Flood hits Sultan Kudarat town; mayor hits ‘diversion’ of calamity aid

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/27 May) – Some 8,000 residents of 10 barangays in Sultan Kudarat town in Maguindanao have been affected by floods spawned by rains brought by the inter-tropical convergence zone, the municipal mayor today said.

Mayor Tucao Mastura said they have prepared three evacuation sites and relief assistance in case the situation got worse.

Mastura, however, chided the Department of Social Welfare and Development in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao for reportedly diverting the town’s calamity assistance to Lanao del Sur.

“May dumating sa request natin na mga bigas pero ang sabi sa atin ng DSWD ARMM para sa Lanao daw yun, eh wala namang baha doon sa lanao eh, and supposed to be para yun dito, andito ang aksyon oh, dapat hindi idinadivert yan,” (Our request for rice came but the DSWD ARMM told us it was intended for Lanao [del Sur] when the action is here, so it should not be diverted) he said.

The mayor also expressed dismay at the “slow” rechanneling work on Simuay River as a flood control program in the last four years owing to lack of funds.

Meanwhile, classes in some schools of Sultan Kudarat may not open as scheduled since the parents have to do another “Brigada Eskwela” to clean the schools of mud and floodwaters.

Two children, ages five and seven, were saved yesterday from drowning in the flood in Barangay Bulalo, according to provincial board member Shameem Mastura.

The town’s national highway was filled with floodwaters causing some vehicles to be grounded.

Military trucks were seen helping commuters who tried to go across Cotabato City and the northern part of Maguindanao. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)