When I was a kid, I used to fear the unknown. I am a big scaredy cat. I was afraid to be alone in a room at night, I was afraid to watch horror movies, and most of all, I was afraid of the dark.

As time passed by, I overcame these petty fears. I developed confidence, and made a name for myself with my leadership skills, although in limited areas.

But going back to the subject of fear. I learned these passed days that fearing the unknown is nothing compared to fearing an oncoming catastrophe that will change the lives of Filipinos.

I was simply blog walking that Tuesday evening when a student-leader from my alma mater posted this link. It was news article concerning the never ending issue regarding the Oil Depot in Pandacan.

Apparently, the City Council of Manila passed a new ordinance that amends a portion of Ordinance 8187. If you will remember, Ordinance 8187 was the controversial draft ordinance 7177 which Mayor Alfredo Lim signed in the Oil Depot Compound last 2009. It aims to let the Petrochemical Industries to continue their operations in the Pandacan area. But the New ordinance reclassifies the Pandacan Oil Depot Area from High Industrial to Highly Commercial/Mixed use area. Please read this section that I took from the news article:

In Section 1, Section 2 of Ordinance No. 8187 shall be amended to read as follows: “The land use where the existing industries are located, the operation of which are permitted under Section 1 hereof, are hereby classified as Industrial Zone except the area where petroleum refineries and oil depots are located, which shall be classified as High Intensity Commercial/Mixed Use Zone (C3/MXD),” the ordinance stated.

Well I won't flatter myself with the thinking that they must have read my blog article before, since they countered my ultimate counter-statement regarding the change of the Pandacan area from Industrial to Commercial Zone. I mentioned in my blog that the reclassification will not only eliminate the Oil Depots, which most people think as "toxic", but also the "non-toxic" industries in the area that provides employment to residents in the vicinity. Bear in mind that I wrote that particular blog article when I was still a 5th year Chemical Engineering Student.

I am writing this series of blog articles to express my sentiments in this move by the City Council of Manila. But before someone points out that I am just a blogger, I would like to explicitly say that I am a licensed Chemical Engineer. Inexperienced and also not part of the Petrochemical Industry, but I much more credible that a person who doesn't have education with regard to this subfield of Chemical Engineering.

I intend to create this Economic Timebomb Series as a continuation of my earlier blog post about this issue. Of course, from that blog, you can easily conclude that I am against to remove the oil Depots in Pandacan. With this series I will attempt to explain in different aspects why this move is illogical and will have catastrophic effects in our economy.

Fuel prices will go up!

That was the thought that was shouting in my mind after I read news article. In future posts, I will provide a simple course in Physics and Engineering Economy that will explain in detail why fuel prices will go up. But for now let us consider this as a fact.

I immediately contacted my Junakis Jeco who is an economist. I asked him the question: What is the effect in our economy if there would be significant increase of fuel prices? Here is his reply:

Increase (in) price of basic commodities po. Then if (it) continues to increase, it can trigger large scale inflation. Kasi fuel(,) basic need to run an economy yan, kasi connected halos lahat ng industry jan.

My initial thought was cemented when I read his message. Of course he mentioned that he will try to study the issue because he thinks that it can still be prevented. But until he tells me convincing arguments that will change my mind regarding the forthcoming onslaught, I will stick to my instincts.

I concur to Jeco's statement that fuel is connected to almost all industries. In future posts, I would try to enumerate all if not most of the industries that will be directly affected, and those in the secondary level.

The news article also mentioned that the Supreme Court released a 56-page Resolution regarding the matter. I found the resolution online and to my surprise Impeached CJ Corona handled the case. He was then Associate Justice and CJ Reynato Puno was still at the helm of the Supreme Court. Well, this is yet another instance that I am quite happy with result of the trial to impeach him. Most of my future posts will be a response to this resolution by the Supreme Court. I would try to give my counter-arguments and commentary on the issues presented in the resolution. So I suggest that you read it too. Here's the link: http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2008/feb2008/gr_156052_2008.html.

I would also try to make commentaries on the individual Civil Cases filed by those concerned that was cited by the SC Resoultion; If I will be fortunate enough to get them.

This is it for now, but I am adamant that compelling the Oil Companies to relocate their depots will create a future catastrophe. And I believe as a resident of Manila, as a Chemical Engineer, as a Filipino, it is my social duty to inform the public of this incoming onslaught that will have a huge impact in our lives.

For Chemical Engineers and future Chemical Engineers, this is where our profession meets with economics, social responsibility, and politics. I believe that it is our duty to prevent this catastrophe from happening. Be informed. Be confidently informed, then spread the word. This is not just for you, this is for our society.

The end is near. An Economic Timebomb is set to explode before PNoy steps down by 2016.

I'm scared...

I'm terrified...

tic... toc... tic... toc...