Leaders jumping ship: the real crisis in the Haiyan disaster

…the local city official who decided to fly her children out of her devastated community as soon as she had the opportunity.  And I suppose the Leyte mayor who was picked up by his children and was flown out of town by helicopter should be considered lucky.

Scammers.  Abandoning people when they are in great need of leadership.  These must be the real reasons leaders in the international community cried listening to Yeb Sano in a COP16 session.  Woe to us Filipinos to have these sort of leaders!

If I were that local city official, I would fly my children out, yes, but I will stay and warm my station.  That is my greater duty (taking comfort from the assurance that my folks in Manila will take good care of my children) so please God humor me.

I am thoroughly scandalized (probably many citizens keeping track of the crisis as well) to read in the news that this city official flew out at an inordinate time and once there in the capital had the time to hold a press conference just to recount a personal story of survival while back in her duty station, thousands of affected, her constituents, are in agony because they have not communicated with their families or relatives since after the storm!  This city official if she really has her public at heart should’ve instead organized the setting up of a communication center in Tacloban (probably the airport grounds) where the affected can avail of communication lines to their families and relatives.  (If she cannot wait any longer, she could, if she wants, broadcast her own story from there without leaving Tacloban.  If she is that desperate for comfort, she does not have to look far because all around her are people who share with her the same story.)  She owes that service to people who voted for her.  She owes these people some semblance of calm and efficiency.  She has after all left the movies a long time ago and is now a public official. If she were a private citizen she could very well do as she pleases. But she’s not, at least during duty hours.

On the same vein, Eastern Samar Representative, Ben Evardone, is, at the moment, where?  In the news, he is reported to have appealed to President Aquino  to take the reins in disaster-stricken areas in his province.  My god.  Why?  Is the good representative unable?  When everyone at home are felled and he’s the only one left standing, he could, for starters, set up and man the command center and coordinate with the outside world (like, provide useful stats) until help finally comes in.  But as things are, I doubt the good representative knows what operations should be in place in an emergency command center on top of the fact that there are no equipments to use (unless he’s a McGyver fan).  (Speaking of which, the DRRM Law should be reviewed and revised because the current set up is that the Governors and Mayors, or Local Chief Executives, are the local command center chiefs but nothing in this disaster and previous ones is this mandate evident. Chiefs of local emergency command centers should be persons with a persistent can-do attitude, practical training, and the knowledge or skill to create something out of nothing because what if, like PAGASA, they are going to man a center bereft of the necessary tools of the trade?  Putting unqualified persons in command of these centers endangers the whole community.  It’s like a non-pilot made to fly an Airbus.  The one who tells the non-pilot to fly comes off as crazy and the non-pilot, if he accepts the task, is crazier.  And the folks back there — well.  These tasks need considerable training.)

All in all, officers who in war time abandon their soldiers in the field are hanged, to use a metaphor.

Me thinks the real crisis here in this country and has been for quite some time is leadership.

via cartoonstock

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