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Muntinlupa, Taguig residents commute on boats, tractor

() - October 7, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Residents of flooded areas in Muntinlupa and Taguig have turned to using boats and a tractor to commute from their neighborhood to the nearest patch of dry land.

The Muntinlupa Public Information Office (PIO) said two flat bancas of the city government and 15 wooden boats owned by the Fisheries Aquatic Resources Management Council, a fisherfolk group in the city, have been keeping the affected residents afloat.

PIO chief Omar Acosta said though floodwaters have receded, a number of areas in the city’s eight barangays remain submerged in four feet of water. He said all affected areas may be cleared of water by January next year.

Acosta said that to make sure that no one takes advantage of the residents living in flooded areas, a team tasked by Mayor Aldrin San Pedro will check on the condition of families living near the Laguna Lake. Homeowners’ groups take charge of the use of the flat bancas.

In Taguig City, only three barangays – Napindan, New Lower Bicutan and parts of Sta. Ana remain flooded.

Millet Gonzales, 30, an employee of the city’s tourism and trade office and a resident of Barangay Napindan, said only a number of houses are submerged in two feet of water.

She said a tractor owned by a farmer has been helping affected residents go from one place to another. “The residents pay P10 for them to get out of the flooded area,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales said the P10 fee is justified since it is a relatively long distance from the point a passenger gets a ride up to the point he or she gets off. “The tractor has been a great help so residents can continue with their regular activities,” she added.

Last Monday, the mayor had a meeting with Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, also National Disaster Coordinating Council chairman, concerning the need to open the Napindan Channel and regulate the release of water.

San Pedro said opening the Napindan floodgates is necessary to ease flooding in the city.   – Rhodina Villanueva

BARANGAY NAPINDAN DEFENSE SECRETARY GILBERT TEODORO FISHERIES AQUATIC RESOURCES MANAGEMENT COUNCIL GONZALES IN TAGUIG CITY LAGUNA LAKE. HOMEOWNERS LAST MONDAY MAYOR ALDRIN SAN PEDRO MILLET GONZALES MUNTINLUPA AND TAGUIG MUNTINLUPA PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
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