Bongbong Marcos wants tree planting included in flood control projects
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is seeking to incorporate tree planting in the government’s flood control projects.
He observed the deforestation in the mountains during his aerial inspection of Maguindanao, which was recently ravaged by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae).
“Noong nasa helicopter kami ni [Maguindanao Governor] Bai Mariam [Mangudadatu], na-notice ko lahat ng gumuho kalbo ang bundok. That’s the problem,” he said during Tuesday’s situation briefing on Paeng’s effects in Maguindanao.
(When Bai Mariam and I were on the helicopter, I noticed the areas with landslides had bald mountains.)
“So we have to include tree planting in our flood control. Dapat kasama ‘yan. Kung gagastos tayo sa flood control, kailangan may tree planting,” the President said.
(So, we have to include tree planting in our flood control. It should be included. If we have to spend on flood control, there should be tree planting.)
Expedite flood control project
Meanwhile, Mangudadatu urged the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to speed up the completion of its flood control project in South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.
Mangudadatu, in the same briefing, pointed out that Maguindanao is a catchbasin that is just being affected when it rains over South Cotabato, North Cotabato, or even Sultan Kudarat.
However, 24 areas in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), where Maguindanao is part of, experienced massive flooding due to Paeng.
“Kasi Maguindanao is a catchbasin, so I’m appealing to our honorable secretary of DPWH na sana madaliin natin ‘yung flood control ng South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.
(Maguindanao is a catchbasin, so I’m appealing to our honorable secretary of DPWH to hasten the flood control project in South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.)
“Dahil ‘pag nauna natin ‘yun, hindi kami masyadong bahain dito. Dahil ‘pag umulan [sa] South Cotabato or North Cotabato, even Sultan Kudarat, nadadamay kami kahit wala kaming ulan,” Mangudadatu pleaded.
(If we finish that first, we will not be flooded too much. Because when it rains in South Cotabato or North Cotabato, even Sultan Kudarat, we are affected even if it is not raining here.)
For the Maguindanao governor, calamity funds are wasted because of floods since local governments focus on food packs and assistance instead of infrastructure.
Following the briefing, Marcos distributed relief goods and assistance to households affected by Paeng in the BARMM.
The death toll due to Paeng reached 110, mainly from the BARMM, while 63 people were injured and 23 others remain missing.
Paeng, which exited the Philippine area of responsibility on Monday noon, October 31, also affected some 2.4 million individuals.
— Irish Perez, trainee