ARAYAT--Re-elected Mayor Emmanuel "Bon" Alejandrino yesterday urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources' Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region III (MGB-3) to recall their recommendation in declaring Barangay San Juan Baño a landslide danger zone.
MGB-3 Supervising Geologist Clarissa Villanueva earlier reiterated their suggestion to declare the area as a "no habitation, no build up" zone following the landslide activity on 2009 which killed 12 people.
Villanueva made the statement in line with the forthcoming rainy season and La Niña phenomenon which may result to landslides in areas with mountains or mountainous terrains.
However, Alejandrino asserted that the declaration is not relevant anymore due to the P161-million dam created by the local government to divert the flow of water from the mountain top.
He explained that the flow of water is diverted to Oliga creek instead of going down to the foot of the mountain.
"We are requesting them to check the effectiveness of our engineering project. We are considering their findings and we also did ours, which resulted to this action. We are hoping that they can inspect this," he said.
Alejandrino insisted that since the structure was built in 2014, no landslides occurred in the area.
"This has been creating panic on our people and we really want to settle this," he stressed.
Alejandrino added that they are willing to coordinate and comply with the recommendation of the agency to ensure the security of the residents there if their project is proven ineffective.
"As much as we want to follow their recommendation, the people want and keep going back to their homes that is why we did the project. But if the MGB will insists on its ineffectiveness, we will follow," the mayor said.
Aside from the dam, Alejandrino also noted of their tree planting activities to revive Mt. Arayat.
According to Alejandrino, there are some 30 families currently residing at Barangay San Juan Baño at the foot of Mt. Arayat.