As everyone knows, we all have our pet ideas and we let others know about these in no uncertain terms, especially after calamities like Typhoon Glenda. We at UPLB do have such musings, although I can bet that these may not even be serious compared to those experienced by others.
As I write this, I’m wondering why, after four days, there already is electricity outside of the UPLB Campus while inside it’s as dark in the night as it can be., Not quite different from a secluded barangay that has not be electrified through the years. For those who live on the UPLB Campus, absence of electricity means absence of water, and absence of water is serious business. No water! That spells a whole lot of problems not the least of which are health-related (ibang mahalagang estorya naman ito). Water rationing is probably not part of the service that could be provided residents on campus. Slowly, of course, street clearing goes on but mind you it has been a week and all the streets are still full of debris and we’re living like we did in a secluded barangay in the late 40s. By the way, did you realize that even UPLB doesn’t seem to own a chainsaw to cut large branches scattered (always on roads)? The chainsaws used that I saw were mostly privately owned (also used in illegal logging on Mt. Makiling?, but that’s another story). Nakakaawa naman talaga ang UPLB. Walang chainsaw! By the way, well known ang College of Forestry at Natural Resources ng UPLB.
I came to Los Banos in the early 60s, and every time there were calamities (mostly weak typhoons) that disrupted services like electric and water, these remained unattended for days. It has been like that all the time. I do understand that even before the 60s, these happened with the then UPCA all the time. The difference is that during the time of UPCA, faculty and students worked abreast to clear the roads, fix water piping systems, and even provided support services to laborers working on restoring electric service. Well, may be things were smaller and simpler then.
Still, I can’t imagine why at UPLB, after all these events in all these years, they haven’t been able to develop a system of restoring services after calamities. Yes, I understand that the administrators would have important priorities, and I’m not questioning such priorities, but my own gut feel tells me that amenities such as electricity, telephones, and water systems should be near the top of the list of priorities. Restoration of electricity immediately would help clearing of roads, cleaning of offices and libraries, laboratories, classrooms, etc. And UPLB workers and students would be back on their feet almost right away.
Times have changed, and I’m not saying that the faculty must work side by side with the students in physically clearing the campus of debris (although this is not a bad idea at all), but I do believe that there must be a system of campus restoration in the aftermath of calamities like typhoons, earthquakes, and, God forbids, chemical disasters.
Just thinking small, and aloud, my friends. Batu-bato sa langit …