As if things are not bad enough as they are, Typhoon Ompong is the last thing we need. The rain it brings comes at a bad time threatening to destroy the bulk of our rice harvest for 2019, and according to international meteorologists the potential super typhoon will unleash pain and suffering unless God Almighty decides to turn this wrath of nature upwards and away from us. As I watched forecasts of its path, I got a bad feeling about this one, something I did not get from past storms except for Typhoon Yolanda. All we can do in the final hours is to prepare, reach out to friends and loved ones up north before and after the typhoon’s landfall and pray like our lives depended on it.
I was in the Mountain Province last Monday to Wednesday where I joined the BMeg Fiestahan Team where we hosted yet another backyard hog raising seminar in Bontoc. As we drove from Cauayan, Isabela to Lagawe, Banaue, Bontoc and Sagada, the one thing that we kept passing by were landslides that occurred sometime ago and were still being cleared and repaired by the DPWH. However slow the President may think the DPWH has been on his pet projects, I can attest to the fact that the DPWH in this region has been so busy with crews working through the day until darkness stops them. Crews have also worked continuously even in the bone chilling rain and the constant threat that they themselves could be buried or be taken in a landslide. From the Mountain Province down to Nueva Vizcaya, we drove past numerous teams doing road repairs on the National Highway and directing traffic.
I seriously fear that if Typhoon Ompong hits this region hard, the area is at great risk of being isolated by land and in terms of communications. In fact it was that very thought that pushed our BMeg Team to pull out and return to Manila by land instead of driving down to Cauayan, Isabela to catch our plane Thursday morning. Given the limited operations of the Cauayan Airport, flights are usually cancelled due to inclement weather or when it gets cloudy, and from what I heard landing here is purely by sight and not technology. The thing is, this airport and the one in Tuguegarao City are the only access to this parts. One would think that a little more interest or support ought to be extended toward upgrading these airports in terms of capacity and technology. That way, flying to Isabela would be more reliable and predictable instead of a toss coin on whether the pilot can see the runway or not!
I even wonder about the possibility of building a full pledge Philippine Air Force – Helicopter Wing in the Mountain Province if not an airstrip or airport that would certainly boost commerce and tourism which is an underdeveloped industry due to accessibility. If an airport or airstrip is out of the question, then it might be worth considering putting up a PAF Helicopter Wing in the event of medical emergencies and to bring in medical supplies. I don’t know what the Philippine Air Force has on the ground but please add mine to your shopping list in Congress.
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I have caught the Secretary of Justice on TV twice having to respond to media regarding the controversial withdrawal of the amnesty given to Senator Antonio Trillanes. Wherever his heart and legal mind may truly be on the matter, the situation of Secretary Menardo Guevarra is the best argument to undergo training for media engagement and strategic communications. It is also the best argument for having a spokesperson other than the head of the department or agency.
Knowing how to conduct yourself and when to engage media is no simple matter especially for government officials handling sensitive positions or issues. As the head or boss of the department, the buck as they say stops with Guevarra and stick with Guevarra. Politics and profession merge under controversy and sadly, the colors tend to stain professionals like him. It is best for guys like him to have a spokesperson just to make things more businesslike and less political.
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Speaking of communications those of you who have an interest in HR and developing emotional intelligence in the workplace might want to join an event next week where program updates and growth enabling insights on Emotional Intelligence (EI) await participants coming from a wide range of industries in the forthcoming Emotional Intelligence Summit Asia 2018. “The conference aims to help participants feel and translate into skill sets the vital aspects of Emotional Intelligence as it responds to the different challenges of leading businesses, including BPOs, in the age of Artificial Intelligence. The conference also covers business insights and unique practices in the business environment where technology reigns as predominant tool and enabler.”
According to the invitation extended to me by a media associate, “Filipinos in organizational development, human resources, and psychology will have a unique opportunity to listen to renowned thought leaders led by Dr. Ben Palmer, chief executive officer and founder of Genos International who developed the first Australian model and measure of emotional intelligence. Dr. Palmer’s work, through Genos International, has improved leadership, resilience, customer service, sales, and teamwork, in a number of businesses. Companies from Wal-mart in the United States, Accor Hotels based in Paris, to Qantas in Australia have achieved success through his research. Joining Dr. Palmer is Deiric McCann, head of international development of Genos International and former executive vice president of Profiles International.
The event is set on Sept. 21, at the SMX Convention Center, SM Aura Premier in Taguig City. People Dynamics Inc., which manages Genos International in the Philippines, and Profiles Asia Pacific Inc. will spearhead the conference.
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