TALISAY City Mayor Nilo Jesus Antonio Neil Lizares III has signed a resolution recommending to the City Council the declaration of a state of calamity in the town following the flash flood that greeted some residents on New Year's day.

Lizares, who convened on Monday, January 4, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) in response to the damage brought by the flood, is pushing for a quick response aid to the victims and long-term solutions to address the flooding in the city.

It was discussed during the meeting that the top priority of the local government now is to continue the distribution of food packs to some 4,661 affected families in 17 barangays, as well as the provision of financial aid for the rebuilding of 21 destroyed and 244 damaged houses.

The CDRRMC, which is being chaired by Lizares, has recommended medium- to long-term solutions to mitigate the flooding problem.

Among the initial steps included a meeting this week between the City Planning and Development Office (CSWDO) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to tackle the dredging work to be done to the city's two main river systems and waterways.

The CDRRMO and Office of Civil Defense are also set to meet for the donation of equipment and plans of building a command center.

Other measures underscored during the meeting included the inventory and future relocation of informal settlers residing under bridges, granting of livelihood projects to the affected families, revisiting of the local drainage plan, and the regreening of the city.

With aid continue pouring in, the mayor thanked the first to respond, including the Office of Third District Congressman Francisco Benitez, Provincial Government of Negros Occidental and Department of Social Welfare and Development-Western Visayas.

Lizares also cited the help of [Congressman] Benitez and his brother

Provincial Consultant Alfredo Benitez, who personally inspected and assessed the damage in the worse-hit areas including Barangays of Zone 3 and 2 as well as Sweet Centre.

"Our city has invested a lot on natural disaster preparedness, we are reaping the fruits of the hard work that we have sown," he said, stressing that "but more work is ahead of us in our effort to protect the environment which results to saving lives and property."