Flooded Cotabato City now under state of calamity

Climate Change/Environment • Wed Jul 26, 2017 04:27 PM  •  123   0
By John Unson
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The flood-stricken Cotabato City is now under state of calamity. (JOHN UNSON)
The flood-stricken Cotabato City is now under state of calamity. (JOHN UNSON)
COTABATO CITY --- The city is now under state of calamity, declared to ease releases of funds needed in helping thousands of residents in flood-stricken barangays here.

Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi said Wednesday she is thankful to the Sangguniang Panglungsod (SP) for declaring the city under state of calamity Tuesday, enabling her office to maximize utilization of resources needed for relief works.

Local government units covering areas under state of calamity can freely use funds, intended for relief and rehabilitation of disaster-affected constituents, with less accounting constraints.

Twenty five of the city’s 37 barangays are flooded for three weeks now due to continuous rise of floodwaters in rivers nearby, caused by heavy downpours in mountains in central Mindanao.

The office of Guiani-Sayadi distributed food to affected villagers during initial relief missions last week for 91,537 flood-stricken villagers.

The city’s 37 barangays are crisscrossed by tributaries of the Rio Grande de Mindanao and many other large rivers that connect to the 220,000-hectare Liguasan Delta in the upper valley of central Mindanao. 

The Liguasan Delta is a catch basin for rain-generated floodwaters from mountain ranges in North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Bukidnon provinces. 

Dozens of rivers that spring from mountain ranges in different provinces converge first in low-lying areas in Cotabato City before flowing downstream westward to the nearby Moro Gulf.

Guiani-Sayadi and the presiding officer of the SP here, Vice Mayor Graham Dumama, have both called on the Mindanao Development Authority (MINDA) to focus attention on the perennial flooding in the city and nearby towns.

The MINDA, whose main office is in Davao City, only four hours by overland travel from here, has flood control and river management programs intended to address frequent flooding in central Mindanao, where the Liguasan Delta is located.

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