Super typhoon exposed super incompetence of Pnoy

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Rick B. Ramos

Rick B. Ramos

It took a super typhoon to expose the super-incompetence of PNoy’s presidency. The slow response to the super storm by the national government confirms that a Student Council Government has been running our poor country for the past three years and almost five months. The question now is: Can the Philippines afford to have more of the same for another two years and seven months with the same incompetent leadership?

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A day before Super Typhoon Yolanda struck and devastated Eastern Visayas, President Aquino reassured the Filipino people that 30 planes and helicopters from the Philippine Air Force and 20 ships from the Philippine Navy were ready to provide rescue and relief operations. However, after the super storm struck with all its fury, these aircrafts and ships were nowhere to be found except for the two ubiquitous Hercules C-130 planes.

Unfulfilled promise
No less than CNN raised the issue on the unfulfilled promise of President B. S. Aquino 3rd. If memory serves, it was CNN’s correspondent Andrew Stevens who told Secretary Mar Roxas of the Department of Interior and Local Government when the latter visited Tacloban that the assurance made by President Aquino simply “did not happen.”  Stevens arrived in Tacloban a day before the super storm struck on 8 November 2013.

It was bad enough that the planes, helicopters and ships promised by PNoy seemed to have been lost in the Bermuda Triangle. However, what is worse was that government bureaucratic red tape further delayed the response of non-government and foreign organizations to the aftermath of the devastation in Leyte and Eastern Samar.

Roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) ships could have transported the direly needed relief goods at the earliest time possible. However, the maritime authorities under the Department of Transportation & Communications (DOTC) did not act with any sense of urgency on the needed permits for vessels that will now operate outside their franchise.

It took a week before a Ro-Ro ship carrying relief stocks of the Philippine Red Cross arrived at the most devastated town in Eastern Samar on 15 November 2013. When the MV Starlite Navigator arrived in Guiuan, the crew unloaded 300 tons of food, bottled water, medicines and many other provisions. They were met by villagers with jubilation who thought that they have been forgotten and abandoned. (Inquirer, 22 November 2013)

No foresight
The useless Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) of the much-maligned DOTC did not have capacity for foresight to see to the gridlock in the Port of Matnog in Sorsogon. Marina did not anticipate the influx of cargo and passengers vehicles from Luzon headed for Eastern Visayas. Hence, there was a 7 to 10-kilometer traffic of trucks, vans and cars in Matnog that was reported in ANC TV network on the same day of Friday, 15 November 2013.

The lack of Ro-Ro ships at Matnog to ferry hundreds of trucks, vans and cars caused the gridlock. There were only eight ferry boats plying the Matnog, Sorsogon—Allen, Northern Samar route with 10 to 14 trips daily. The number of vessels should have been at least doubled to 16 and eventually tripled to 24 even just for a week to ease the traffic and for the relief goods to reach the victims in Leyte and Eastern Samar.

Pathetic excuse
What is deeply disturbing with President B. S Aquino 3rd is that it took him ten days before he visited the devastated towns of Ormoc in Leyte and Guian in Eastern Samar. He cited the dubious reasons why he and aid have not arrived earlier. One pathetic excuse that P-Noy used was that they needed information to whom to send the relief goods. Yet the Philippine Red Cross and the U.S. government were able to do it ahead.

CNN was able to visit Guiuan not once, but twice last week before PNoy did. Anderson Cooper visited Guiuan on 13 November using the advanced US Marine MV-22 Osprey aircraft. CNN’s Ivan Warson visited the same place two days after. Subsequent relief supplies were sent to the typhoon victims in Guiuan using the same Osprey planes.

The truth is that PNoy has never been good with “Crisis Management.” He demonstrated it on the second month of his presidency during the August 2010 Hostage Incident Debacle in Luneta (Rizal Park). It was a crisis when the entire country did not feel and see that there was a president in charge. A busload of tourists from Hong Kong were taken as hostages and some were killed because the situation was badly mishandled.

Communications Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma said in a press conference more than a week ago that the President is “supervising” the disaster rescue and relief efforts after the tasking of the different Cabinet Secretaries were announced. This is really funny on the President “Supervising.” When has PNoy supervised anything in his life? Besides, a Chief Executive Does Not “Supervise.” He Leads, Executes and Delegates.

Mega incompetence
What is most revealing on the Mega Incompetence of PNoy is that he, as President, has not complied with a provision of RA 10121, the law that created the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) for its proper funding. This explains the poor preparedness and slow response of the national government to devastation of natural calamities like Super Typhoon Yolanda.

