Danger zones repeatedly battered by the annual storm cycle had already drained enough of the yearlong savings of the households tolerated to stay in such areas.
Third District Rep. Arthur Yap emphasized this when he inspected the extent of damage caused by Tropical Depression Basyang on barangay Tabajan in Guindulman on February 15.
The permanent solution is to have the overdue relocation of the families in the area done.
Yap talked to each of the affected households in the area and offered to construct new houses for them through his Rebuild Bohol Foundation.
The affected families will just have to show that they have lands where the houses could be constructed.
Yap emphasized that it should be located somewhere that is not prone to calamities because it would be useless to build their new houses that would replace the damaged ones on the same location.
He said more than 20 storms enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility every year and some of them hit the province where households in storm-prone areas would just lose their annual savings when they have to rebuild their homes time and again.
He also noted that there was actually a signage showing that the affected area in barangay Tabajan is a storm surge-prone area.
Yap explained to the affected families that he formed the Rebuild Bohol Foundation in 2013 to construct houses for those who lost their homes to the Great Earthquake.
He told them they can avail of the same benefits as long as they have lands where Rebuild Bohol Foundation can construct the houses for them.
Yap also said he would coordinate with the local government unit in finding a relocation site for the families.
Considering that not all of the affected families have lands somewhere else, he would ask the mayor to search for a public land that the LGU can purchase and be converted into a relocation site for families- -not only those affected by the stormswerdfdds- -but all those located in danger zones.
Yap said he is willing to help the LGU attain such project.
For palliative solution, Yap extended food assistance and some cash assistance to affected families.
All the clothes, books and notebooks of the children in the area were all wet which prompted Yap to declare that the permanent solution has to be realized within the year to prevent the children from growing in such difficult situation.
Flash floods submerged the houses of 80 families in barangay Tabajan, Guindulman, where one that used to be a contiguous landscape of huts turned into a lake and become an extension of the sea.
A house, with only its nipa roof showing, had been washed to the sea about 50 meters from its original location.
Flash floods also damaged houses in barangay Candabong in the town of Anda.
There are actually 12 barangays in Guindulman that were affected by Tropical depression Basyang.
Those flooded were barangays Casbu, Tabajan, Sawang, Canhaway, part of Bulawan, and barangay Guio-ang; while those with incidents of landslides where earth materials had blocked the roads were barangays Lombog, Mayuga, Cabantian, Bayong, Cansiwang, and Tabunok.
In Jagna, 44 families were affected- -11 in Alejawan, six in Tejero, 14 in Can-upao, six in Pangdan, and seven in Naatang.
The 14 affected families in Can-upao comprised of 68 individuals.
In Naatang, some of the two affected families and four individuals evacuated to the barangay hall, while the others sought shelter in the houses of relatives in the upland areas.
In Duero, 120 families had been evacuated to Guinsularan National High School.
There were also reported incidents of mud flood and mudslide in Candabong, Anda.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) received reports of evacuation in the towns of Candijay, Jagna, Carmen, Bilar, Alicia and Loay.
By nighttime on Tuesday, there were already 154 families evacuated in the town of Candijay- -27 in barangay Cambane, 33 in Cadapdapan, 35 in Panadtaran, 43 in Panas, and 16 in Cogtong.
Yap also said he is awaiting for the confirmation of the report relayed to him by Gov. Edgar Chatto that a part of Sierra-Bullones had been affected.
He said times of calamity require the provincial government, mayor’s office, and national agencies are in the frontline.
Yap said the inspection by his team and the DPWH 3rd engineering district on the affected areas was a good opportunity to check the projects that are needed since they are the ones who prepare the national budget for projects.
“We have to build that resilience and that type of adaptation tungod kay karon, makita naman nato nga nagbag-o na talaga ang klima. So it’s a totally new ball game. It’s perfect that we are travelling with DPWH. So, right now we can already make decisions and we can included that in the national budget of DPWH because by March 18, sugod na ang budget call for the 2019 budget,” Yap said.
Yap called up OIC District Engineer Lan Gomez to check, together with his team, the affected areas in Guindulman to address the concerns of residents of barangay Tabajan who believe the appropriate project for their area was a flood drainage project and not a flood control project that the DPWH has constructed.
