Saturday, 11 August 2012

Observing the people blaming disposessed, of uncontrolled development, and ...floods.

Observing the people blaming disposessed,
of uncontrolled development,
and ...floods.

Concerning the hypocrisies of the "feeling good" by Katleah Ulrike

It was yesterday when a picture concerning poor people complaining about government not noticing abour garbage and shantytowns as the primary cause of floods making them liable became viral and a cause of numerous negative comments on social media like Facebook.

Describing the picture, as this writer would say as more of a sheer nonsense that yes, people complain government due to massive unemployment, increase in prices of commodities and oil, rampant corruption in the bureaucracy, peasant problem and education issues such as tuition increases, in fact what is the connection of people complaining to garbage strewn rivers, roads, it makes some would think is the urban poor to be blamed simply because they are the scum of the earth?

An absolute sheer nonsense indeed.

As comments from facebook continues to malign the poor for living in shantytowns and creating garbage that causes floods, people seeming not thinking how their culture, such as a consumerist one and tying themselves into a cycle of work, earn, buy and consume created waste that most tend to throw in a corner and presenting themselves as clean.

Quite strange and stupid to read their comments such as blaming the disposessed for ruining the environment, of garbage, filth and other stuff simoly because of living in an eyesore such as a shantytown. But in this fast-becoming norm of contemporary days, all made out of spontaneous development in the urban areas such as Metro Manila affects culture to the extent of describing a contemporary Filipino as negligent and unclean as well as reactive when it comes to a crisis such as continuous flood and rain.

Speaking of tremendous rains that caused flood, according to Raymond Palatino, in his blog:

"Strong typhoons and other natural calamities will continue to wreak havoc in the country. Situated inside the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines is constantly plagued by typhoons, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. It is not financially feasible for the government to spend hundreds of millions of dollars every time a disaster hits the country. Instead, the government should focus its efforts in aiming to minimize the disastrous effect of natural calamities. The long term goal should be to reduce the number of lost lives and properties in disaster-prone areas."

Even to think that Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces, one of the flood prone areas in the Philippines were once swamps, that they are lowlands, hence likely to be flooded and not just garbage strewn in rivers, sewers, and other waterforms. The waste may have contributed to worsening serious matter, but come to think that other than efficient waste management and a disciplined populace, why not accepting the fact that they are living in a country situated in a ring of fire and hence need measures such as improving existing infrastructure, deepening of rivers, waterforms and controlled development?

As for garbage, Spanky Enriquez, in his Facebook account stated about:

"there are mountains of garbage all over the city; no garbage collection
since Thursday in the Sta. Cruz district..."

Then most dare to complain about the poor yet there were less efficient waste management that made some dare to throw garbage in waterforms and streets? This writer even sought collection points as entirely "uncovered" that people pass off as Eyesore.
But come to think of it, before the tragic events the urban poor tend to collect those waste and waited for dump trucks to come, but how come those people in trucks gone choosy? Obviously these waste end up in floods that made Enriquez complain about it.

Quite strange isn't it? And since people constantly blaming the poor for the flood, and perhaps the garbage, or even rain itself, brings this writer to the idea according to Gerry Lanuza:

"After Habagat, the state will sequester the “wasted humans” -- the excess, the superfluous and redundant who are not allowed to stay. While we move to separate and exclude this waste from mainstream society, we must devise new methods for its disposal as the lack available relocation sites means that the old method of dumping is no longer viable. Instead we must ensure that the waste is ‘sealed off in tightly closed containers’. The “wasted humans” become the scapegoat for individual insecurities and offers an ‘easy target for unloading our anxieties prompted by the widespread fears of another disaster!"

And even this:

"People cannot blame the torrential rains for the flooding because it's natural. So they turn to scapegoats like the informal settlers, squatters, and indiscriminate garbage disposal. Little do they realize that making these people choose the right options is not that easy: why would they evacuate if their houses will be looted? Why would they leave the creeks if they have no alternative shelter? Why impose "rational" choices on these people when we know very well they're already rational? But necessity overrules their rationality! They don't have the luxury to choose between rationality and survival. Survival is necessity when you are economically marginalized! But that's irrational."

Lanuza seriously made a good response to those hecklers and their comments, that the ones who are entirely victimized are rational that they prefer living in the city since the latter had economic opportunities than contenting in a countryside bereft of development. Most of them had engaged in underground economy, living as semi-proletarians such as drivers, carwashboys, that they sought prices in the city "better" than the increased ones in their once "living space", of their children studying in Metro Manila's public schools, any other reasons these people made them prefer living in the city, right or wrong despite numerous attempts to be evicted and even assailed as criminals and the like, of ruining images yet these people assailing had no solutions in creating real, comprehensive urban development program other than evicting them and living in danger zones or arable areas (and end up complaining about rice shortage).

That made Lanuza said this:

"...Solution? Demolition, penalizing the poor who dump garbage indiscriminately, and population control. Why not sustainable employment, better education, and mass housing? Because it is better to believe in common sense myths against the poor than confront the real problem. For it will expose the blatant discrimination and neglect of the urban squatters!"

