies to tap their divining rods for water, when all they do is listen to the weather bureau’s forecasts. One case that did not create a ripple: the Commission on Audit ordering Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage Authority officials and employees to return P213 million in unauthorized allowances during their stint in 2008 – 12 years ago. Return the money? Can you collect spilled milk and pour it back into the bottle?

A Department of Disaster Resilience a’borning? Will a new department tame a typhoon, prevent illegal and immoral logging? Paraphrasing Senator Ralph Recto, another department will merely create another layer of bureaucracy (in other words, bosses and slaves) when what is needed is logistical thinking and preparedness. There are enough departments, bureaus, agencies, commissions, committees – let them work together and pool their resources systematically — before the next typhoon season. Such a DDR will be as effective as a Department of Water manufacturing water out of the (deep) blue (sea).

In an agri-based economy like ours, farmers should be rich like their Japanese and Taiwanese counterparts. To the contrary, DepEd seems determined to perpetuate the age-old image of the typical farmer with a “learning module” showing a farmer and his family dressed in hole-some rags and tatters.

Agri-based? Galunggong, “the poor man’s fish,” is P400 a kilo, “imported or local.” Poor folks we are, with a taste for expensive food.

Two can live as cheaply as one, so they fall in love in the time of coronavirus and get married.  Just don’t share face masks and face shields!