One, who abhors incompetence, ironically gets the flak.
P’Noy in his three years as Philippine’s President sacked the following “chiefs” for their incompetence; PAGASA Chief Prisco Nilo, Ricardo David of the Bureau of Immigration, Magtangol Gatdula of the National Bureau of Investigation, Jose Gutierrez Jr. of the Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Antonio S. Nangel of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA). In addition, P’Noy overhauls the sensitive positions at the Bureau of Customs relegating the untouchables “Three Kings,” to the boring research positions at the Dept. of Finance.
However, when P’Noy expressed, “Tacloban is not that prepare” in exasperation over the initial assessment of the casualties brought about by the Super Typhoon Yolanda, his ire triggered a big hoopla in the media. Suddenly, P’Noy donned the “Boy Blamer” tag followed by other disparaging remarks that boiled down to P’Noy being an incompetent. Typhoon Yolanda left in its wake a historic, unprecedented devastation to human lives and properties. So overwhelmed of Yolanda’s initial impact, the LGU’s and the National Government seemed stand still of the monstrous rehabilitation work ahead, and of the logistical challenges to meet them. For a moment, both of them are in quandaries which one to do first as all of them are priorities. As thousands of victims wanted immediate help, P’Noy bore the brunt of delayed aids. The media played this up. P’Noy bashers and detractors hyped him as incompetent.
P’Noy’s avowal to his “Any casualty for me is an issue” inspired him to carry out his Project NOAH at the beginning of his term. The hour-by-hour advisories of the Project NOAH informed the people of the typhoon’s landfall, tracks, and strength. Days before the Typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippine’s Area of Responsibilities (PAR) P’Noy appeared on TV to drive home a point that Typhoon Yolanda is exceptional in its strength and dangerous. P’Noy also cautioned the TV viewers to prepare ahead.
Joey Salcedo, the Governor of Albay, although his province is not on Yolanda’s direct path, prepared his people a week before Yolanda hit the PAR. Result: one casualty. Tulang Diyot, a tiny island between Cebu and Leyte although washed out totally, all its inhabitants survived, because the resident’s evacuation occurred before the storm hit. The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) recognized Tulang Diyot town as a role model for typhoon preparedness. Manicani Island in Eastern Samar’s Guiuan town, only one person died out of more than 3,000, because people moved to a higher ground before Yolanda hit. No deaths also recorded in Virac Catanduanes, Javier town in Leyte, Malaspascua Island in Cebu. The LGU’s in these places were prepared. It pays when places are prepared, it get fewer casualties.
Now go figure how those massive casualties occur in Tacloban. True, typhoon Yolanda is the world’s worse catastrophe, but if the LGU’s in Tacloban did get serious in their preparation days before the typhoon’s onslaught, not much casualties could be recorded. The LGU’s are first line of defense for disaster. The National Government is just an augmenting force, supplier of logistics based on the information furnished on the ground by the LGU’s.
Now be in P’Noy’s shoes getting these numbers of casualties. Who would not get frustrated on these lapses? Although P’Noy is a President, like us, he can utter words outside the bounds of decorum. Yet P’Noy’s bashers and detractors interprets these as callous, insensitive and pinned down on him his alluded shortcomings in the alleviation of people’s hardships by projecting him as incompetent.
One wonders. What is the subtext of all these concerted and consistent barrage of disparaging remarks against P’Noy? Why such a petty issue of incompetence picked up as a rallying cry? Could it be that no substantial issues could be thrown against P’Noy at all that his oppositions make do of the incompetence issue?
During Gloria Arroyo’s term, she flared up when she learned first hand how incompetent the NFA Administrator was as tons of NFA rice just rotted in Batanggas warehouse yet insisted the Philippines need to import more rice. Arroyo’s reactions to the incompetent Administrator didn’t get much news as there were juicier issues of corruption against her. Why P’Noy’s reactions and comments, “Tacloban is not that prepared” became a big issue then?
How much is P’Noy endorsement worth for his chosen one come election time in 2016 that the oppositions this early are doing its best to render his endorsement futile and irrelevant?
P’Noy’s “good governance” upset the apple cart of the normal “business as usual” of the past regime. Many toes trampled on. Politician’s rackets for enriching themselves abated. The tribe of incompetent “chief” in the government’s bureaucracies dwindled. P’Noy’s “good governance” must not live on to the next generation. His bashers, detractors, and opponents wanted the old status quo, the normal “business as usual.”
That’s how much P’Noy’s endorsement worth!