His suggestion brings this writer recall about Gottfreied Feder and his ideas over self sufficiency as part of urban development wherein employment and real economic opportunities are to be found same as calls for the passing of reproductive health bill (more of women's health NOT population control) that is still currently under debate. These matters really involved the disposessed so to speak, with the latter wanted to hop in and join into the discussion just to create suggestions and ideas, but from the clothes they wore to their "attitude" called "filth", will the bourgeois accept their idea and suggestion? Nope no matter how idea and suggestion they have, they are still have-nots so to say in the side of a pride-obsessed bourgeois who latter end up clamoring for help, with all their hypocrisies this rainy month.

Apologies to those who may react badly after reading this hell of a kind writeup. but come to think of it, which is to be prioritize after these exchange of rants and hypocrisies, of looking at places strewn with garbage, filth, flood, of numerous nameless victims in the metro, will it be pride or survival?
That as most look poor people all with their best to survive in a shantytown on the pretext of their children in their schools, small-scale businesses and nearby employment, be described as dirty and scum of this hell of a kind earth, then how about those who urged everyone to observe the norm such as buy and consume? Yes, it is a matter of survival, but on the other hand such norms like what this writer sees of nowadays create greater waste in a way high scale buildings stood together with shantytowns in the metro as its effect, of uncontrolled development that affected river and other water forms, all creating waste that intensifies torrential rains.
Otherwise using personal revenge such as from government officials against another, such as keeping the floodways closed in the middle of continuous rain in keeping a rival town flooded, or even relocating some illegal settlers in riverbanks and other danger zones "for a sure death" by nature.

Most would rather deny it, and instead blaming "us", "everyone", "self" not noticing a system that created such negative effects like massive waste; come to think of it: developed areas such as condonimiums near Pasig river create much human waste that end up thrown in the river through its sewers similar to industrial waste coming from few, surviving factories around. Few dare to complain as most tend to complain about garbage and urban poor settlers around the metro.
Speaking of the former, most that everyone sees in Manila Bay may came from Baseco compound in Tondo, that said compound, also a garbage dump is near the bay thus most likely to end up at sea especially during rains, and not just people directly throwing at roads and waterforms ALONE and end up complaining about floods and garbage strewn roads as its effect. Yes, everyone may ought to blame, and that includes the system and its policies regarding garbage, sanitation and other matters Metro Manila ought to act seriously upon.

Back to the topic (of choosing pride or survival), obviously most people rather chose survival over pride nowadays. If sportsmen like Pacquiao rather choose joining Bob Arum than Olympics, of basketball players thinking about joining the National Basketball Association after a stint as a player in their respective universities, it is a matter of practicality with pride, sorry to say so be a show-off, a front to everyone. Since pride perhaps would have been more of praises and flag wavings as this writer would say, of wearing Barong Tagalog, Terno, and sining Filipino Pop Music as its finest yet all of our contemporary lives be dwellth in the wishes of the west courtesy of the few; like a total life of earn to spend and consume for example.
 Will everyone deny that hypocritical reality? This writer certainly doubt about people "denying." even this writer would accept that he had money to spend on basics such as canned food, or to some extent for gadgets, least that this writer uses it not "for fun" or "for sake" like others tend to do so.

Sorry to say so, but that's true. That since politicians treating calamities as if a major affair currying people their support as ├╝ber-benevoltent pateral/maternalists with all their heart serving, most rather acting as if "compelled" such as Aquino's visit in a flooded community through an army truck. To an ordinary person why not he wade himself in a flood or have a "Malaca├▒ang in the field" (a tent involving office and sleeping quarters of course) overseeing relief and rehabilitation operations directly? Comparing to Angel Locsin and her British boyfriend packing goods same as Activists immediately turned their militancy into support for the ones living in flooded areas despite harassment and criticism.

Speaking of the Activists, least that most came from donations or their membership dues end up buying necessities like noodles, canned goods and toiletries, even seeds all for the affected ones in the metro as well as in the provinces. Even the partylist that represented the youth and peasants spearhead the idea such as this that perhaps have the pork barrels be for rehabilitation purposes such as schools, books, scholarships, medical aid, even seeds yet most rather carried through donations, and membership dues be used for buying essentials all for the common good.
Least that they done good to the totally affected compared to the hypocrites and blaming the disposessed not noticing that they are also the ones spontaneously, systematically, and greater creating a mess and justify uncontrolled development as "freedom" and "superiority of man's idea" such as progress and fulfillment of ambition.

...that in fact is more of illusion gone mad. To think that the rising towers such as in Makati and in Fort Bonifacio, mostly commercial in character,  all created by the dispossessed living in shantytowns  who are left to be heckled by many such as those in Facebook. Yes, they created waste same as the heckler, but the ones who heckle seems to be acting as if clean tries to justify their subjectivism while donating old crap of theirs to the heckled.

Hence, hypocrisy guised as help.

And if the dispossessed knew this, then perhaps would say "these goods contain poison."