My colleague Rigoberto Tiglao revealed in his column on Monday, 18 November 2013, that President B. S Aquino 3rd has not given the revolving fund of P1.0 billion for the NDRRMC in the past three years (2011-2013). What PNoy had done is to just continue with the previous annual budget of P100 million of the old National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC). The national government can easily afford to give P1 billion to fund NDRRMC, which is less than 1.0 percent of the P2-trillion 2013 budget.

The worst part is that PNoy apparently has not read the provisions of the law  that created NDRRMC just over a month before he became president. It is clear on the role of the NDRRMC law on the disaster preparedness and relief response. President Aquino insisted in his interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that “under our system,”  it is the local government that is the one supposed to do it. Pathetic.

Rick B. Ramos at rbrpilipinas@gmail.com

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46 Comments

  1. Not only Pnoy. Everyone are not doing their job!!! Some people just paid taxes and thinks its enough. Leyte’s Congresswoman Imelda, was just sitting comfortably in her mansion. The media are more concern on making other people relief efforts look bad. Can’t you see what’s really happening! We are all fighting! Sometimes we should think rationally. If Pnoy step down who would take over??? Binay??? Are you sure he is not corrupt? What happened to GMA when she took oath? Everyone in her family used the government funds as if it was their personal bank account.
    Do you want to oust the only President who wants to fight corruption??? Don’t you get it? Most of the people in the goverment and media will only take action or praise the officials if they were given money. They are trying to put down the president because they were not paid, and PDAF was unconstitutionalized, We should give Pnoy a helping hand.

    • Instead of criticizing, lets suggest a solution if we really want to help. I still believe in positive reinforcement. Be a part of the solution and not the problem.

    • what are you talking about? IMELDA is not the congresswoman of LEYTE , shes Representing ILOCOS NORTE. Fighting corruption is not enough,it doesn’t deal with LIFE,.LIFE is still the priority and the most important of all, people are dying because of his incompetent, no one says he stepped down, its just shows how incompetent our president right now. It shows how INUTIL our PRESIDENT during crisis, which many of our kabbayans are hungry and thirsty, and he acted so SLOW. the CNN media are just telling what they’ve observed and asking PNOY where is the promises he spoke of, the 30 planes, 20 navy ship etc.that was ready? where and what happend?

  2. I don’t think we should wait 2 more years with this administration. Magtitiis na lang ba tayo lagi? Kaya tayo napagsasamantalahan ng mga pulitiko dahil masyado tayong MATIISIN at MAPAGPATAWAD.

    There are more competent Filipinos who can lead the country right now. Wala ng mapapala jan kay BS Aquino III.

  3. I can forgive the lapses of the LGUs in preparing for the supertyphoon. They prepared themselves, but for a typical strong typhoon, not this perfect storm. Among the lapses are : they didnt know what a storm surge was (has any one of us experienced a storm surge before?), they thought concrete walls could withstand 300kph winds, they did not force evacuation, etc

    What I find appalling and grossly irresponsible is the complete lack of plan AFTER the event. It was apparent that it was a cataclysm – towns were not only hit, they were wiped out, Tacloban City was blown away. Why didnt PNoy SCALE UP the operations? Bakit tingi-tingi ang rescue at recovery? Why was there NO PRESENCE of government a day after the event? DILG and DND Secretaries were there! Anong ginawa nila?

    Many thanks to the military, fire personnel, dswd personnel, LGU officials, civilian volunteers who were there in Tacloban and survived and who immediately began doing their work: clearing debris, collecting corpses, rescuing the injured, etc. But this was more than what they could handle. This was a duty of the National Government, and it failed. I hope Pnoy apologizes for this.

  4. It was proven again and again and again that we have a dull President ,because he is sorrounded by bunch of idiots with no experienced at all…and those who has experienced ,they are focus on how to corrupt the coffers..poor Philippines…its time for another Edsa….

  5. Evelyn S. Cruz on

    Yes it is also sad that people in the government were apparently instructed to cheat on the number of registered deaths sort of deflate the real figures of death arising from the super typhoon. Even after seeing the extent of damage to properties in calamity areas President Noynoy’s estimate of number of deaths was so unrealistic, lacking a sense of grasp of his people. His sense of proper timing in visiting the calamity areas was not that of the chief executive of the land and his sense of urgency in sending relief goods was so lame that, allegedly, DSWD and Binay were allowed to repack relief goods with DSWD and Binay marked bags. But it must be verified if it is true.

