Dr. Esteban C. Godilano’s reaction to Fastlanes column

(This piece is Dr. Esteban C. Godilano’s reaction to the Fastlanes column of BenCyrus G. Ellorin on December 29, 2011).

Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion, but it is more prudent to verify facts to make the record straight.

In my interview by the ANC Primetime News anchored by Ms. Carmina Cosntantino last 27 December 29, 2011, I was asked to react among other things to the Flash News on the flooding in Valencia, Bukidnon, specially on its impact to Cagayan de Oro (CDO).

My response to her query was that, we should know “KUNG saan ang dulo ng ilog na ‘yan and if it ends in CDO then expect flooding at CDO within 5-6 hours, at kung HINDE man mag end sa CDO dapat alamin kung saang watershed ‘yan sakop at maabisuhan ang mga kabayanan na madadaanan at tiyak magkaka-flash flood.”  Right there, Ms. Constantino alerted her staff to call DENR to ask what watershed Pulangi River belongs and where it ends so people could be alerted.

The show ended but the ANC staff was not able to reach DENR. As it turned out, the Pulangi River belongs to another watershed, not to CDO. Whatever ANC News Alert flashed or posted during my interview was beyond my control and responsibility.

On my being a geospatial and watershed expert, may I refer you to the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangkok, Thailand (http://www.ait.ac.th/), and Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, (www.cornell.edu). I am an agriculturist by discipline with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) as Farming Systems and RS/GIS Specialist. My two other expertise were acquired when I did my graduate and doctoral studies. My experience as Geospatial and Watershed Expert span more than 15 years in 20 countries, including the Philippines, Asia, US and Central America. May I also refer you to Ms. Winnie Monsod’ s article in the Business World entitled “Cautionary Tales,” which presented among other things, my professional background and herein attached.

The 700 million peso climate change and disaster vulnerability and poverty mapping project covers the whole country and the magnification or downscaling to the barangay level, it is not for Cagayan de Oro only. The cost is approximately 25 pesos per hectare. For cost parameters on the preparation and densification of geohazard maps, please feel free to ask the DENR .