The incident happened shortly after the President left the library of the Iligan City National High School aboard a helicopter.
There were no reports of local officials and social welfare officers hurt although the latter called up the police to pacify the evacuees and secure the exit of the officials.
“We are very hungry and some of the relief goods did not reach us,” complained one female evacuee.
“They gave us ukay-ukay (second hand) clothes that cannot be worn while those good ukay-ukay clothes were distributed elsewhere,” she added.
“Others were given but many of us were not,” an irate evacuee said.
Evacuees gathered outside the compound of the school and said they were angered “why the rice cannot be distributed today?”.
“They asked us to return tomorrow when we are all hungry now,” they said.
Grace Saquilabon, head of the city social welfare, said distribution of goods should be “systematized”.
“If we will distribute it today, it will result to chaos,” Saquilabon added.
Mayor Lawrence Cruz said there were about 17,000 residents who evacuated their areas for higher grounds and evacuation centers.
The President distributed relief goods though, to the evacuees from Sitio Santa Lucia of Barangay Mahayahay, which was hit hardest by the flood, after she left the meeting, apparently unaware of what happened shortly after. Arroyo personally handed the goods as she also congratulated the rescue team, led by Boy Edrozo of the City Disaster Coordinating Council “for a job well done.”
A 13-year old girl drowned and four others were reported missing. The flood also damaged crops, roads, and other government infrastructures worth P32 million. The water system was also affected. It also damaged a major water supply line.
Arroyo’s P6 million assistance would be used to repair the damaged bridge in Barangay Tubod and other affected infrastructure.
Arroyo was joined by Congressman Varf Belmonte, Mayor Cruz, Lanao del Norte Governor Khalid Dimaporo. She asked them and the officials from other Region X areas to undertake “massive reforestation as strategic flood control."
Belmonte said city engineers have to dredge the river bed and construct ripraps along river banks to control future flood.
Dimaporo said the province has undertaken reforestation in the towns of Maranding and Liangan after these areas also suffered from devastating floods in the past (Violeta M. Gloria/MindaNews)