  6. Ok, tama na ang sisihan andyan na yan sa puwesto, so tiisin na lang natin kung ano man ang maiibubuga ni Pnoy para sa atin. DOn’t forget sa susunod na election, umaapaw na naman po yung mga abuloy nila para sa mga kawawang mga kababayan natin na mukhang pera lang din ang alam. So, we have more time to bear the pain again until people will not learn from the mistakes of give-me-money. Of course not only in Bermuda triangle does planes and ships disappeared, so does in tacloban too. I appreciate the completeness and relevancy of this article. Pnoy wake up!

    • Tama ka Lakbay, mahirap sa atin mga botante, NABIBILI TAYO DIRECTLY SA PAMAMAGITAN NG PERA AT INDIRECTLY SA PAGBIBIGAY NG CAKE KUNG BIRTHDAY AT BULAKLAK KUNG MAY NAMATAY SA FAMILIA. KAILANAGN MATUTUO NA TAYO LALO NA YUON NASA DEPRESSED AT FROM DA B, KUNIN NYO ANG PERA AT BULAKLAK AT IBOTO NYO YUONG KURSUNADA NA MAGALING , DI CORRUPT AT DI MIEMBRO NGA DYNASTIA. OKAY BA?

  7. I never thought the Philippines had its own “Bermuda Triangle”…hahaha, Pnoy lost his 30 planes, and 20 ships and all the relief goods in there, along with the P136 million Malampaya Funds….

    We love Anderson Cooper, for finally bringing clarity to the world that our local media is in connivance with this super corrupt administration…my God, even trying to doctor the number of deaths….

    The worst president, ever! And I’ve lived thru every one of them starting from Carlos P. Garcia…

    Naloko ang Pilipinas…better wise up in 2016…tama na ang mga LP na yan…

    Get rid, too of the Yellow ribbon….

    • The Liberal Party is a moribund party. It will be DEAD by 2016. Why? It has NO candidate that can win the presidency. MAr Roxas is FINISHED with his pathetic performance to the aftermath of the super-typhoon. Their only chance is Kris Aquino for President and Joshua for Vice-President. :-)

  8. brandogandanghari on

    NAPILITAN LANG NMAN KASI MAGPRESIDENTE YAN DAHIL SA SULSOL NG MGA OLIGARCHS NA SUMUPORTA SA NANAY NYA NUNG EDSA 1 PARA MAPANGALAGAAN ANG INTERES NG MGA BUSINESSES NILA. ANO BA NAMAN ANG AASAHAN NATIN DYAN KUNDI PURO TULO LAWAY AT TULOG TULOG LANG, NOT PAG ME TYM, BUT OL DA TYM.

    • Noynoy was already always sleeping in class when he was in PREP. The teacher, who is now in her 80s but still lucid and sharp, told his mother Cory that their only son is always sleeping in her class. She probably could NOT believe that Noynoy is now the president. Even some, if not many, of the batchmates of P-Noy at the Ateneo did NOT VOTE for him because they know him better.

  9. Hello Mr. Ramos. May I ask you a question. Did it not come to your mind that Benigno Simeon Aquino III is only A FIGUREHEAD PRESIDENT? This thought came into my mind because of his activities and actions after the Luneta Massacre of Hong Kong tourists where his incompetence, his empathy, his mannerism was displayed to be seen by the Filipino people. After that disastrous incident, he never figured into something a head of state does which make us proud of our leader. PNoy has been making mistake after mistake after mistake but never learned from those mistakes. I think he is being controlled not by one person but possibly a group of persons who manipulates him into doing things for their advantage. It is a big possibility that this group really knows that PNoy is incompetent yet continues to kowtow and use his yellow popularity like a puppet. The group behind him could be organized like a mafia or cosa nostra.

  10. louie de la cruz on

    You know what that to be a professional columnist you should be fair and balanced in publishing your comments about the government and the leadership. What are you? A Filipino nationality or a Chinese. Then if you are true Filipino you should lie low in your attitude of attacking the leadership of the country. It will also reflect on you. because you and the President are both of the same nationality. But then if you are Chinese you can say or publish what you want in your column or do the worst thing–shoot the leaders you don;t like. This is a very crazy but this will make you happy and comfortable in your everyday life. So may God have mercy on you, Ric Ramos.

    • Yes, I am Chinese! :-)

      Thank you for your response to my article. Out of the 17 responses, 15 were positive and praised the said article. There were only two negative responses that were even – sad to say – obnoxious.

      Do let me know any good news on the Aquino administration, especially with their response to the rescue and relief operations. I will gladly write about it and acknowledge you as the source.

      May the Good Lord also have mercy on you, too. You need it.
      .

