Little Kibungan on tight watch

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Sunday, June 29, 2014


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Valley is monitoring Little Kibungan as the rainy season kicked in.

Disaster risk reduction and management point person Yoshio Labi said government agencies are helping the Valley in monitoring movement in Little Kibungan in a bid to prevent disaster in the area.

Labi said the Department of Science and Technology has put early warning systems in place to check soil and land movements in the area to alert the municipality if evacuation is necessary.

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“As of now we have no movement in the area,” added Labi.

Labi said mitigating measures have also been put in place like the construction of diversion canals and wall reinforcements to prevent massive landslides and flooding.

Little Kibungan remains a high risk area and the province and the municipality have since alerted barangay heads for possible landslides during rainy days.

Despite the risks, residents continue to construct structures without building permits. But Mayor Edna Tabanda said there have been no permits given to those who have built new structures in the area.

Preventive evacuation remains to be the solution to save lives of residents when heavy rains occur.

Tabanda said the relocation site which was allotted to the victims of the 2009 storms in Tawang is under negotiation with the land still riddled with claims.

The Tawang relocation site awarded by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is being claimed by at least seven families.

The local chief executive however said talks with the claimants have been ongoing. She hopes for a positive outcome soon.

Tabanda said the Department of Social Welfare and Development's funding for the housing of 115 families rendered homeless by the 2009 storms remains intact, while P70,000 is allotted per household for those with totally damaged homes.

The DSWD will simply have to request for the funding to be released once the area for construction of the homes is settled.

Tabanda said once the area for relocation is final, housing agencies will be coming in to help the Valley aid victims of typhoon Pepeng.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 30, 2014.

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