Landslides displace Malaybalay villagers anew

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/ 13 October)– Landslides brought by heavy rains forced villagers in Sitio Panamucan, Barangay San Jose here to flee the relocation site they sought refuge last year, officials said Friday.

Ramon Jacolbe, Barangay San Jose village chief, said the number of evacuees grew to 104 families on Friday morning from 32 families on Tuesday when the landslides struck the area.

“Many heeded the call of the CDRRMC (City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Center) to vacate because of the danger,” he added.
But because of the discomfort in the evacuation site, 80 families decided to return to their homes Friday afternoon, Jacolbe said, adding that the 20 families who stayed reported heavy damages on their property.

Henry Collantes, CDRRMC logistics officer, said that they evacuated 183 people last Tuesday afternoon because of the landslide, with rescue operations continuing the next day.

No one was hurt in the incident, he added.
Collantes noted that most of the evacuees are the same residents who experienced flooding in a nearby portion of the village on May 25, 2011. They moved to a clear flat area across a creek that became their relocation site.
Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri confirmed releasing P25, 000 assistance to about 52 families, which the residents used to buy the land for the relocation site. 

But Zubiri said they advised the residents then that the relocation site is not safe. 
“But they don’t want to vacate the place. They want to be near their farms and animals,” he added.

Zubiri said the city government is having a difficulty in relocating the residents because the area has scarce flat lands and that the lands there cannot be bought because it falls under the ancestral domain claim of the Bukidnon Higaonon Tribal Association. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)