Wednesday, November 13, 2013

On Haiyan aftermath, If I am Government.

Looking at what is happening in Central Philippines in the aftermath of Yolanda (Haiyan), government must realize that it is all basic supply and demand. There is now very little food, water, medicines, medical care, law and order, etc. The demand for all these is sky high, and supply is almost nil.

If I am government my approach will be 2-pronged. One, to bring in as many, in the shortest time possible, which I realize is a tall order. but the second, which is just as important as the first, is to decongest the ravaged places by allowing people to get out of there and move to their relatives in Cebu, Catarman, Maasin, Bicol, CARAGA, Metro Manila, etc. Every person that we will manage to bring out of the affected areas has a double impact in terms of capacity of government and the NGOs currently trying to bring order and manage the disaster areas. There will be less strain on the food and medical service resources, there will be less possibility of getting affected by any outbreak of diseases, and there will be less partcipants to any chaos that might ensue.

Every plane, boat and vehicle that arrives in those ravaged areas should be mandated to take in a full load of passengers when going out. Cut the suffering population by half by moving them out, and solve the problem twice as fast.

And how should a plan to establish a system look like, if I am government? My answer is also two-fold. One is go right into the center and try to establish a stronghold. Clear out an area near the port or airport, and establish a "government" that is primarily secure (with military presence), and ready to receive humantiarian aid from established organizations like the Red Cross and UN. I understand this is what government is doing now. In addition, clear out an area so a makeshift hospital and command center can be established by the Red Cross. Set up a repository of relief goods designed to take in, and take out for distribution on the same day. If any relief pack stays in storage for a full day, the system is not good enough. This means that a network of distribution has to be done immediately using a spider-web approach. Bring the goods to the closest areas, assure them of supply of food in the next few days so that order can be established, and people can concentrate on clean up, finding their deceased kins and burying them decently. Then , move the web of supply to the next surrounding layer. On the other hand, government should also set up and replicate the command centers  in nearby towns spared by Yolanda. For example,  in Catarman (or Catbalogan?) in order to reach out to Borongan; Maasin in order to reach Ormoc and Tacloban; and Iloilo in order to reach Roxas and Aklan. Let the efforts emanate from both  center and periphery, so that people in the middle will be encouraged to move outwards rather than congest in the center only because that is where help is pouring in.

LGUs in surrounding unaffected towns need not send in relief goods, but rather help clear up and secure road networks, and send in vehicles to ferry people out. Keep the relief goods in their own towns and use them to provide care for whoever will be brought into their towns by their convoys.
CARAGA and other Northern Mindanao LGUs can bring in boats, not to bring aid but to invite people to go with them into their provinces, and there be assured of care and sustenance.

The operative word is "decongest". Supply and demand are two sides of the same coin.


No comments:

Post a Comment