Quality Management in Times of Calamity



The FilipinoSpirit is Typhoon-Proof! The Filipino is resilient and strong despite adversity! The Bayanihan Spirit is truly soaring alive. We have proven time and again that when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Private corporations and individuals have once again stepped up to donate goods in cash or in kind; volunteers have gathered in several relief centers to help in the packing of goods; rescuers and various LGUs and government leaders have been working 24/7 to evacuate people who were stranded/ affected by the floods and to distribute goods; prisoners were said to have given up lunch to pass it on to flood victims; journalists and news teams have facilitated calls for donations and distribution of relief goods; TV and movie personalities/ celebrities personally have handed out relief goods to bring a smile to the flood victims; etc.  In short, people are stepping up or stepping forward to make a difference.

Reading and hearing all of these stories of resilience and heroism, every Filipino would want to say, “I’m proud to be a Filipino!”  However,  is a proud Filipino content with reacting only when calamity strikes?  Wouldn’t we be able too hold our head really up high if we learn from the many disasters that had befell us?  Aha! this is where QMS comes in.

Placing our situation in the context of Quality Management System, what we experienced are several non-conformances bordering on several factors.  If we perform a root-cause analysis, we may find several reasons such as improper drainage, improper garbage disposal, damaged watersheds, wrong land use, rapid climate change, etc. All that we have done so far and are still doing are all immediate/ short term remedies.  We have not really established Corrective Actions/ Preventive Actions to prevent a repeat of this disaster. Most of the cited causes can be remedied by those in authorities and there had been suggestions.  The government have several choices on actions that have to be taken to address these issues.

As laymen, however, we can also do our share to help our country move forward from this calamity.  Yes, some answers are in our hands.

News have it that during Typhoon Gener, more than 200 trucks of wastes were swept from Manila Bay. Almost the same scenario were also seen in other parts affected by the typhoon. This could have been prevented if all of us did our part – at source segregation, door to door collection by the barangay, and establishment and operation of Materials Recovery Facility or MRF.  Mother Earth Foundation provides us a simple guide on the quality management of our wastes.

photo courtesy of Greenminds

An appeal to foundations/ charities/ private institutions/ individuals giving relief goods:  It maybe convenient to use plastic for packaging our relief goods. However, the amount of plastic currently being used in relief operations is quite alarming. We may consider using alternatives  wraps which will not cause further waste and damage to our environment.  Consider these tips from Green Releaf Initiative.

photo Courtesy of Sarah Queblatin

Perhaps, doing our share in the task of nation building is the real gauge to prove that the Filipino Spirit is truly alive.  Perhaps, in doing so, we could even say, “I am a PROUDER Filipino.”

To live a quality of life that we deserve is a matter of choice. We could choose to be a part of the solution or be a part of the problem.  I choose the former.