    • Fair and balance all right If there is fairness to report but there is none!! Open your eyes and start realizing what a joke the government is. Everything Mr. Ramos said is so on the point. He is reporting it as it is. What’s wrong with criticism? Someone needs to point out all the government stupidity and incompetence. But then again, Anderson already started it and all the government can do is be on the defensive instead of stepping it up to prove Anderson wrong. What does Chinese or Filipino have to do with this? Ramos surname, now isn’t that pretty much a Filipino surname. If not, then probably Mexican? Bolivian? Nicaraguan surname? Hmm…but Chinese?? Really now??

    • You do realize that columns are supposed to be opinion pieces. That said I’m a full blooded Pinoy who is in a leadership position in the the private sector and by golly the man you elected as president I wouldn’t even put into mid management. Thats how incompetent he is.

  11. mr. ramos,

    Napakakawawa ng bayan, may presidente tayo na hindi sumusunod o
    naiintindihan ang mga batas na umiiral, kaya madali siyang naloloko ng
    mga alipores na itinalaga niya sa gobyerno, umpisa kay ochoa, abad,
    gazmin, abad, etc.

    • This is why we have a RICH Country with POOR People! Worse than the Corruption is the Incompetence of the Aquino administration. No Leadership to speak of as P-Noy first demonstrated during the August 2010 Hostage Incident Debacle. He was eating cuapao and/or siopao at Emerald Restaurant, which DSWD had the brazen temerity to say that it was Command Post or Center of the President.

  12. mr.ranavales wala talaga mangyayari na rescue, rumors says two days before the typhoon mar roxas brought 150 elite group of rescue team from manila and the irony is mar roxas fielded them near the airport.outof 150 rescue team 15 survived.come to think of it pnoy is on tv announcing appealing to the people from coastal area to vacate.so it means even mar roxas is not listening to pnoy?why in a hell he fielded the rescue group near the sea both sides of the airport is sorrounded by sea.ano masasabi nyo ito?

  13. santiago caisido on

    Let us pray. God please save the Philippines from our president aka Boy sisi and Pork barrel king. Tatlong taon pa tayong magtitiis.

  14. While the rest of the industrialized, developed countries – her neighbors in the region – China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan are exporting their finished products in a global scale – RP, the poor standard image poster boy is exporting her labor force, domestic helpers, workers, skilled technical job specialists , and to some extent the professionals of the oldest profession, around the globe. Bad rap, bad rep for the Pinays. You don’t have to be too nosy to find out yourself – the streets of HK, KL, and Singapore, Dubai will unfold their secrets before your very eyes!

  15. And you call these Dogs your elected, and selected Leaders? No f*@%&ing wonder this RP is the mendicant beggar-weakling of Asia and the rest of the world.

    No amount of propaganda talk that the economy is picking up, this and that Poors and Standards and Fitch ratings of meaningless figures design to prop up a struggling economy only the rich small percentage of the population is benefitting and reaping the fruits of such grading – gdp figures that the average joe out there on the streets
    has no idea if that would translate into a couple of thousands of pesos of hard earned money for him or just flimsy hallucinogenic figures to effect and calm down a grumbling tummy…

  16. Natatandaan ko noon mahigit isang taon bago magka-Edsa 1 malakas na ang bulong-bulongan na may maysakit na si dating President Ferdinand Marcos. Na-confirm ito pagkatapos ng EDSA 1 nang dalhin na siya sa Hawaii. Ito ay pilit na itinatago ng Malakanyang noon at mabuti na lamang noon magkaroon ng EDSA 1 si FM ay nasa hustong isip pa at ayon sa report ay ayaw niyang palusob ang mga nag-rarally sa EDSA, otherwise baka marami ang namatay. Ito ang nakakatakot ngayon kay Noynoy dahil noon 2010 presidential election ay may lumalabas ng report tungkol sa kanyang katinuan. Nakakapag-alinglangan ang kanyang katinuan dahil tuwing magkakaroon ng crisis sa bansa, ito ay hindi niya matugunan katulad ng Typhoon Yolanda. Baka katulad din ni Marcos na pilit itinatago ito ng Malakanyang gamit ang three-legged communication group niya, gamit din ang yellow media at SWS/Pulse Asia.

  17. Mr. Ramos, your honest insights which I could have not said any better about a failed leadership, certainly validated my frustrations over the lack of competence and urgency from the national government, Aquino in particular. In addition, rampant corruption by some government officials and private individuals really hurt the country and its people. My heart aches for the Filipinos, just when is all this going to end?

