DAVAO CITY, Jan 24 (PIA) — Members of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Board of Directors have passed a resolution for the creation of a river way task force that will look into the condition of river systems in Mindanao as initial step to rehabilitate local government units hit by flood during the onslaught of typhoon Pablo and the current weather disturbance.
Speaking to reporters following the first planning session for the Mindanao Development Plan for 2013 at the office of the MinDA, Governor Rodolfo Del Rosario, chair of the Confederation of all Local Chief Executives in Mindanao said the river way task force will check on all river systems and come up with ways to rehabilitate these tributaries by reducing siltation and eventually decrease huge flooding.
He said the task force is more a long term approach to solve the flood.
Del Rosario said that half of Davao del Norte under flood waters now, particularly the Tagum City, and the towns of Carmen, Braulio Dujali and Asuncion.
“It is the first time the area experiences such a large volume of water due to the continuing rainfall in the last six days,” Del Rosario said.
He said that the board also passed a separate resolution asking the MinDA to campaign for investors and donors by creating a forum that will evaluate the impact of typhoon Pablo in Davao Region and Caraga.
Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao said the river way task force will map out not only the river tributaries but also the watershed areas and the possible engagements to mitigate flooding.
He said with the change in the weather patterns, the river way task force will find ways for communities to cope with the inundation.
Hataman said that local government units must be involved in this pursuit, especially implementing other coping mechanisms like reforestation of watershed areas.
“The river way task force will serve as implementing arm of the Mindanao Nurturing Our Waters framework, like reforestation, desiltation and other related tasks,” he said.
Secretary Lualhati Antonino, chair of the MinDA revealed that two mountain ranges in Davao Region, namely Masara and Kaban need reforestation due to denudation.
She cited the need to hasten the work of MindaNOW which aims to look after all the river systems in the island.
“We have presented this program to donor organizations for possible funding and we have to include the river systems of Davao Region in this plan,” Antonino said.
She also disclosed that the meeting discussed ways of strengthening the request of Mindanaoans for government line agencies to pay more attention to the real needs of Mindanao.
Antonino said it has always been the plea of Mindanao governors that plans must emanate from Mindanao not from the usual top to bottom approach.
“Plans must be based on the actual happenings and needs of the communities,” she said.
Antonino also assured that the government has funds to address the calamity situation in Mindanao.
She said as a result of transparency and good governance, the government through the president easily released PHP 8-Billion for relief and rehabilitation from the savings in the budget for 2012.
Antonino said that with the 2013 budget appropriations taking effect, the government has the money to ensure continuous to help communities hit by natural calamities. (RGA/JSD/PIA-XI)