MAURO GIA SAMONTE

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TAKING off from my previous article on my vision of the Philippines, I would like to emphasize that in my observation of progressive nations, I conclude that their success can be attributed to five factors: visionary leadership, political will, good planning, good design, and good governance. All are necessary ingredients…

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Today, March 16, 2021, we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Western world’s discovery of the Philippines. After our Nation’s seemingly losing battle with corruption, criminality, and climate change, we now see more than a light of hope at the end of the tunnel. It is with great pride that…

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IF you liken the city to the human body, central business districts (CBDs) could be the heart while our parks or open spaces are its lungs. Traffic congestion in the CBDs needs more than a bypass surgery. Our “lungs,” on the other hand, are getting smaller as developments eat up…

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THE Philippines surprised the world with her unbelievable economic resilience and resurgence. Gross national product has been hitting an average of 6% and even had a quarter posting a 7.9% growth in August 2010 despite the global economic recession. Probably, the biggest factors to this economic surge are OFW remittances…

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ISSUES of environmental degradation, inability to adapt to the negative impacts of climate change, food security concerns, inefficient urban mobility, and the “uglification” of streets and neighborhoods, are all results of apathetic and dispassionate actions of individuals, organizations, and government agencies deciding on the built environment. If we take a…

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DECISIONS are made on the built environment by some politicians, their favored contractors and some profit-centered developers. Good architecture and good urban planning are becoming of lesser importance in the urban development of our built environment. More than ever, there is a pressing need for the Philippine government to establish…

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WITH an average of 20 typhoons a year, the 100 million people of the Philippines are vulnerable to natural calamities. In order to avoid catastrophic aftermaths, everyone should be equipped with the right information on how to plan and prepare without being dependent on the government. We all have been…

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FURTHER to my article last week titled “The Big One” (and thanks to the overwhelming response in social media), I tried to describe impact assessment of a major earthquake when it hits Metro Manila (National Capital Region or NCR). I revisited the Metro Manila Earthquake Reduction Impact Study (MMEIRS) done…

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FROM 1975 to 1977, when I was working as Senior Planner and Team Leader for Development Planning of the World Bank-funded Metro Manila Transport Land Use and Development Planning (MMETROPLAN) project, we studied the Marikina Fault Line (now West Valley Fault Line). Thereafter, in all projects I planned I would…

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IT’S been almost six years since Typhoon Ondoy submerged the streets and neighborhoods of Metro Manila. But until now, it seems that we are still unprepared for Nature’s vengeance. According to the latest research presented to the UN regarding environmental issues, extreme weather conditions will continue to worsen and are…

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