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Home Lao Chinese Partners

Lawmakers seek inquiry into causes of Luzon flood

PHILIPPINES (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) -- Lawmakers in both houses of Congress on Tuesday pushed for an investigation into widespread flooding in Luzon that they believed was due to human activity and not just the effect of successive typhoons that hit the country in recent weeks.

Residents wade through mud to salvage their belongings after their houses were submerged by flood waters in Southville Phase 1 K2, Barangay San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal province on November 13, 2020 due to heavy rains brought by Typhoon Ulysses.   --Photo Inquirer

In the Senate, opposition Sen. Risa Hontiveros introduced a resolution for an inquiry into the severe flooding in Cagayan and Rizal provinces and in Marikina City amid reports that it was caused by illegal logging and land-grabbing.
“We hear of stories of tragedies yearly and our people are already exhausted and angry, and rightly so. Let’s find out what is really causing this vicious cycle, and change the story once and for all,” Hontiveros said.
In the House of Representatives, Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy filed two resolutions, the first of which cited the release of water from the Angat, Ipo, La Mesa, Ambuklao, Binga, San Roque and Magat dams as worsening the flooding in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pangasinan, Benguet, Cagayan, Isabela, Rizal and other provinces in Luzon caused by Typhoons “Quinta” (international name: Molave) and “Rolly” (Goni), which swept across the island in late October and early November, and “Ulysses” (Vamco), which struck last week.
In her second resolution, Dy sought an inquiry into illegal logging and quarrying in the Marikina Watershed, a 126,125-hectare area above Metro Manila where commercial activities are banned.
House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, Majority Leader Martin Romualdez and Minority Leader Joseph Paduano also filed a resolution seeking an inquiry into the massive flooding in Cagayan and Isabela.
In the Senate, Hontiveros, in introducing her resolution, said the government must study the gaps so that it could “create policy that truly prepares the country for future calamities.”
Sen. Francis Pangilinan asked whether better-controlled release of water from Magat Dam could have prevented what Isabela officials described as the worst flooding in the province in 45 years, or if sufficient warnings were given to residents in places hardest hit by the flood.
The senators called for an investigation as reports and images of the devastation caused by the flooding in the two provinces swamped the press and social media.
The Department of Agriculture said the three typhoons that hit the country one after the other caused P10.5 billion in damage to crops and farms, while the Department of Public Works and Highways placed the damage to infrastructure in eight regions at P8 billion.
In Metro Manila, the Marikina local government estimated the damage caused by Ulysses at P30 billion.


(Latest Update November 19, 2020)


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