LB LGU starts with disaster preparations

by: Dianne B. Ubaldo

The Los Baños Government is planning to build permanent foot bridges to mitigate impacts of flooding, and to avoid a repeat of the experience of nine affected barangays due to heavy rainfall brought by Southwest Monsoon (Hanging Habagat) on August 7, 2012.

Recently, the Los Baños Municipality installed two sirens for Barangays Tadlac and Lalakay and is currently constructing drainages as part of the disaster preparations.

The Local Government Units (LGU’s) and the Army are joint force for the calamity disaster preparedness and disaster risk management.

“Laguna Lake is a catch basin therefore debris from Mt. Makiling flows down to the lake. Maybe one suggestion we can offer is the opening of the Napindan Flood Gate in Pateros, Manila which will possibly lessen the overflowing water of Laguna  Lake  or the  issue regarding the 352 million rehabilitation of Laguna Lake,” Municipal Councilor Jay Rolusta said.

According to Oji Sanchez, Public Information Officer of Los Baños Municipality, the root causes of flood in affected barangays of Los Baños, Laguna are the following: the rise of water lake in Laguna De Bay brought by the typhoons, strong rains, clogged drainages and poor solid waste management.

The local government has come up with the short-term, medium-term and long-term development plans to address the problems.

Barangays of Los Baños, Laguna affected by flood

Tadlac

Bambang

Bayog

Baybayin

Lalakay

Maahas

Malinta

Mayondon

San Antonio

Total

No. of Families affected by flood

203

141

222

23

41

30

121

65

7

853 families or 3,403 individuals

Among 14 barangays in Los Baños, Laguna, nine barangays were affected by flood which displaced a total of 853 families evacuated from their flooded residences. There are 3,297 families whose houses were flooded and temporarily staying in evacuation centers.

As part of the short-term or quick response, the local government is currently conducting relief operations and medical missions for more than 4,000 families affected by flooding.

Various non-government organizations (NGOs) in Los Baños,  Laguna  together  with  the public and private sectors came together as ‘One Los Baños Volunteers’ and partnered with the municipal government in conducting relief operations and infrastructure rehabilitations.

In addition, the Los Baños Municipality in cooperation with the DSWD Regional Office IV-A, built 90 tents in Brgy. Tadlac and ten in Brgy. Malinta, called as ‘Tent City’ as a temporary home for evacuees.

The local government has also implemented the ‘Emergency cash-for-work program’ wherein evacuees are tasked to clean drainages of flooded areas in the town to get instant cash or salary for it.

The LGU is reportedly spending 50,000 a day for relief goods. At this rate, the budget will not be enough if the flood situation will last longer.

According to Coun. Rolusta, in accordance with the Philippine Risk and Reduction Management Act of 2010, LGUs need to set aside 5 % of their annual budget for Disaster Risk and Reduction Management (DRMM); 70% of this allotment should be used for rehabilitation even if there’s no calamity to lessen the impacts of flooding.

Budget Allocation of the Los Baños Government regarding  (DRRM)

At present (2012)

                    Future

Relief Operations / Quick Response

=4 M   (30%)of the DRMM Fund

a. relief goods

b. medical missions and

others

Infrastructure Rehabilitations=70% of the DRMM Funda. foot bridges

b. construction of drainages and

others

In the medium-term, the municipality is continuing the awareness campaign for cleanliness, sanitation and environmental protection and conducting DRMM seminars orienting the public officials.

According to Sanchez of the Los Baños PIO, the local government is planning for the relocation of affected residents and housing for families as part of the long-term development plans.

“Flooding brought impacts like in Brgy. Malinta, [the] fiesta celebration was postponed. Many people lost their houses and needed to evacuate. In Laguna State Polytechnic University (LSPU-LB), our studies are affected because of irregular and suspension of classes. We are having classes in the Tent City and we pay for expensive fares,” said Heroshi Hoshino, Vice-President of Student Council LSPU-LB. (Napakalaki ng epekto ng pagbaha, una sa Brgy. Malinta, hindi naidaos ang fiesta. Marami ang nawalan ng tirahan at nangailangan pang lumikas. Sa Laguna State Polytechnic University (LSPU-LB) naapektuhan ang aming pag-aaral, halos tatlong linggong walang klase. Sa Tent City kami ngayon napasok, irregular na rin ang mga klase namin at dagdag pamasahe pa.” )

According to some evacuees, their houses are still submerged, their children are getting sick, and they have difficulty in staying in evacuation centers where they have been since August. But the local government is giving them enough supply of relief goods and medical missions.

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