GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/05 June) — The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) has strengthened its coordination and monitoring systems in preparation for the onset of the rainy season.
Ephraim Beliran, CDRRMC action officer, said Wednesday the council recently convened its 44 members to come up with some strategies to address possible problems that might arise in the area when the rainy season intensifies later on.
He specifically cited the flooding problems usually experienced by communities near major rivers and waterways and in lowland areas in the city during the rainy season.
“We agreed to initially step up our monitoring of the identified flood-prone areas and continue with the implementation of some mitigation measures,” he told reporters.
Beliran said the council initially reactivated the city’s rescue and disaster monitoring and response teams, especially those at the barangay level.
He said it also directed the barangay councils to clean up all waterways within their areas to avoid possible flooding later on.
Among the areas in the city that are considered prone to severe flooding were portions of Barangays Bula, Lagao, Baluan, Ligaya, Apopong and Buayan.
Early this year, a big portion of the area was submerged in floodwaters for several days following intermittent heavy rains.
Beliran said communities located near the banks of the Silway River, which traverses several barangays here, are also considered critical during the rainy season, which usually intensifies in the months of June and July.
The official said the local government has so far cleared some waterways in Barangay Baluan that drains towards the Sarangani Bay.
“The construction and rehabilitation of some drainage canals, especially those in flood-prone areas, are also ongoing,” he said.
Beliran said CDRRMC members agreed to “keep their lines open” so they could properly address possible weather-related problems that might emerge later on.
He said among those considered as key players of the council are the Department of Public Works and Highways, City Integrated Health Services Office, Philippine Red Cross and the City Social Welfare and Development Office.
Also providing vital support services are the city police office and the Philippine Army-led Task Force GenSan, he added. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)