Volume II, Number 23. 15 November 2020.
The Philippine archipelago has been battered by five typhoons in the last three weeks. Cyclone winds, floods and landslides have killed scores of people, rendered hundreds of thousands homeless, destroyed farmers' crops and fisherfolk’s boats, and ruined roads, bridges and other public structures. As of this writing, countless men, women, elderly and children are still desperately clinging onto their roofs, waiting for rescue. Damages to agriculture and infrastructure, already running at scores of billions of pesos, are expected to greatly rise at the end of this still unfolding calamity.
Numerous NGOs and civic groups in the various areas in Luzon and northeast Visayas islands have already started rescue and relief in the affected areas, while appealing for and coordinating help from people and organizations beyond the affected areas in the Philippines and also from abroad.
Responding to the call of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People's Army, the allied organizations of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the local organs of Red political power have taken action in rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations since weeks ago.
The CPP said that the “...devastation of the millions of Filipino lives and livelihood is not solely caused by the successive storms but also by the reactionary state’s failure to sufficiently prepare for and respond to the calamities.”
Mass poverty makes the majority of Filipinos vulnerable to disasters. The social system ruled by a small corrupt and oppressive class lacks the capacity to prevent, prepare for and overcome various kinds of disasters that impact on the safety and livelihood of the majority of the people.
The regime of President Rodrigo Duterte is the worst in a long line of administrators for this rapacious ruling elite. He drastically cut down allocations for disaster preparedness, while allocating huge sums for his armed minions to suppress the slightest resistance to his regime.
Indeed, this otherwise natural-resources-rich archipelagic country is often ravaged by natural disasters like typhoons, flooding, earthquake, volcanic eruptions, dengue and corona virus.
But the biggest calamity is Duterte himself.