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No end to flooding, heavy traffic

22 December 2015 No CommentEmail This Post Email This Post

rp_Chito-Parazo-300x173.jpgThere seems to be no end to the perennial flooding problems that has plagued Metro Manila for years.

A week ago, it was reported that large areas of Metro Manila was flooded because of typhoon “Nona” and tropical depression “Onyok,”  making it virtually difficult for residents to commute.

As usual, thousands of motorists and commuters were reportedly stranded in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Hundreds of commuters who were unavailable to find public transport, were forced to wade through waist-deep floods just to get home.

Vendors eat their lunch as they wait for customers at a flooded market in Candaba, Pampanga, north of Manila on Friday. Vast swathes of farmlands inundated by Typhoon Lando in October were flooded again this week due to heavy rains brought by Typhoon Nona.(MNS photo)

Vendors eat their lunch as they wait for customers at a flooded market in Candaba, Pampanga, north of Manila on Friday. Vast swathes of farmlands inundated by Typhoon Lando in October were flooded again this week due to heavy rains brought by Typhoon Nona.(MNS photo)

Metro Manila has a total population of about 12 million and its total land area is equivalent to or even larger than most provinces in the Philippines.

Until such time that the government demolish all shanties built by illegal settlers along esteros, sidewalks and those under bridges, Metro Manila will continue to deteriorate.

Since there is no alternative for low income housing, people are forced to live or squat in make-shift shanties along esteros, sidewalks or even under bridges. Congressmen and Mayors in Metro Manila have ignored the presence of these “squatters” since they represent votes during elections.

Hopefully, elected officials in Metropolitan Manila will have the political will, one of these days, to finally evict these illegal squatters if only to help in solving the flood problem in the metropolis.

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No money, no honey. This must be the message most members of the Lower House are trying to  convey to President Noynoy for them to resurrect the moribund Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Weeks ago, there were rumors that Malacanang was dangling a P1.5 billion pork barrel fund to Congressmen allies of President Noynoy, to railroad the approval of the BBL. As usual, Malacanang officials denied the reported bribe.

It seems that the balding President is determined at all cost to have his BBL approve for him to have even a slim change of being nominated for a Nobel Peace awardee.

However, after the supposed P1.5 billion pork barrel allocation for “cooperative” lawmakers came out in the news, the enthusiasm of some Congressmen to have the bill pass as urgent, seemed to have died down.

Even Speaker Feliciano Belmonte has already admitted in his press statement, that it will be difficult for the Lower House to act on the BBL due to lack of quorum in the house as well as the strong opposition being shown by some Congressmen against the controversial measure.

What I can not fathom is why will the Philippine government has to give P27 billion annually as what is stipulated in the BBL as agreement upon by both government and muslim peace negotiators.

There is a strong possibility that these huge amount of resources given to muslim rebels will be harbor, shelter or aid  terrorists and pirates and possibly use to exploit the possibility to secede eventually from the Philippines.

Many still believe that the BBL is not the answer to the discontentment of the muslims in Mindanao. I think the government was wrong in negotiating only with the MILF. The exclusion of other rebel groups in the negotiating table will make it harder for the BBL to be accepted by all muslims once ratified in Congress.

Other rebel groups as as the MNLF, Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters  should have been invited by the government to present their ideas on how to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao.

I think the only reason President Noynoy is pressuring Congress, particularly the Lower House, to approve the BBL is for him to get the credit for trying to end the armed conflict in Mindanao. He wants it for his legacy since he has not accomplished anything substantial which he can be proud off.

For all we know, President Noynoy doest not even care whether the BBL will bring lasting peace in Mindanao. All he want is credit and and public attention.  This is the President the Filipino people voted in 2010 to be their president.  What a scambug.

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The chances of Senator Grace Poe Llamanzares of being allowed to run in the 2016 president election is very slim. Noted lawyers and constitutionalists agree that Senator Poe Llamanzares is not qualified to run for President for not being able to meet the 10-year residency required under the constitution.

Granting that she is a natural born citizen of the Republic of the Philippines,  Senator Llamanzares still has to prove and satisfy the Comelec en banc and the Supreme Court that she has met the 10 year residency requirement.

I am not a lawyer, but hopefully, if and when Senator Poe Llamanzares will not emerge victorious in the Comelec en banc ruling, as well as with the Supreme Court, she will be allowed to keep her Senate seat, in fairness to the more than 20 million Filipinos who voted for her for Senator.

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They is the best time of the year to be happy. Let us all forget our problems for a day and be merry and thankful that we survived another year of difficulty and uncertainty. There is another 360 plus days to look forward to. I hope next year will be much better than last year for all of us, particularly on our health.

Merry Christmas to all the Weekend Balita personnel as well as to my editor, Rhony Laigo and his wife Ruth and their kids.

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