South Cot releases P113-M for rehab of infra destroyed by floods

Engr. Bernard Dormitorio, provincial engineering office chief, said his office received P93 million from the local government's first supplemental budget and another P20 million from its calamity funds.

He said the bulk of the allocation from the supplemental budget would be used to fund the construction and improvement of  schools, classrooms, government buildings, barangay halls, health centers, gymnasiums and other related projects.

Dormitorio said among their priorities is the completion of the Productivity and Technology or Protech Center's ampitheater.

He said they will also begin to rehabilitate and improve portions of provincial roads spanning 640 kilometers.

Dormitorio said the P20 million calamity allocation would be utilized to rehabilitate the damaged roads, bridges and river channels and the implementation of measures to counter the occurrence of flashfloods and landslides during the rainy season.

He said they already started the repairs on affected roads and bridges in Lake Sebu town and the work will also commence soon in the towns of Polomolok, Surallah and Sto. Nino.

The three municipalities were among the areas hit hardest by the floods during the first quarter of the year that left a estimated damage of around P50 million.

The provincial government declared the entire province under a state of calamity earlier this month to allow the use of its calamity funds to address the problem and set some interventions.

Dormitorio said they are set to begin the rehabilitation of the river channels in barangay Talahik in Surallah town, where a sitio was earlier "erased from the map of South Cotabato, due to the overflowing of the Allah River.”

"The same thing happened to barangay Maculan (Lake Sebu) but we were able to implement earlier interventions so the damage there was minimal," he said.

Dormitorio said their office is currently mapping out some interventions for critical areas and infrastructure in the province since the current climatic pattern in the area has become erratic as a result of the global climate change.

He said even the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services (Pagasa) could no longer properly predict the area's weather condition.

"Last week, we received an advisory from Pag-asa that the dry period will be longer this summer but by weekend we were swamped by rains. So right now, we are studying various alternatives so we can be prepared for any eventuality," he added.  (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)