MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 18 June) – The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) has approved two resolutions allowing the use of P29 million from available funds of previous years that remained unspent.
In an emergency meeting Wednesday, the CDRRMC approved the use of a total of P20 million to fund the acquisition of relocation sites for residents who live in the margins of the Sawaga River, which traverses the city proper.
Another P4 million was intended to buy rescue equipment for the city’s 46 barangays and P5 million to buy heavy equipment to be used in case of calamity and other purposes.
Engr. Adrian Gamboa, City Planning and Development Coordinator, told this reporter around P3.4 million would come from unexpended CDRRMC funds in 2013 and P16.6 million from the same account in 2014. About P4 million of the funds would be drawn from the unexpended CDRRMC funds in 2011.
Gamboa said they are yet to clarify with the City Budget Office the source for the P5 million approved to buy heavy equipment as part of preparations to respond to disasters.
The CDRRMC’s initial target is to relocate residents who live along the riverside covering Barangays Sumpong to Barangay 7, in the city proper to a site identified to be in Barangay San Jose, the village where the city’s renowned Monastery of Transfiguration is located.
Gamboa could not give the exact number of housing units to be built in the relocation site. But he cited that they have identified around 170 residents among those targeted for relocation.
In the draft of the resolution, the CDRRMC stated that the updated socio-economic profile of the city showed an increasing rate of urbanization, especially in the poblacion barangays.
They cited that “area for new housing units are limited, if not unaffordable.”
“That’s why new informal household structures are being built along hazard zones such as bank allowances of rivers and creeks,” the CDRRMC added.
According to the city’s proposed Shelter Plan, it has to build 306 housing units every year for the next eight years in order to address the city’s “displaced” housing unit backlogs. With this, they added, the city needs to acquire additional area for its resettlement programs.
The CDRRMC also decided to distribute rescue equipment to the city’s 46 barangays to help augment their preparedness to respond to disasters.
City DRRM officer Allan Comiso said among those they will provide the barangays are helmets, floating devices, waist harness, static ropes, and spine boards.
But he clarified that they can only provide for a team of five and the barangay council may have to augment it if they need to.
Unexpended CDRRMC funds form part of the special trust fund available to support disaster risk reduction and management activities.
According to Rule 18, Section 3 of the Implementing Rules and Regulation of RA 10121, “unexpended local disaster risk reduction and management fund (previously known as calamity funds) shall accrue to a special trust fund solely for the purpose of DRRM activities within the next five years. (Contributed to MindaNews by Walter I. Balane / BSU-DXBU 104.5 FM)