Flood victim seeks pols’ attention via FacebookBy Maricar Cinco |Inquirer Southern Luzon
SAN PEDRO, Laguna—A resident in flood-hit Barangay Dela Paz in Biñan City wants to remind politicians of the dire condition of his village since the August monsoon rains.
“All I want is to create an awareness,” Christopher Alba, 38, said of the Facebook page called “Help Us. Dredge Laguna Lake Now.” he created on Sept. 11.
“Everyone, even P-Noy (President Benigno Aquino III), is already talking about the elections. Hopefully with this, politicians and the media won’t forget about us,” he said.
Alba, a local government employee, described the Facebook as the most “practical means” to deliver a message to a wider audience. As of Sunday, the page was “liked” by 160 users and was being talked about by 19 netizens.
Alba also filmed and uploaded a 43-second video on YouTube, titled “Dito Kami” (Here We Are) on Sept. 12. The video showing footage of the flooded Dela Paz, which he took with his cell phone, had 117 views.
Alba rents an apartment in another village after floodwaters submerged his family’s newly bought house in Pueblo subdivision in the lakeshore village of Dela Paz. Family members are still paying for the government housing loan.
“Since my house had a second floor, I was able to stay home for another three weeks since the flood struck. But when the power supply was cut, I decided to move out like what my neighbors did,” he said.
He said water in his subdivision rose above the waist. He went back recently to check the house only to find out that the water was still knee-high.
“Pag-Ibig (housing agency) said we could apply for a calamity loan. But if this happens over and over, we might consider leaving the place (permanently). This is not a good investment,” he said.
Still in Biñan, the subdivisions of San Isidro, Almeda, Kapitana Maria, Casas, Victoria, Dimaranan, and Yatco are flooded. In Laguna, thousands have remained in evacuation centers.
Laguna Lake Development Authority hydrologist, Emil Hernandez, on Sunday said the lakewater level was at 13.25 meters. The normal level is 12.5 m from September to December.
“We were not yet here during Tropical Storm ‘Ondoy’ (in 2009), but my neighbors were and they said they were fed up already,” Alba said.
Ondoy dumped a huge amount of rain that resulted in massive flooding for around six months. The national government has come up with several solutions to the swollen Laguna de Bay, including an P18-billion dredging project which the President shelved due to reports of corruption.
“They scrapped the dredging project. What now? Are there any follow-ups?” Alba asked.
He said he believed the heavily silted lake had to be dredged immediately.