December 6, 2022

The two-week torrential rains brought about by the southwest monsoon have damaged P25,123,000 worth of private and government infrastructure in Baguio alone, the City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council reported.
The forms of damage were multiple erosions or landslides, collapsed ripraps, full and partially damaged houses, and dangling wires, said Local Disaster and Risk Reduction and Management Officer 3 Louie Glenn Lardizabal.
As of July 29, damage to private infrastructure was initially pegged at P9,060,000 and P16,063,000 for government infrastructure.
The amount of damage is expected to increase as incident reports are still being submitted to the Cdrrmo.
Four victims all from an incident when a tree fell on a taxi at Camp 8, Kennon Road have also been recorded where three were injured and one died.
The City Social Welfare and Development Office also assisted 112 families composed of 474 individuals who took shelter in evacuation centers.
The Quirino Highway (Naguilian Road) and the Aspiras-Palispis Highway remained passable but passing through the latter required precaution due to landslides in Tuba, Benguet, Lardizabal added.
He also reported despite the torrential rains, no flooding was reported at the City Camp lagoon – a natural catch basin of nearby elevated barangays.
He said this is due to the cooperation of communities living at the vicinity of the lagoon who ensured no garbage is indiscriminately disposed.
He added flooding at the lagoon in the past was not only due to the heavy downpour but also due to the presence of garbage and debris that clog the passageways of runoff water.
As part of the current administration’s direction of improving disaster response and management, Lardizabal said barangays are now pro-active in handling incidents caused by calamities in their areas.
He said the CDRRMO has also improved its communication system with the barangays by providing them with equipment and communications facilities and continuous training.
Being the first responders during calamities, Lardizabal said it is necessary for the barangays to be knowledgeable about disaster and emergency response, management, and mitigation so more lives and properties can be saved. – Rimaliza A. Opiña