Tuesday, January 29, 2013

WWF Malaysia visits this site


One of the visitors of this blog is WWF Malaysia. Knowing the well-meaning work of WWF, I wanted to help it by promoting its site as linked. World Wide Fund for Nature needs our support. For you, I quoted from the site of WWF-Malaysia this sidebar explanation: 
Around the world, WWF works with communities, governments and businesses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Protection of Forests
Forests play a vital role in the fight against climate change. Forests are important carbon sinks and deforestation is estimated to be responsible for about 18% of current greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, forests have significant economic and ecological value by supporting biodiversity, clean water supply and local livelihoods.

WWF-Malaysia, though our conservation work on the ground, strategically addresses critical forest issues in Malaysia. Our forest work aims to:

Increase the coverage of forest protected areas (PAs) and improve the management of existing PAs, improve the management of production forests by promoting and facilitating responsible forestry and trade, restore degraded areas especially where there is need to maintain critical forest linkages and enhance the value of forests and its services via promoting financial mechanisms such as Payment for Ecosystem Services as well as Reduced Emission from Deforestation and Degradation.

Your support will enable us to continue our mission to reduce the effects of climate change and work towards conserving a living planet for our future. Thank you for pledging to Live Green!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Senate on Fire

One of the issues that shook up the Senate is the question over the MOOE or Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses that the senate president is giving to the senators. 

As tradition in the upper lawmaking body, MOOE is not to be accounted for or that reporting is not strict. That is ironical because MOOE is people's money afterall. It became more controversial because the senate president who had discretionary function to disburse the funds, as alleged, played politics by giving the funds to allies.

The update was that Senator Enrile resigned from the post.  

Climate Change

Recently, Davao Region experienced heavy rains that caused rivers to burst to their seams inundating communities nearby and some low-lying areas including Davao City. Affected residents fled to evacuation centers.     

The tailend of a cold front was blamed for the natural calamity that struck the region and other parts of Mindanao, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geographical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

But we are alarmed of the "message" these recent events brought to us. The strong typhoons that lambasted some regions in Mindanao last year and the flashfloods which plowed through the economic bases and homesteads of the hapless victims are an indication that something is wrong with pattern of the climate.

Mindanao used to be typhoon-free. We were made to believe then. And I remember when I was about six years old when a strong typhoon was reported to hit Davao. This was during the early seventies. And because of that news, some of our neighbors had to stay overnight in the two-storey house of our grandparents. Also, local businessmen loved to talk about Mindanao as ideal place for agri-production because it is claimed to be typhoon-free while Luzon and the Visayas Region were/are not. 

But if we look back at what happened last year - how Typhoon Sendong and Pablo wiped-out a number of communities, we are afraid to say that the phenomenon of climate change is for real as far as Mindanao is concerned.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013

It's 2013! And to start the new year right, let us be positive that this year is a great year for all of us in view of possible challenges ahead of us. For instance, the world is facing financial crisis that is maybe capable of snowballing, affecting all underdeveloped nations. We hope that our leaders will have good judgment.

The year 2012 was a great year too despite all the natural calamities that hit the country. Perhaps we needed those tragic events to remind us that we really have to rely on powers unseen - which is above all matters on Earth. And a chance to remind that we have to share and help others in time of calamity. 

In fact, the reaction of the people to help the victims of typhoons was overwhelming - an indication that deep sense of humanity still lingers in our heart. This moves everyone to help.

BTW, the editorial cartoon says: Behave, 'tin. In our vernacular, the word for snake is "bitin." In Filipino or Tagalog, snake is "ahas."

Firecracker Ban


The New Year's Celebration in the Philippines, as expected, was sadly greeted with firecrackers-related accidents, injuries or death as reported in the media. Not new to us. Many of the victims were children. Although the authorities were glad because the number had gone down as compared to the past celebrations, there remains a need for a drastic change in the way we celebrate the new year - a good way to start a new year. One is a total ban for all types of fireworks and firecrackers. And hopefully, it will be done soon.

I wrote this post, days before New Year. 

For a long time, firecrackers were a part of tradition as far as Christmas and New Year's celebrations in the Philippines were concerned. I was five years old when I tried a small firecracker my uncle tied on the tip of a stick. It was so small that the explosion could not scare me as a tot.  A candle on the ground was used to burn the wick. We called that explosive "libintador" so small that my uncle would explode it in his finger tips.

When I grew up, I became more acquainted with all types of firecrackers. From the lowly libintador, firecracker makers cameup with versions more menacing than what we used to have as small kids. The stronger version was called triangle although we could manage to explode it by holding it in the tips of our fingers. The explosion could have ripped off our nails if it was loaded more than enough. Versions later were even more menacing. We had Superlolo, Goodbye Philippines, Judas Belt, to name a few, which alarmed the authorities because of firecracker-related incidents every Christmas season and New Year's Eve celebration. Injuries could range from minor to full mayhem on the part of the victims who would cut off their fingers, whacked hands, blasted eyes, etc. During these times, hospitals would be prepared to serve the would-be victims.

I don't know with other local government units, but perhaps it was Davao City only that first implemented the total ban of firecrackers. As a result, despite violations of some hard-headed residents who would be penalized if caught by the way, Davao City would have zero firecracker-related incident. This is often cited by the media when reporting about the ban for firecrackers.

The government is introducing measures to improve the situation during celebration like providing warning to the people. But that is not a surefire to preventing injuries, for instance. Which is why many sectors are calling for the total ban of firecrackers.

Nevertheless, let me say, happy new year and hopefully 2013 is a good year for you and me. I would like to thank you also for coming to visit this blog despite inconsistency of posts. Till next issue! 

Photo: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/332767/88-arrested-due-to-firecrackers

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