Disaster risk report: Anti flood interventions ‘urgent’ in Malaybalay, 5 towns

MALAYBALAY CITY  (Bukidnon News.Net/02 December) Anti-flood programs, projects, and activities in the City of Malaybalay and the towns of Cabanglasan, Lantapan, Libona, Manolo Fortich, and Talakag were classified as “urgent” as the areas were considered highly risked to events of flooding, according to Bukidnon’s Disaster Risk Assessment Report, presented to the public for the first time on November 28.

The six localities obtained high estimates of damages computed for lost of lives, damage to agriculture, forestry, and fisheries; and damage to urban assets to include roads, bridges, and other infrastructures.

The risks estimated in those areas were considered from “moderate to highly intolerable” needing “extensive detailed investigation and implementation” of options essential to reduce it to acceptable levels.

The options “may be too expensive and not practicable,” the report added.

Valencia City and 10 other Bukidnon towns were under the next category “high priority.”  Only the towns of Damulog, Impasug-ong, Kitaotao, Malitbog, and Pangantucan obtained estimates in the three risk groups considered to be “priority.”

The DRA report was developed with the support of the National Economic Development Authority, as part of the project to integrate disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation (DRR/CCA) in local development planning and decision-making processes.

Rebecca Capistrano, planning officer IV of the Provincial Planning and Development Office, which is the provincial government’s counterpart agency, said the reports from both DRR and CCA will be integrated into the Provincial Development Physical Framework Plan (PDPFP) crafted in 2008.

Leonila Cajarte, chief of NEDA-10’s plan and policy formulation division, said the integration of DRR and CCA to local development planning and decision making processes are important.

She cited that the integration can be basis for lower level LGU and sectoral plans. Also, it can be a tool to reconcile and rationalize land use proposals and as a guide for government agencies and private developers.

“(It is also) a basis for adjudicating conflicts arising from the implementation of land use plans,” she added in her presentation.

Rio Yonson, senior economic development specialist, of NEDA-10’s plan and policy formulation division, said Bukidnon’s DRA report is the first they received among 52 pilot provinces in the country.

The report identified natural disaster hazards in Bukidnon, estimated risks, and plotted risk evaluation values for priorities. Aside from flood, the Provincial Planning and Development Office technical team also estimated risks for other hazards, including rain-induced landslides, ground shaking, liquefaction, and earthquake induced landslides. For the sectoral climate change vulnerability assessment report, estimated were computed for forestry and biodiversity, water, agriculture, and health.

The estimates were plotted in three different levels of flood incidence: “frequent,” “likely,” and “rare.”

According to the initial version of the report, from 1999 to June 2011, Bukidnon incurred a total of P425 million estimated cost of damage to disasters, P70 million of which was attributed to floods. About 81 percent of the damage or P345.6 million is attributed to drought.

Floods, including flashfloods, affected a total of 55,027 persons in 11 and half years.

In the risk estimation for flooding in the province, Malaybalay City and Manolo Fortich, topped the municipal risks with “1 to 3 persons” at risk of flood fatalities.

At the village level, Butong, Quezon, topped the list of Top 25 areas with the highest individual risk for flood.

In Butong as well as in No. 2, which is Poblacion barangays of Malaybalay, the number of lives risked to be lost in case of flood is “1 to 9” in 10 persons.

Twenty-one of Malaybalay City’s 46 barangays were included in the list making it the locale in the province with the highest number of villages included in the list.

The list includes the 11 barangays in the Poblacion area, and the villages of Bangcud, Linabo, Simaya, Aglayan, Cabangahan, Casisang, Violeta, Laguitas, Sumpong, and Patpat.

In Manolo Fortich, six barangays were in the Top 25 including Damilag, Alae, Dicklum, Poblacion, Lingion, and Mambatangan.

Risk to urban assets including roads and bridges and other infrastructure was estimated at P99.7 billion. For agriculture, forestry, and fisheries in the province, the risk was estimated at P3.28 billion.

The DRA and CCA reports will be presented to the Provincial Development Council on December 9 and to other sectors in subsequent presentations, Capistrano said.

NEDA and PPDO officials admitted that whether the reports will be integrated in local development planning and decision making depends on the local chief executives. The mainstreaming project is still at the disaster risk assessment stage.

“But the reports have to be made ready for integration. The planners will do its share of the work,” She added. (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News.Net)