Gomez had explained that the implementation of project should start from the upstream and not from the downstream area to avoid backflow of the stream and weakening of the base that might cause the upper portion of the area to slump while the construction is going on.
It was also further explained that proceeding with a flood drainage project without the flood control project first would only defeat the purpose.
Yap said it was good that they were able to check the sub-villages to be able to determine what infrastructures are needed.
“I called the DPWH because this is the perfect time to just go and observe what are the damaged areas for us to see how we can assess the projects. We went to barangays Tabajan, Casbu, Sawang, Candijay, Canhaway, part of Guio-ang, and part of Bulawan. Barangays Lombog, Mayuga, Cabantian, Bayong, Cansiwang, and Tabunok are the landslide areas right now in Guindulman. So, do we need to build a drainage project? Is it because of climate change?Tungod kay ang complaint sa mga tawo, first time nga nahitabo nga na-landslide ang kini nga barangays in Guindulman. So we have to study, according to Yap.
Yap also thanked DSWD for their prompt action in the distribution of relief goods.
“So it’s also a way to assess national services right now- -how they perform under pressure. So, went together with DSWD in distributing the relief goods. I went there kay prompt action naman sila. Kung manginahanglan pa sila og tabang, at least I will know kung asa nato tabangan, and what part of their operation that needs additional funds,” Yap said.
Yap also said he will check on the report from Candijay about a rice field in Candijay town that is flooded during heavy rains.
Yap also dropped by Dimiao, Duero and other areas he could pass while on his way to the Bohol Culture Center in Tagbilaran City for the State-of-the Province Address (SOPA) last Thursday.
THE MORNING AFTER
Tropical Depression left Bohol late night on February 13 with a picture of devastation on rice fields turned into lakes, and floods covering the highways and houses along riverbanks.
The PDRRMO noted, however, that Loboc River had prepared and there was no report on flooding as Ewon Dam in Sevilla had prepared and followed the protocol.
Ewon Dam already started releasing water the day before.
The PDRRMO makes Loboc area their priority whenever rain would last for more than a day. But, this time, there had been no reported flooding and evacuation in the town.
The concrete fence of the Guinsularan National High School in barangay Guinsularan, Duero had fallen due to the strong surge of flood water.
According to the evacuated residents of Guinsularan, it was the first that they experienced such extent of flooding where a concrete fence of a school had been damaged ad such degree; and where the traffic flow stood still for one hour as the vehicles- -even a Southern Star bus- -could not cross the flooded road.
The vehicles had to wait for one hour for the rain water covering the national highway to gradually subside.
The bigger vehicles such as trucks and three Southern Star buses that had been stranded managed to cross the flooded road ahead of the smaller vehicles.
Teachers of Guinsularan National High School also checked the classroom and saw that their materials and equipment such as computers were all wet.
The rescuers had also responded to the three residents who had to climb to the roofs of their houses when the rainwater flooded their houses.
In Alicia, the rainwater submerged the rice fields like a lake.
In barangay Panadtaran in Candijay, Barangay Captain Roly Limbanganon- -who was the one guiding the evacuees- -said the 13 families comprising 42 individuals came from sitio Tabunok that had been flooded.
The barangay captain also explained that sitio Tabunok is in the Carood watershed area where the water would seep through.
The flood also submerged an estimated 12 hectares of rice fields that were almost mature for harvest.
The affected residents of barangay Panadtaran had been at the evacuated centers since February 12 yet.
Banana plants along the highways had also fallen, while branches and twigs of trees had also fallen on electric wirings, although the area did not experience any power interruption.
There were also reports of landslides in barangay Lundag in Pilar and in barangay Guiwanon in Maribojoc. But these were considered by PDRRMO as minor incidents.
PDRRMO Chief Anthony Damalerio explained that it was at the height of the tropical depression’s exit from Bohol area at 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday last week that the heavy rains had been experienced and it resulted to floodings along highways.
In Tagbilaran, the usual flood-prone areas had, indeed, been flooded such as the Tagbilaran-Dauis Junction, the stretch of J.A. Clarin St., especially the portion near the National Irrigation Administration (NIA)-7 regional office.
Barangay Totolan in Dauis had also been flooded.
The city government team had also conducted a clearing operation to take out a fallen tree that had blocked a road in Barangay Dao.