Lawmaker forms Task Force Ayala-A A +A
Sunday, November 3, 2013
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- First District Representative Joseller "Yeng" Guiao recently formed a task force to help investigate the cause of the reported "earth movement" and landslide which occurred during the height of the Habagat spawned by Typhoon "Santi" last October 12 in Barangay Ayala, Magalang town.
Task Force Ayala, composed of representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, its attached agency Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Provincial Government Environment and Natural Resources Office, Provincial Engineer's Office, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, Department of Public Works and Highways, the local government of Magalang, Philippine National Police, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and the private sector, will also assist in assessing and submitting recommendations on the "first time" disaster that killed a policeman and inflicted millions worth of damages to agricultural and private properties.
"The multi-sectoral task force will submit the necessary recommendations so we can make the necessary and appropriate measures in aid of legislation. We will work closely with Congressman Oscar Rodriguez on how we can protect not only Mt. Arayat but also the lives and welfare of people living within the area of the only mountain in the plains of Central Luzon," Guiao told Sun.Star Pampanga.
He added that a mandatory inventory of trees there will be done, together with formulating the policies on environmental protection and preservation, Ayala being within the declared protected area.
"We will sit down with the task force and discuss measures and interventions which should be implemented," said Guiao.
Natural barriers, engineering interventions
Meanwhile, Provincial Government Environment and Natural Resources Officer Engr. Art Punsalan revealed that in the task force's inspection of the landslide last week, initial interventions have been identified and agreed for implementation, while findings are being currently consolidated.
"There is a need for natural or environmental barriers as well as engineering interventions on the scoured artificial dam. Reforestation will have to be done, like planting bamboo which will serve as barriers," he stressed.
Punsalan also emphasized that the cutting of trees in that part of Mt. Arayat should be regulated and waste disposal checked.
"As Cong Yeng has stipulated, there is a need to conduct an inventory of trees being cut and taken out. What is more saddening is that the situation is aggravated by waste disposed by intruders like tourists in what is supposed to be a protected area that enforcement must be strengthened to avert a disaster like this in the future," concluded Punsalan.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on November 04, 2013.