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Los Baños postpones annual festival due to flooding

- Rudy Fernandez (The Philippine Star) - September 8, 2012 - 12:00am

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna , Philippines – More than a thousand families in lakeside barangays here are still housed in evacuation centers after they were displaced by floods caused by monsoon rains last month.This has prompted the local government headed by Mayor Anthony Genuino, following public consultations, to postpone the holding of the annual Los Baños Bañamos Festival on Sept. 14-23.

A date has yet to be decided on when the festival that banners the 397th Los Baños foundation day celebration will be held, The STAR gathered.

Affected by the floods are residents of barangays Tadlac, Baybayin, Bambang, Malinta, Mayondon, and Bayog.

Heavy rains brought by the southwest monsoon swelled Laguna de Bay, displacing many families along 91,000-hectare freshwater lake.

Nobody, however, died in the flooding, although it placed the lakeside communities under water for days.

The flooded Los Baños barangays are among 59 in 12 Laguna towns considered highly sensitive to hazards brought about by climate change, based on a study done by the Los Baños-based, Philippine government-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA).

Covered by the study were the towns of Sta. Cruz (capital town), Los Baños, Calauan, Bay, Liliw, Magdalena, Majayjay, Nagcarlan, Pagsanjan, Pila, Rizal, and Victoria.

The towns are covered by the Philippine component of the three-year “Building Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change for Selected Southeast Asian Countries” project implemented by SEARCA headed by director Gil Saguiguit Jr.

Funded by the Economy Environment Program for Southeast Asia of the International Development Research Center of Canada, the project covers the Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia.The project aims, in the case of the Philippines, to enhance the capacity of the 12 Laguna towns to determine and analyze their vulnerabilities to climate change and identify appropriate adaptation strategies. SEARCA presented the study’s initial findings to local officials of Laguna in a recent forum in Manila.

BUILDING CAPACITY CLIMATE CHANGE ECONOMY ENVIRONMENT PROGRAM GIL SAGUIGUIT JR. GRADUATE STUDY AND RESEARCH LOS BA MAYOR ANTHONY GENUINO NTILDE SELECTED SOUTHEAST ASIAN COUNTRIES SOUTHEAST ASIA OF THE INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH CENTER OF CANADA SOUTHEAST ASIAN REGIONAL CENTER
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