PDCC recommends relocation of houses in Bontoc barangay
by Andrew Doga-ong
BONTOC, Mt. Province (1 September) -- The Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) here is recommending owners of some159 residential houses and rice granaries at barangay Dalican, here to relocate to safer grounds as the foot of their village is being threatened by a progressing landslide.
The PDCC made the recommendation in an effort to save the affected residential houses, other vital structures and possibly lives of the Dalican people should their community base continues to erode.
Based on an ocular geohazard investigation conducted by staff of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) - CAR and the provincial offices of Department Environment and Natural Resources, ENRO, Department of Science and Technology and Philippine Information Agency, the landslide is progressing towards the residential area at Dalican Proper and is now located approximately 20 meters to the nearest residential house.
Benigno Cesar Espejo, MGB Supervising Geologist in his report said the landslide crown of about 300 meters down slope of the village has totally damaged a significant area of agricultural lands. He added that there is the possibility of further progression of landslide and other instabilities in the area as evidenced by sinking and cracks immediately upslope of the slide.
MGB report surmised that Dalican Proper is located within an old landslide deposits as shown by underlying colluvial deposits made up mostly of boulders.
Aside from asking the affected Dalican villagers to evacuate the hazardous prone area, the PDCC also adopted the other recommendations of the MGB for the possibility of saving the threatened Dalican Village from further eroding.
Governor Maximo Dalog, Chairman of the PDCC in last week's council meeting instructed the Provincial Engineering Office to the assess the hazardous area and prepare a program of work for the construction of a drainage canal to divert the water that is directly flowing to the landslide to a nearby creek.
MGB officials recommended the diversion of the drainage canal saying it will lessen water saturation of the unstable slope which is one of the main factors contributory to the occurrence of the landslide.
Dalog reiterated his earlier suggestion for a vegetative cover on the eroded portion by planting fast growing trees to be led by the offices of DENR and ENRO and participated in by other concerned sectors.
Norberto Cobaldez, head of the DOST provincial office advised owners of the rice fields immediately upslope of the landslide to plant their lots with dry crops or plants that need less water to avoid further water saturation of the unstable slope.
Members of the council agreed to give P5,000 financial assistance from the calamity fund to each family who wants to transfer their houses to a safer location.
As to the MGB's suggestion of the introduction of various engineering measures such as terracing and slope protection, the council said this is not possible as it would entail much funding. (PIA-MP) [top]