Magazine article The Christian Century

Churches: Human Failures Caused Manila Floods

Magazine article The Christian Century

Churches: Human Failures Caused Manila Floods

Article excerpt

PHILIPPINE CHURCH leaders have blamed "man's sins" of neglect as the cause of massive floods in September following a tropical storm that claimed more than 240 lives and adversely affected almost 2 million people.

The floods submerged most of metropolitan Manila and neighboring provinces following the nine-hour storm Ketsana on September 26. The damage was caused primarily by "man's sins of social irresponsibility, neglect, opportunism, laziness and lack of vision," said Bishop Benjamin Justo of the United Methodist Church.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chief Bayani Fernando listed poor city planning, illegal structures and geography as the major causes for the floods. "Our problem is we live where we should never have lived," he told reporters.

The National Council of Churches in the Philippines, a group composed mainly of Protestant bodies, has documented cases of drainage systems being clogged with tons of garbage, mostly plastics. It said the floods could hardly recede because of the blocked waterways. …

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