Authorities survey the damage in Sitio Tagaytay Dos in Barangay Tinaan, Naga City where massive landslides killed at least 35 people.
Aldo Nelbert Banaynal
Away from landslides site: At least 3,899 made to move
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo, May B. Miasco (The Freeman) - September 23, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  At least 1,146 families or 3,899 individuals from five barangays near the landslides site in Naga City, Cebu have been made to evacuate upon orders of the Department of  Environment and Natural Resources.

 

The residents come from Barangays Tinaan, Mainit, Naalad, Pangdan, and Cabungahan, which are inside the one kilometer radius from the landslides.

Some families have reportedly asked to stay but authorities are bent on bringing them away from danger.

"We are doing all efforts to bring everybody to safety. Though this causes inconvenience (to evacuees), we consider this as necessary to save lives," said Naga Councilor Carmelino Cruz, Jr., chief of Naga’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and manager of the emergency operation center.

Barangay and city officials, as well as the police and the military, have gone house to house to bring residents out of the danger zone.

Those evacuated are housed temporarily at the Enan Chiong Activity Center, Naga Central Elementary School, Naga National High School, APO gymnasium, Colon Elementary School, and Tuyan Elementary and National School.

The city has already identified a relocation site in Barangay Tinaan and is starting to conceptualize a housing project.

In a visit to Naga Friday night, President Rodrigo Duterte told survivors he will direct Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chairperson Eduardo Del Rosario to build the houses at the relocation site.

He also said that the government will handle hospital expenses of those still under medical care and burial expenses of those who perished.

Search and retrieval operations have been continuous since the landslides last Thursday but rescuers also needed to pull back each time it rained for their own safety.

As of 1 p.m. yesterday, 35 have been confirmed dead while at least 44 remained unaccounted for. Fifteen others were wounded.

Yesterday, Baltazar Tribunalo has been designated as incident commander.

HOUSE PROBE

Rep. Rodrigo Abellanosa of Cebu City’s South District said he will call for an investigation into the Naga incident in Congress.

Abellanosa, chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, said there are already pending resolutions for a probe into the landslide in Benguet.

“Resolutions have already been file calling for the investigation of the Benguet incident. We will include the most recent Naga tragedy,” he told The FREEMAN.

Recently, Abellanosa directed a review of pending and existing legislation on the impact of the mining industry.

President Rodrigo Duterte already called Congress to repeal the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 after the landslide in Benguet during the onslaught of tropical storm Ompong last week.

“We will hold a committee meeting as soon as possible to take up the resolutions and hopefully schedule a public hearing to investigate both incidents,” Abellanosa said.

Abellanosa said he will also consult Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo about the issues surrounding the mining industry.

“We will hold a committee meeting as soon as possible to take up the resolutions and hopefully schedule a public hearing to investigate both incidents,” Abellanosa said.

There are pending bills aiming to repeal the existing Philippine Mining Act of 1995 which regulates sustainable mining in the country. — JMO (FREEMAN)

LANDSLIDE
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