Facing Off when Time’s Up

The circus is in town, isn’t it? It started Thursday this week and will end Wednesday next, but the filing of COCs will not prevent the already polluted environment to be overwhelmed once more — till May next year — by so much verbal, visual, and audal toxicities commonly experienced in these dire times. To be sure, the wannabes won’t just be content in the mere submission of the prized documents. No sir, Elections RP style is just a circus all year round, bringing into our national and local consciousness all the clowns and magicians for everyone’s fascination.

For all that happened in election years past, everything worse will take place once again, where aspirants compete for attention, bombarding the senses with much of what can push political dreams up there to be well-remembered, and right there to gain emotional traction. We can only wish that this time around, there would be just a few good and women who’ll make good on their avowals to put a premium to environment concerns, issues that are excellent verbal topics at this time when the environment is where everyone’s bet should be.

By experience, we have had charlatans dominating positions of power all these years, they who vowed to make our precious yet fragile environment at the topmost concern, only to be recklessly abandoned in favor of self-serving issues. Verily, much of Baguio’s fate has always been on tough times. Come election time, it’s a fever-pitch advocacy, but in the years in between, it simply gets shoved under the rag.

Specific issues relating to our environment have consequentially been so managed well enough to show that at day’s end, they’re neither here or there, just up there. Garbage, water, clean air, safe  energy sources — all these have long been a source of urgent concern, that pundits are even saying Baguio’s weather has turned from bed to bad to worse. Fine, we now have an Environment Code that two years ago finally got the legislative muscle to breeze through , disappointingly after a decade of smart lawmaking hibernation. Yet, even before it gets to be enforced, technicality after technicality has been invoked to stall immediate implementation.

Couldn’t we have a new batch of truly sincere, highly committed, and well consecrated public servants who will live by the ideals they poignantly assert when seeking public mandate? Or are we again poised to have the same, old faces of tricksters masquerading as fervent protectors of our rapidly degrading environment? Surely, when push comes to shove, we do have a handful, but are too impoverished to run a respectable campaign, or are simply fearful of being swallowed by a system that thrives on mediocrity, idiocy, and blind idolatry to false prophets and messiahs.

As the circus gets by, we’d be faced with another roller-coaster of days marked more by further damage to the environment, as Ompong has just done right in our midst.  Almost always, people everywhere would be experiencing  super-hurricanes (like Michael which has hit Florida and nearby Eastcoast states thousands of miles away) that are unparalleled in strength, mighty earthquakes of greater ferocity (like that 7 magnitude temblor at Indonesia), and fierce weather disturbances that pack walloping winds and torrents of rainwater. This year alone merely reflects what has been going on, and will continue to happen. It’s the environment, and what Mother Nature has thrown back at us puny inhabitants in retribution for centuries of wanton abuse.

It is indeed sad, very sad whenever compatriots lose kin and possessions in an instant of suddenness brought about by disrespecting environmental fury. It’s even more disappointing that those we elect into office, national and local, merely take turns blaming each other for nature’s outburst as if lives would be restored and properties regained in a blameless setting.  Can’t everyone seeking public office see that it is time, it is in fact overdue, for us to care for our environment, as if there’s no further tomorrow?

So we hold another election year with fresh resolve, with hardening hopes that environmental issues would be forcefully addressed this time. Time is clearly not on our side, but collectively nations and peoples around the world can bring about radical stout-hearted changes and make industries and automobiles be more environment-compliant, if only to mitigate the misbehaving ways that Mother Nature has been acting up in recent times.

Baguio, here’s for more time even if time’s up, not the one on our wrist, but that in our hands.


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