February 9, 2023

The city government of Baguio has evacuated 14 families from Kennon Road for fear of landslide as Typhoon Ambo battered parts of the country last week, Mayor Benjamin Magalong said.

Magalong said the families were brought to the Department of Public Works and Highways facility in Camp 7 as their temporary shelter.

He said they fear that several critical infrastructures were eroded due to non-stop rains.

The city allowed 14 construction firms to resume weeks ago to correct critical infrastructures left unfinished prior to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

He said some of the works involved in infrastructure projects included soil excavation that were left unprotected when the ECQ started on March 17.

Most of the projects involved drainage and retaining walls, which Magalong said were allowed to continue amid the ECQ.

He said the permits of the 14 construction firms were immediately processed.

“We fast-tracked this because it is urgent. It is important that they are finished because it is already the rainy season and if not attended to will cause loss of lives and damage to property,” Magalong earlier said.

He said he already allowed cement and steel to be transported to the city to be used in the critical construction projects.

Magalong added they started preparing for the typhoon early last week and assured that all concerned personnel will be linked through a communication system in case the major telecommunication system bogs down.

“We were able to secure radios. We are now propagating the signal and doing a radio-net diagram,” Magalong said.

He said they have ironed out the operational responsibility of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office and how to become proactive.

He also ordered the cleaning of canals at the different barangays and the use of a backhoe to clear the entrance of the tunnel at the City Camp lagoon to remove blocks that may cause flood.

Magalong said rescue equipment has been deployed and pre-positioned in case of emergencies.

“We have decentralized rescue equipment at the satellite depot and prepositioned them at the Athletic Bowl in Burnham Park and the Convention Center because we cannot retrieve it at City Camp during an emergency,” he said. Dionisio Dennis, Jr.