BOKOD, Benguet – The Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC-CAR) passed a resolution urging relevant government agencies to prioritize the provision of sufficient funds for the implementation and completion of more flood control projects in the different parts of the region to ensure the safety of residents living along the banks of major river systems.
The enactment of the resolution was realized after Apayao Gov. Elias C. Bulut, Jr. questioned the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) for their alleged failure to act on his repeated requests to provide adequate funding to complete the flood control project along the Apayao river to prevent the destruction of private and public structures affected by the swelling of the river heavy rains.
He narrated that during the height of Supertyphoon Lawin where Apayao was one of the hardest hit provinces in Northern Luzon, 36 houses were washed away by the rampaging waters of the Apayao river and up to date the supposed assistance to the calamity victims have not yet been extended aside from the fact that requests for funding of a multi-million flood control project along the province’s major river system remains unfulfilled.
“We do not envy other provinces granted multi-billion worth of flood control projects over the past several years. What we simply want is for concerned government agencies to look into the real needs of calamity victims in the countryside and the mitigating measures that could be implemented to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents in the future,” Bulut stressed.
The Apayao official expressed fear that the church of the Iglesia ni Cristo will be the one that will be affected by the swelling water level of the river once the expected supertyphoon will again affect Northern Luzon in the coming days, thus, appropriate and timely action must be done by concerned government agencies involved in disaster risk reduction and management to address the problems of the local governments before it is too late.
Bulut claimed that he was surprised to see in the proposed annual national budget next year the provision of public funds for the completion of seawall projects in some parts of the country but he says what is important is for the funds earmarked for flood control projects be released to complete remaining projects.
According to him, what the Cordillera needs are the implementation of quality flood control projects in strategic areas to prevent perennial flooding in low-lying communities that pose a serious threat to life and limb and to guarantee the least possible damage in times of weather disturbances that affect the region.
The approved resolution will be transmitted by both the RDC-CAR and RPOC-CAR to the concerned government agencies for immediate action.
Photo by: ARMANDO BOLISLIS