Of Oil Spills and the Philippines

Every Pinoy frets about the damage wrought by the oil spill in Guimaras these days. The situation highlights the need to do things right and to do things while you can.

Did you ever plan on visiting Guimaras someday? I did. Well, that time will have to wait for several years now. More seriously, we all worry about the ill effects of the oil spill on the ecosystem, people's health, and the livelihood in the affected areas.

Why has the oil spill affected all of us so? Simple -- it's visible and it just cannot be ignored. Just look at all those photos in the newspapers or all those footages shown on television. Much as we don't relish the fact that there was an oil spill, somehow you wonder why the other "spills" in our country have not merited as much negative reaction or attention. You have spills in the economic scene (people leaving the country due to lack of employment opportunities, money lost to corruption); political spills; blood spills (given all the killings these days).

I heard somewhere that it will probably take 10 years to remedy the oil spill in Guimaras. It will probably take several lifetimes or generations to rebuild the Philippines. Not all the technology in the world, not all the money in our pockets can clean up this situation that we are all in. We know that it takes resolve and discipline to slowly change the way things are done around here. Unfortunately, such characteristics may be more tricky to find than that sunken vessel filled with precious oil.

[By Angelica Viloria | Thursday, August 24, 2006]


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