June 17, 2024

The recent flash flood in Banaue, Ifugao has prompted the provincial government to cause the  rehabilitation of the drainage system to prevent a repeat of the July 7 flashflood and mudslide in the municipality.

Gov. Jerry Dalipog said there is an ongoing widening of the drainage especially in barangays Tam-an and Poblacion, which are among the six affected barangays. The other affected areas are Viewpoint, Amganad, Bocos, and Poitan.

Dalipog said it is not the first time that Banaue experienced flashflood in the affected areas, but the recent incident was exacerbated due to the mud flows that caused the clogging of the drainage. He said the heavy volume of rain that day also contributed to the flooding.

The flashflood affected 1,052 families, injured six individuals, and rendered four houses totally damaged while another 1,044 houses were partially damaged. The Department of Agriculture-Cordillera pegged the initial damage to agriculture at P49 million.

Dalipog said the Banaue Municipal Police Station has reported there are illegal tree cutting activities in the municipality when asked if illegal logging could have aggravated the flashfloods and mudslides.

The official cited the 2018 decision of the Banaue, Ifugao, Regional Trial Court that permanently bans quarrying and other forms of mineral extraction at Mt. Polis, which is partly within the jurisdiction of the municipality.

Office of the Civil Defense-Cordillera Director Albert Mogol said the budget from the various local agencies in the region were enough to cover the assistance given to those affected in Banaue.

Mogol said the assistance given to Banaue were immediately replenished as part of the readiness of the national line agencies for future calamities and other related incidents.

Banaue was placed under a state of calamity to allow the use of the 30 percent quick response fund to facilitate immediate repair and rehabilitation of damaged areas in the municipality. – Ofelia C. Empian