MOTHER nature has her way of expressing her contempt at man’s penchant for insatiable greed and corruption. The series of strong temblors that shook Mindanao revealed how contractors and government regulators disregarded building standards and quality of materials used in vital projects such as public schools and othervgovernment buildings.
We had been focused on death statistics and magnitudes of earthquakes we missed the more revealing and ghastly statistics that about 90% of the structures that crumbled, about to crumble and irreparable are school buildings.
The Department of Public Works and Highways which is the government regulatory agency that bid out and supervises the construction of these projects has a lot of explaining to do. So far the eerie silence from DPWH amidst the devastation on the heels of the series of aftershocks even tells us of the insensitivity of officials behind this despicable caper.
Sec. Mark Villar should not wait for Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to make his own survey of the extent of the disastrous earthquakes. I am not faulting him as yet but he should organize a technical probe team then go out in the comfort of his office and dig into the rubbles to find the answer to the question of why private buildings withstood the temblor and why government-contracted and supervised buildings were badly damaged.
The destruction of school buildings was reported not only in Cotabato provinces which are adjacent to the epicenter but also in Davao del Sur and even in Davao City. These buildings house helpless school children and we can only thank the Almighty that He had spared them from harm. We are into a long holiday break but DPWH and the Department of Education must realize that allowing classes under the roof of these damaged structures is next to systematic murder. This is not an exaggeration so beware of the parents' wrath.
For now, school buildings that have structural defects should be declared unfit and thereafter demolished. As to who will be held liable will now be up to Secretary Villar and the Ombudsman. Mother nature is telling him there is massive corruption in his Department during and mostly before he assumed office.