Classes have again been suspended last Tuesday due to the typhoon and strong rains.  Afternoon classes were also suspended yesterday in anticipation of bad weather.  While I think erring on the side of caution is preferable, even I could see that yesterday’s weather wasn’t bad and it was a mistake to cancel afternoon classes.

Anyway, this post is not about cancelling classes.  I just want to highlight the fact that classes have been cancelled maybe 6 times since the start of classes this June.  So now there’s discussion again about changing the school calendar.  I’ve heard talks about this since I was a student and it hasn’t happened yet and I really don’t think it will.  It wouldn’t be fair to have your summer vacation during the monsoon season, right?  My thoughts on this is to just extend the school year, shortening the summer vacation to ensure that students still get the appropriate number of school days.  Let’s incorporate the days that will surely be missed due to typhoon cancellations and avoid make-up classes on Saturdays.

Now, about floods.  This is the biggest problem every time it rains.  Sometimes, rain as short as 30 min bring floods and it really shouldn’t.  Every year we have typhoons, and every year the government is helpless about the floods that result.  While I admire the evacuation plans and emergency training being done, I think we should address the cause of floods and eliminate flooding totally.  We can’t do anything about the rains but I’m pretty sure we can do something about the floods.

Everybody knows the main cause of floods are the blocked sewage systems.  So why is the government not doing anything to clear this?  We also know that bulk of the pollution comes from the informal settlers living along the water ways.  We know how dangerous their situation is and how much they contribute to the problem however they are still not resettled.  While I can understand their situation, it’s still not right to let them stay there, endangering their lives and bringing harm to others.  We need political will to really clear these areas and ensure that it stays clear.  Unfortunately, I think the politician who can do this hasn’t been born yet.

Another big problem caused by heavy rains is the heavy traffic.  Aside from the reduced visibility, drivers have to avoid flood prone areas and hence they’re all using the same roads.  As an aside, there was a motorist who, upon seeing a flooded road, continued driving on resulting in his car floating.  Upon being interviewed, he was very upset saying that he should have been informed that the road was impassable.  This is another trait that we all have, laying blame.  I’m not a driver but I know that if there are no cars on a flooded street that I probably shouldn’t take it, or ask around first to see if my car can make it.

Anyway, going back to traffic, a lot of roads have huge, gaping holes.  This is because they are poorly made so after a heavy rain, there are more potholes than roads.  This has something to do with the famous corruption in the Philippines again.  Politicians get kickbacks for having the road repaired every year so construction companies use substandard materials since they would earn more that way.  And the Filipino people are awed by the fact that their beloved politicians have worked to have their roads repaired.

Another cause of traffic are the road constructions and improvements.  While some of these might really take a year or so to finish, like what’s being done now along Quezon Avenue, why not start the construction before the rains fall?   At least it would be halfway through by the time the rains come.  The project along Quezon Avenue started in June, just in time for the rainy season and for the start of school.  It has also been delayed of course, due to the typhoons.  They could have started in January, right?

I’m sorry about all the rants but it’s just so tiring having the same problems year in and year out.  We know what the problems are, we kinda know what the solutions are but we’re not doing anything.  We’ve become stagnant.  It’s easier to be an observer, a commenter, a blamer, a complainer.  We have to break out.  And while we can do some things as individuals, in this case, the government has the bigger task of fixing the situation.  Here’s hoping that they will wake up soon and do something instead of talking and pointing fingers.