Pamintuan orders demolition of shanties along Abacan River-A A +A
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
ANGELES CITY -- Citing the safety of residents in communities along the Abacan River, Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan ordered the demolition of shanties and other structures along the river banks.
"Our concern here is the safety of our people living dangerously along the river bank," said Pamintuan in his directive.
He said the City Government has to enforce the law to prevent loss of lives and properties.
"We do not want that the blame will be tossed to the city government in the event that something worse will happen to these informal settler families," he said.
Around 50 houses mostly informal settlers are set for demolition in Barangays Ninoy Aquino and Malabanias.
A demolition team led by the City Engineer’s Office backed by barangay officials and policemen started tearing down residential units along the Abacan River.
As of Tuesday, a total of 15 houses have already been flattened by demolition teams, according to City Engineer Don Dizon.
The demolition was decided during an emergency meeting which Pamintuan convened with disaster-control officials, city council headed by Vice Mayor Vicky Vega-Cabigting and concerned community leaders.
This came following reports that at least 20 houses collapsed due to soil erosion along the stretch of the Abacan River.
Affected residents, Dizon said, did not oppose to Pamintuan's call as they even volunteered to demolish their houses and transfer to safer grounds.
"No resistance was noticed during the initial phase of the demolition operation," Dizon added.
Rochelle Aguilar of the Angeles City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office reported that a total of 78 houses in eight barangays in the city were swept away by rampaging floodwaters triggered by continuous rains since Sunday.
A total of 276 families were evacuated to safer grounds.
Sandbagging operation is being conducted at the damaged portion of Taug Dike after its steel sheet piles collapsed on Tuesday due to strong water current.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 22, 2013.