Mayon Volcano eruption and the Circumferential Road Project

Mayon Volcano has erupted anew and Alert Level 4 has been declared by the Philippine Institute of Seismology and Volcanology (Phivolcs) as of this writing. Alert Level 4 means an explosive eruption is possible in the next few hours or days.

Volcano eruption1

Given the impending more violent volcanic eruption, people are asking: Ano na ang bareta sa P60 million Mayon Circumferential Road Project of the Department of Public Works and Highways? Yes, it was halted, but what about the damage it may cause for uprooting the trees that serve as natural barriers against flood, pyroclastic flows and even ashfalls?

There were reports that the Bicol Environment Management Bureau (EMB) has issued a show-cause order to District Engineer Simon Arias of the Albay First District Engineering Office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Legazpi which implements the project. But then, what has happened since then? The report was made October last year. Ngonyan, ano’ng taon na?

It was revealed that the construction of the circumferential road has no environmental clearance from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. It was implemented by the DPWH with Sunwest Construction as one of the two favored contractors. Another is DSB Construction. Sunwest, however, bagged P50 M of the contract while DSB has P10 M. Sunwest is associated with the Ako Bicol Partylist which explains why Ako Bicol Congressman Rodel Batocabe was among the politicians defending the project.

Just in case the eruption continued to linger on and causes much damage, what will DPWH do? Will it ask Sunwest to relocate the affected residents to Misibis Resort?

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Sa isip, sa salita at sa ngawa

The January 13, 2018 episode of ABS-CBN’s Pilipinas Got Talent sparked controversies not because of the performance of its contestants but because of the attitude of one of its judges– Robin Padilla. Padilla was shown calling out, if not scolding, Korean contestant Jiwan Kim for not speaking in Filipino despite staying 10 years in the Philippines. But instead of showing remorse for what others call as a rude and racist behavior, Padilla said: Kung sasabihin mo sa akin na 10 taon ka na dito at hindi ka pa rin marunong mag-Tagalog, aba eh may problema. Hindi mo pwede sabihin sa akin na mahal mo ang Pilipinas… pero di (ka) marunong mag-Tagalog?

Padilla’s justification leads to a question: Does speaking Tagalog signify love for the Philippines? Does it signify nationalism? If so, what then can be said to the millions of non-Tagalog speakers? There are 183 languages in the Philippines 175 of which are indigenous. And of the indigenous language speakers, a significant number are un-schooled and may not know how to speak Tagalog. May mga bistado akong mga Bikolano sa bulod, dai nakatuntong ki pormal na edukasyon asin dai tatao mag-Tagalog. Does that mean these people do not love the Philippines? Does this mean they have no sense of Philippine nationalism? In the first place, is the Tagalog language even the basis for nationalism?

Robin Padilla’s mentality simply fuels the concept of “Imperial Manila”. Kaya kita nagkakabaranga bilang nasyon dahil sa kawaran ki respeto sa pagkakaiba kan kada saro asin padagos na pagbusol sa “Tagalog vs others” mentality. In fact, bako man Tagalog an national language ta: Filipino. And worse, an official languages ta bako lang Filipino kundi English base sa Section 7 Article 14 kan Konstitusyon. Apwera sa English nirerekonisar man an regional languages as auxiliary languages siring man an Arabic asin Spanish. Kun an mentalidad asin lohika ni Robin Padilla an susundon ta, gusto bayang sabihon bagong nationalist ang Konstitusyon kan Pilipinas? Siring man, gusto bayang sabihon na si Jose Rizal bakong national hero? Tandaan niyato na si Rizal an mga panurat sa lenguaheng Espanyol asin an adbokasiya niya gibuhon na probinsiya kan Espanya an Pilipinas. So paano na kita kaini?

Sa original na “Panatang Makabayan”, may linya na nagsasabi: Sisikapin kong maging isang tunay na Pilipino sa isip, sa wika, at sa gawa.

Nawara na iyan lalo na an tataramon na “wika” sa revised version pero an esensiya yaon pa sa linyang: Susundin ko ang tungkulin ng mamamayang makabayan…

Pero sa revised version, an focus duman na sa gibo, mga “tungkulin ng mamamayang makabayan”. Ano ang mga iyan? Saro na diyan an pagsunod sa mga ley habang dai pa naa-amiyendaran.

Kun ika nahatulan sa korte sa pag-violar ki ley arog kan illegal possession of firearms, lalo na kun dai mo man ipinaglalaban an nasyon mo kundi pansadiri mo lang na interes na magka-igwa ki badil, bako iyan pagkamoot sa nasyon. Tama padi? Dahil kung pagtaram lang ki Tagalog an basehan, nawara na an esensiya kan pagiging Pilipino, an pagiging tataong magrespeto sa pagkakaiba-iba kan mga tawo. Dahil kun simpleng pagtaram lang ang basehan, puro sana sa salita asin sa ngawa.

Bakong iyo, padi?