‘Agaton’ postscript: Bukidnon town declared under state of calamity

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 29 Jan) – The municipal council of Impasug-ong, Bukidnon passed a resolution in a special session today placing the town under a state of calamity a week after tropical depression Agaton hit Mindanao.

Vice Mayor Anthony Uy told MindaNews via telephone Wednesday a total of 1,272 persons or 265 families, more than half of the number of households in upland Brgy. Sayawan, have fled the area since last week due to landslides.

He said the residents are temporarily housed at the local gymnasium with other evacuees from other barangays. Uy said evacuees from barangays Capt. Bayong and Impalutao are being housed in their respective evacuation sites.

Brgy. Sayawan, the worst hit in the town, is one of four villages identified to be landslide-prone, Uy added.

He said so far, only two houses have been totally damaged because of the landslides but five more houses are already in danger of collapsing. The rest of the residents, he added, fled for fear of more landslides as cracks on the soil have been noted.

Uy said Mayor Mario Okinlay requested the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to send a geology team to assess the cracks. But he said they learned that the MGB was unable to send a team yet.

“The residents can’t go back without the MGB’s assessment,” he added.

DXDB-AM Radio reported Wednesday afternoon that the heavy rains brought by Agaton caused landslides in all of the town’s 13 barangays.

The municipal council’s declaration was based on damage and needs assessment (DANA) worth about P68.13 million, affecting properties and crops. Uy told DXDB he sought for the list of persons who will be recipients of the calamity funds when the resolution was put to vote.

He clarified that he was in favor of the declaration but the list of intended recipients should be presented.

DXDB reported that the resolution was passed nonetheless.

Uy noted that so far, based on balance of previous years, the town P19 million available for its calamity funds.

Ma. Leah Barquez, point person of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said Impasug-ong and two other towns, Malitbog and Libona, also submitted damage reports brought by tropical depression ‘Agaton’.