    • CNN’s Christiane Amanpour asked Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda on the ” INCOMPETENCE & CORRUPTION IN GOVERNMENT THAT ADVERSELY AFFECT PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE.” Mr. Lacierda could NOT answer the loaded question immediately. What I recall was the pathetic Presidential Spokesman saying: ” The DPWH saved P7.0 Billion in 2011.” And yet said savings are dubious !!!

  18. Pnoy is the single most disastrous catastrophy to hit the Phl in the last 4 years. We must exorcise our politics of the Liberal Party in 2016. Hoping for another Edsa or coup before then.

  19. Thank you Mr. Ramos for your truthfull assessment of this president. Mahina na nga
    ang utak, noynoying at boy sisi, sinungaling(liar)pa. He eat his words all the time.
    Bakit hindi niya sisihin sila Roxas at Gazmin? Yong dalawang yon ay nandoon na
    sila sa Tacloban City bago magbagyo. Anong ginawa nila doon? Niloloko lang
    nila ang mga tao. Ang mga local officials ay bukod sa they themselves were also
    victims, the resources are very limited. Itong abnoy na sisi ng sisi ay baka hanggang
    ngayon ay hinidi pa niya alam ang kanyang responsibilidad sa bayan, siya ang
    president ng buong pilipinas. Kaya under the theory of command responisibility,
    responsibilidad niya ang kapakanan ng buong pilipinas. This is the only time
    that I have seen a president of country passing the buck to others. Nasaan ang
    police ni Roxas at military ni Gazmin? Hindi kaya inutile din sila na gaya ng kanilang
    sira ulong amo?

  20. Rodolfo E. Umali on

    Sir, your article is a waste of my time but I know you were compelled to criticize – a well-paid writer do that for a living and throw ethics away. What are the lessons learned in this disaster? Why attack PNoy? In the state of our government today – we got there because we allowed it. PNoy will take the blame but he is not alone. No government past or present can be prepared for this. What is your suggestion? Publish it so I can filter it and send you may comment.

    • Isa ka pang incompetent ka. Kaya lumalaki ulo ng mga politikong corrupt dahil sa mga taong katulad nyo, kung may coup de etat man sana una nilang tangalin sa lipunan ay mga taong tanga katulad mo.

    • Bulag ka talaga! Kitang kita na ng buong mundo ang kapalpakan ng idolo mo, ipinagtatanggol mo pa!

      Me spell sigurong dumapo sa iyo galling sa yellow ribbon…

    • bkit salungat kai ni abnoy. dba sinisi nya LGU ng tacloban kc d raw prepared. npghahalataan k nmn ng yellow zombie n khit anong mali ng abnoy ok lng sau. isip isip din bago mgcomment para d k mukhang tanga.

    • Thank you for your response to my article. Out of the 17 responses, 15 were positive and praised the said article. There were only two negative responses that were even – sad to say – obnoxious. Please my column again. If you still don’t get it, then you have a problem.

      By the way, I am not “well-paid” as a columnist of Manila Times nor do I throw “ethics” away. As our chairman emeritus told me, ” pang-kape” lang. I have involved with media for the past 30 years and I have never depended on my writings for my income. Thank you.

      Do let me know any good news on the Aquino administration, especially with their response to the rescue and relief operations. I will gladly write about it and acknowledge as the source.

    • Of course government could have prepared for it. You only need someone with brains. There have been numerous warnings from the private sector but this government has a not invented here syndrome and cannot take criticisms and suggestions.

  21. Kayo ang Boss Ko! on

    Umaasa pa ba kayo sa bobong presidente ng Pinas (i am so sorry, hindi ko siya naging pangulo kundi panggulo!)? Ano ba talaga ang nagawa niyan di lang sa crisis, kundi sa pangkalahatan!
    Peste!

  22. The Chairman of NDRRMC is Defense Sec. Voltaire Gazmin, how come DILG Sec. Mar Roxas is the one who has been calling the shots. Sec. Gazmin has been kept in the sideline.

    Sec. Gazmin and Sec. Roxas were in Tacloban two days before Yolanda Storm struck Tacloban City. What have they done to prevent these huge loss of lives to typhoon Yolanda?. For two days these two stooges just kept quiet in Tacloban doing nothing? After the typhoon, the immediate concern of Pnoy was how to deliver the relief goods and NO EFFORTS were done to conduct SEARCH and RESCUE missions to attend to the wounded, to look for those floating at the sea or those possibly dying and were covered by debris. Another sign of incompetence?

    Where are our helicopters? Why did Sec. Gazmin not send these copters for search and rescue missions or for air-dropping of foods and water?

    Have Sec. Gazmin and Roxas presumed all those who are missing already DEAD. Another sign of incompetence?