NDRRMC Director Urges Anti-Flood Measures (Philippines)
“The mountains can no longer hold the water generated by rains because they lack trees cover or canopy,” said Undersecretary Benito Ramos, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) executive director and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) administrator.
People must plant more trees and sustain the activity as a long-term solution to flooding, he said.
This was Ramos’ immediate reaction after an aerial survey, Dec. 30, of areas in Iloilo and Capiz affected by flooding triggered by rains spawned by recent typhoon “Quinta.”
Ramos and OCD Regional Director Rosario T. Cabrera, other OCD officials, and members of the regional council had boarded two Huey helicopters courtesy of the TacticaI Operations Group-6 (TOG-6) of the Philippine Air Force (PAF).
Ramos also noted that waters rushing down mountainsides are causing heavy siltation in rivers; he suggested dredging as an immediate stop-gap measure.
“People have abused the environment, so it is high time we made appropriate solutions on the short-term and long-term basis,” he said.
During a press conference at the OCD regional office here after the aerial survey, Ramos directed Cabrera to facilitate the expeditious release of financial assistance of P10, 000 each to the families of dead casualties of Quinta.
The assistance is on top of a similar help given earlier by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the victims, whose number reached 14 with two still missing as of Dec. 30.
He said he brought along with him to Iloilo last Dec. 29 an initial 3,000 family food packs assistance for affected families in Aklan, Capiz, and Iloilo. Some 20,000 family food packs have been allocated by the national government for affected families in said areas.
As per DSWD-6 data, 52,157 families composed of 251,152 individuals from 45 towns and 544 barangays were affected by the typhoon in the three provinces as well as Negros Occidental.
Until Dec. 30, 11,719 of these families were still in 97 evacuation centers in Capiz and Iloilo, Tanate said. She added that they have already provided some P5.5 million worth of relief assistance consisting of family food packs and rice in Aklan, Capiz, and Iloilo.
DSWD-6 acknowledged in its report the contributions made by various institutions and volunteer groups in bringing relief assistance to the victims.
Ramos cited the importance of public awareness of the threats that are brought about by climate change so that they would become better prepared, thus making disaster management a way of life and the responsibility of communities, the government and other sectors through convergence of efforts.
Press Release, January 2, 2013