JVR looks at relocation, stronger sea walls
Talisay City Mayor Johnny V. Delos Reyes said he wants a long-term solution to wave surges that batter the city’s coastal areas and place residents at risk.
That means relocation and reinforcing seawalls with stronger wave barriers.
“We will have to relocate them and no longer wait for tragedy to happen,” Delos Reyes said in Cebuano.
Three days after big waves battered five coastal barangays, displacing over 489 families, residents are still afraid to go back to their communities.
Mayor delos Reyes is also recommending that the City Council declare a state of calamity so they can tap calamity funds to attend to the needs of families driven out by tidal surge Sunday night.
Meteorologists say the wave surge was caused by the high tide and the southwest monsoon or habagat enhanced by the passing typhoon Ramil in northern Philippines.
Vice Mayor Romeo Villarante agreed on the need to relocate fisherfolk residents but said they should not be far from the sea.
“The previous administration tried to relocate them but many returned because they were far from their livelihood,” Villarante said.
City Hall listed 489 families, consisting of 1,439 individuals affected by the wave surge last Sunday evening.
They come from barangays Poblacion (290 households); Dumlog (160 households); Cansojong (32 households); Pooc (five households) and Biasong with two families and seven individuals.
Councilor Charles Basillote, president of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC), plans to sponsor an ordinance which would require “forced evacuation during disasters.”
Residents of sitio Litmon, barangay Dumlog, Talisay City are afraid to go back to their houses with big waves still slamming the dikes of the coastal barangay.
Many of them are living in tents just across the road.
Among them was Jason Ginobesa, 25, told Cebu Daily News that it has been two nights that he was not able to get enough sleep.
¨We shared one tent and we used a mat for us to lie down and sleep,” he said in Cebuano.
Ginobesa’s house was washed out by the huge waves last Sunday night.
He only saved pieces of clothes and plates from their house.
¨I hope the government can help us to find an area where we can live since we don’t have a house anymore,” he added.
His sister-in-law Girlie Ginobesa’s family is one of those houses that was also partially damaged last Sunday night.
¨Every time I hear the sound of the big waves , I feel nervous,¨ she added.
The city government of Talisay and the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office has provided relief goods to the affected families.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) is asking the Capitol to allocate P108 million in its annual budget for its operations on 2014.
Majority of the proposed funds will be spent for disaster preparedness and mitigation, said PDRRMC head Neil Angelo Sanchez.
According to Sanchez, PDRRMC will shift its approach and will focus more on the readiness of local government units (LGUs) for natural disasters especially in the wake of the heavy flooding in Cebu’s neighboring province, Negros Oriental.
“We have programs proposed for the P108 million budget for next year focusing more on disaster preparedness and mitigation,” he said.
“The local government units concerned also have their own budget, this is just in support for them,” he added.
Sanchez said towns and cities in Cebu still has ways to go in terms of disaster preparedness
“For Cebu, I’m looking at 60 percent preparedness. Our advantage is that we don’t have big rivers as waterways,” he said.
PDRRMC received the same amount of P108 million during the previous year under the administration of former Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.
The Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 (Republic Act 10121) requires local government units to allocate at least five percent of its annual revenues for disaster management.
For the remainder of the year, Capitol still has P55-million for disaster management.
He said PDRRMC continues to closely monitor the islands of Bantayan and Camotes, the two areas in the province that are prone to natural calamities.
Meanwhile, Talisay City and the towns of Minglanilla and Oslob are the priority areas in the south.
“So far we’ve been giving them constant advisories and they are receptive. In fact, we give them the situation, status updates, our point here is to strengthen the LGUs,” he said.
“Our purpose now is more proactive, not reactive. Please continue to monitor your hazard-prone areas, riverbanks, sloping areas that we need to practice proactive measures,” he added. /Correspondent Gabriel C. Bonjoc, Michelle Joy L. Padayhag and Peter L. Romanillos
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