GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 26 August) – The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has been placed under a state of calamity until October 31 this year after massive floods hit Maguindanao, Cotabato City and some of the region’s special component areas.
The Office of Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim on Thursday said the declaration took effect on August 18, the day he signed it.
BARMM is composed of the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan (except Isabela City), Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and the cities of Cotabato, Marawi and Lamitan.
With the region under a state of calamity, “it will enable the regional government to provide augmentation to ongoing response operations and recovery efforts,” Ebrahim said.
Ebrahim’s declaration came a day after the Maguindanao provincial government declared a state of calamity in the entire province, where over a hundred villages in 13 towns submerged in floodwaters, destroying crops and displacing residents.
Maguindanao Vice Governor Bai Ainee Sinsuat said 46,922 families were affected by recurring floods.
The continued inundation in Maguindanao has destroyed P130 million in crops and farm products and displaced thousands of families of farmers, said an official who bared their assessment of the damage to agriculture in the province.
Ronjamin M. Maulana, Maguindanao director of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform, said floodwaters spawned by heavy rains the past days in Bukidnon and swelling of nearby rivers and marshlands severely affected lowland towns in the province.
About 20 barangays in Cotabato City were also flooded, affecting hundreds of families living along rivers and marshlands.
Reports by local governments in BARMM’s special component areas in Cotabato province said over half of the 63 villages there have been underwater for weeks now. (Rommel G. Rebollido/MindaNews)