FAMILIES affected by the landslide in Barangay Lower Becerril, Boljoon town will be relocated to safer ground permanently, Gov. Hilario Davide III said yesterday.

Davide said that as recommended by Baltazar Tribunalo, chief of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO), the Province will also set up a dam to irrigate farms after debris from the landslide blocked parts of Lusapon River in Lower Becerril.

Six Boljoon barangays were placed under a state of calamity following the landslide.

Capitol also provided food assistance to the 36 affected families and will buy shelter kits for them using the PDRRMO rehabilitation fund.

“We responded to the alarm much earlier than the other government agencies,” Davide said yesterday.

In a separate interview, Boljoon Mayor Merlou Derama said they may be able to open a diversion road in Lower Becerril soon after a property owner offered to let the Municipal Government use his property as a temporary diversion road while the main barangay road is being rehabilitated.

Awaiting recommendation

The lot owner, identified as Willie Romero, offered his property during a meeting with the mayor yesterday.

Derama said the property can accommodate big trucks, particularly those used by vegetable suppliers from the upland barangays who sell their products in the city.

Derama hoped they will be able to open the diversion road before their town’s annual fiesta celebration on Friday.

Aside from the diversion road, Derama said he already sent plumbers to the affected barangay to address their water source.

Derama said the landslides also affected the water supply there, that is why he instructed the town’s plumbers to locate the busted water pipes and reconnect these as soon as possible.

A week ago, heavy rains caused a landslide in Barangay Lower Becerril, forcing at least 36 families to evacuate the area.

In his news conference yesterday, Davide said they will rely on the recommendation of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources regarding earth movement in the area.

For his part, Tribunalo said Presidential Assistant Michael Lloyd Dino led representatives of National Government agencies in conducting a joint assessment of the landslide in Boljoon.

“We conducted gap analysis to find out what we can immediately do to help the people,” Tribunalo said.

Tribunalo said it was swift action on the part of the agencies. The Department of Public Works and Highways was able to divert traffic on the damaged roads, and the Department of Social welfare and Development was able to distribute food packs to affected residents.

The 53rd Engineering Brigade of the Philippine Army also helped with the diversion of routes.

“The level of intervention by officials at the municipal, provincial, regional and national level made the people happy,” Tribunalo said. (JKV, EOB)