72 houses affected, crops damaged: Floods sweep town
(The Freeman) - July 27, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Continuous heavy rains forced the river near the Daanbantayan Public Market to overflow Friday night with floodwaters washing a moving vehicle away yesterday morning.

Vice Mayor Gilbert Arrabis Jr., one of those who responded to the area, said the driver of the vehicle, Flaviano Moralde Jr., 60, managed to disembark from the Mitsubishi Space Wagon but was still swept away to about 50 meters from the bridge around 5 a.m.

Moralde was able to hold on to a mangrove for almost two hours until police personnel and volunteers rescued him to safety.

The flood also affected 72 houses and damaged agricultural crops.

Aside from the Poblacion area, water also rose in Talisay, Tapilon, Agujo, Malingin, Bitoon and Pajo. These areas also experienced flooding during typhoons Frank in 2008 and Gorio in 2013.

Daanbantayan Mayor Augusto Corro said the biggest challenge the town faces is the declogging of its waterways to prevent flooding.

“Dako nga challenge ang flooding on how to go over like the drainage system and solid waste management. I’m really bent on addressing this one,” Corro said.

Corro said a master plan for the drainage system needs to be put in place.

In an interview over radio DYLA, Corro blamed the previous administration for the flooding, saying it started when the area where the public market stands was reclaimed.

Reclamation was undertaken during the time of former mayor Ma. Luisa Loot and former governor Pablo Garcia who worked together in putting up a new public market and bus terminal.

Corro said the river became constricted, which reportedly endangers the structures of the wet market. Corro said he is eyeing at moving both the wet market and the dry market, which collapsed last year, to another area.

Corro’s statement, however, did not miss Loot’s son, former mayor and now Provincial Board Member Sun Shimura.

Shimura said the project was well studied by Capitol engineers and flooding did not occur in the area until Corro became mayor.

“Wa man lagi to naka baha sa Poblacion? Sa Paypay, Malingin and sa Pajo ra coz nag-abot ang water from the mountains and high tide,” Shimura expressed on his Facebook account.

He suggested that the town create a disaster preparedness team like the one he formed when he was still mayor.

Corro said the best solution to their problem was actually suggested by disaster-resilient experts and that is to remove all houses from disaster-prone areas.

This, however, can’t be done if the town cannot provide a relocation site.

Corro said a number of non-government organizations have built new houses for some of those living in low-lying areas but these are not enough for the 4,200 households that need to be evacuated.

“P2.3 billion sa Daanbantayan ana’ng P12.2 billion. Kung ma-release na, apil ana ang 4,200 housing units so you just can ima-gine how that funding can help us,” he said.

The budget, although approved by “rehab czar” Panfilo Lacson, has yet to be approved by President Noynoy Aquino.

The approval may need to be done soon as the situation in Daanbantayan during heavy rains is alarming.

“Lahi na gyud kayo. Gikuyawan ko if ever moabot pa’g 3 to 5 days ang uwan nga wala’y hunong, lunopan gyud ni ang lungsod,” said Councilor Brigedorietta Tancawan.

Tancawan said the river in Malingin also needs to undergo dredging because it is narrow and overflows easily when there is flood.

“Ang lungsod dili pa maka-afford, nanginahanglan og tabang gikan sa national government,” Tancawan said.

She heads the committee on budget and appropriations in the Municipal Council.

The municipality is still recovering from the damage brought by super typhoon Yolanda last November 8. — with Liv G. Campo and Bryner L. Diaz /JMO (FREEMAN)

 

 

BITOON AND PAJO CAMPO AND BRYNER L CORRO COUNCILOR BRIGEDORIETTA TANCAWAN DAANBANTAYAN DAANBANTAYAN MAYOR AUGUSTO CORRO DAANBANTAYAN PUBLIC MARKET FLAVIANO MORALDE JR. LIV G MALINGIN
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