Thursday Dec, 01 2022 05:48:51 AM

BARMM says storm-wracked areas fixed by early 2023

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 17:00 PM Thu Nov 17, 2022
John M. Unson
The heavily-silted Tamontaka River from the Liguasan Delta. (John Unson)

COTABATO CITY - The Bangsamoro government is targeting the full rehabilitation of victims of the Tropical Storm Paeng and reconstruction of villages and infrastructures damaged by early 2023.

Bangsamoro Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo told reporters Wednesday the regional autonomous government has initially earmarked P1.06 billion for the rehabilitation thrusts via its Early Recover Plan.

“We are expecting that, barring undue circumstances, all shall be done by early 2023,” Sinarimbo said in a dialogue with reporters on Wednesday morning at the capitol here of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Sinarimbo is also overseeing for the regional government its disaster and calamity response contingent, the Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence, most known by its acronym READi.

Worst hit by Tropical Storm Paeng that ravaged parts of the country from October 27 to 30 are South Upi, Upi and the seaside Datu Odin Sinsuat and Datu Blah towns, all in Maguindanao del Norte in BARMM.

A number of bridges and hundreds of houses were destroyed by rampaging floods and mud and rocks that cascaded from hillsides, causing the death of 63 residents.

Sinarimbo said at least 16 residents of the storm-stricken BARMM towns are still missing.

He said 1,475 displaced families have since remained in evacuation sites.

“Their houses were totally destroyed by floods and landslides,” he said, citing latest reports from local government units, from the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, the police and field personnel of READi. 

He said the regional autonomous government is also focused on a more pressing concern --- the heavy siltation of rivers crisscrossing Maguindanao del Sur and Maguindanao del Norte and the 220,000-hectare Liguasan Delta in the upper part of both provinces.

The Liguasan Delta is a catch basin for large rivers that springs from mountain ranges in Bukidnon, Cotabato, South Cotabato, Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat provinces.

It drains via rivers flowing downstream, straddling through a number of towns in Maguindanao del Norte and Cotabato provinces, towards the Illana Bay via the western seacoast of Cotabato City.

“The Liguasan has become so silted and so are the rivers where floodwaters flow downstream from there. This is why there are floods around after heavy rains,” Sinarimbo said.  

He said the problem is something the national government and the BARMM government are together focusing attention on. 

"The BARMM government can't address that alone," Sinarimbo told reporters. 


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