Recall in the whole debate on over-population in the Philippines and how we've established the logical link between population increase and poverty through our simple, robust, and scalable definition of poverty: "a habitual entering into commitments that one is inherently unable to honour". The spectre of the scale of death and destruction that could slug the Philippines in the event of a strong earthquake occuring near or within Metro Manila demonstrates how even more impoverished we are than conventional measures indicated.
Whereas we always think of ourselves as an intractably poor nation because of our lack of ability to educate and employ our own people, we are now are starting to come to terms with our lack of ability to secure our people's safety against disaster as well.
We can only sit back and watch helplessly as we multiply like cockroaches and occupy every nook and cranny offered by our decrepit capital city -- even parts of it that represent the proverbial sand lot that the proverbial fool builds his house upon. Considering this is a biblical parable, the implications of this foolhardiness are potentially biblical in proportion. Catastrophic disasters like earthquakes and cyclones notwithstanding, Filipinos clinging to and scratching out an existence along Manila's flood plains, riverbanks, breakwaters, inside its cemeteries, under its bridges, along the walls of its esteros (storm water canals), beside its train tracks, and within sprawling tinderbox shantytowns that carpet vast tracts of land within Manila are by themselves disasters in the making; perhaps call our lot the slow-release disaster.
The ballooning in numbers of a people who are inherently unable to support their own numbers is itself a slowly-unfolding disaster.
Thus, this sudden focus on earthquake preparedness we are seeing being bandied around in Media and in the halls of Congress is no more than a quaint attempt to assure one another that Filipinos do possess some semblance of token foresight at best. But a people who famously allowed a shipping company that figured in the worst peace time maritime disaster in world history to continue operating for two subsequent decades and go on to be party to several more "accidents" that killed thousands more over those subsequent 20 years can't be taken seriously. We may as well start saying our prayers for those thirty-odd thousand poor sods who are likely to die in the event of an earthquake measuring even just seven on the Richter scale hitting Manila (the one that hit Japan measured 8.9).
The two words "prepared Filipino" form an oxymoron. There simply is no such thing. There may be talk, but the substance just isn't there.
Ironically this reality about Filipinos could form a good foundation for the arguments of those who believe that we should not make any attempt to reduce population growth. Other societies -- where life is regarded as precious enough -- leave no stone unturned in their efforts to prepare for and mitigate disaster. Filipinos, in contrast, need to reproduce in vast numbers to compensate for their lack of capacity and will to prepare for and mitigate whatever tragedy the future might bring upon -- whether in the form of a single fell swoop or in the form of a slow drawn-out degeneration of quality of life and dignity.