By now, we already see the impact of severe weather occurrences on our lives, especially in the Iloilo Strait mishap.
Lives were lost, bringing grief not only to their families but entire communities as well.
Many will still debate and resist climate change as real in our modern times. But for those of us who grew when summers were pleasurable and rainy months were not that disruptive, the changes are not just palpable but very tangible.
There was no major storm or typhoon event to hit the country on Aug 3, 2019. Instead, a tropical depression enhanced the monsoons which caused rains and strong winds. In the afternoon, reports filtered in of three boats capsizing, killing 31 people on board.
But the grief did not stop there. The suspension of pump boat trips affected more than 500 crew members in Jordan and Buenavista, Guimaras. Their only sources of livelihood are daily trips on wooden-hulled boats.
Government and private donors can provide relief but if the suspension stretches for several days more, that will just be another band-aid solution to a very serious problem. Dole outs will only last as long as kind-hearted folks do something.
The Iloilo Strait tragedy triggered a lot of things, especially the review of the design of passenger pump boats and protocols for severe weather conditions and disasters. It also led to blame games, but these should be the focus of official investigations.
Preparation is still the best weapon. Future-proofing is now the name of the game.
How do we prepare the pump boat industry for major disruption like what’s happening now? Is it time to get rid of the pump boats and convince the workers to do something else?
These are just a lot of questions that will be the center of debates but answers must be provide as soon as possible before another tragedy strikes.