Towns hit by flashfloods urged to declare state of calamity to avail of assistance from prov'l gov't
by Carlos Bautista
Kidapawan City (5 February) -- Vice Governor Manny Piņol today called on local governments units adversely affected by the recent torrential rains to initiate efforts to declare a state of calamity in their municipalities if such a declaration is indeed necessary, and to make sure that this declaration is forwarded to the provincial government so that the Governor can institute measures to assist these local government units.
Heavy rains these past few days have caused flash floods in the towns of Magpet and President Roxas. Flooding has also been reported in some parts of Kabacan.
Damage to crop and properties have been reported in the three towns.
In his opening statement in today's Sangguniang Panlalawigan regular session, Vice Gov. Piņol said that the question of declaring a province-wide state of calamity to allow the use of calamity funds to provide assistance to the affected towns was discussed in the Legislative-Executive Advisory Council (LEDAC) meeting Monday.
The LEDAC is composed of Gov. Jesus Sacdalan, Vice Gov. Piņol, and the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
Referring to guidelines in the declaration of a state of calamity, Vice Gov. Piņol said 2nd District Board Member Rey Pagal pointed out in the LEDAC meeting that it is incumbent upon the affected municipalities to declare a state of calamity.
"It is not proper for the provincial government to declare a state of calamity province-wide because it would open the floodgates for the possible misuse of calamity funds in other municipalities which were not affected by the natural disaster," Vice Gov. Piņol said.
What was agreed in the meeting, he said, was for the municipalities affected by the flash floods to declare a state of calamity, and that this declaration could be used by the Governor in extending financial augmentation to these municipalities to support rehabilitation and relief projects.
The Sangguniang Bayan of Magpet has already declared a state of calamity following a meeting of the municipal disaster coordinating committee called by Mayor Efren Piņol last Tuesday.
Initial agricultural damage was estimated by the Magpet municipal agricultural office at P655, 315 with total damaged area places at 76 hectares planted to banana, mahogany, coconut, rice, corn, rubber, tahiti, and rambutan.
Repair of damaged infrastructure which includes three overflow bridges is estimated to cost P4,485,000.
Several hectares of agricultural lands were also reported damaged in President Roxas due to flooding of the Kabacan River.
The flash floods also claimed the lives of two persons in President Roxas and a tricycle driver in Magpet. (PIO North Cot./PIA12) [top]