(UPDATED) THE City Government of Davao on Tuesday issued a suspension of classes and work in government offices and conducted pre-emptive evacuation of residents amid the heavy rainfall and flooding in some areas on Tuesday.
Through Proclamation No. 1 Series of 2024 issued on January 16, 2024, the city declared the suspension of classes in all levels of public and private schools and the suspension of work in government offices due to heavy rains brought about by the shear line and the northeast monsoon.
Work-from-home (WFH) arrangement was advised to be adopted in all national and local government offices, including government-owned and controlled corporations in the city. However, those performing safety and security, health, social services, and disaster and emergency response services are excluded from the WFH arrangement.
Private offices and establishments are given the discretion to suspend work or adopt WFH arrangements but are encouraged to do so for the safety and convenience of their employees.
City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office head Alfredo Baloran, in an interview with Davao City Disaster Radio, said the basis of the proclamation was the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (DOST-Pagasa) General Flood Advisory Number 2 for Region 11. It was issued at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, which forecasts light to moderate rains and thunderstorms in the region for the next 12 hours due to the shear line affecting the northern and eastern sections of Mindanao and the northeast monsoon affecting Luzon and Visayas.
Baloran said that huge consideration is also given to the Orange Rainfall Warning for Davao Oriental and Davao de Oro, warning of possible heavy rains, flash floods, and landslides in the said areas. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council issued the warning at 4:11 am on January 16.
"Even if wala ang Davao City sa rainfall warning, ang impact ana apektado gihapon ang Davao City that is why for the safety of Dabawenyos, suspended classes and work from home ang mga employees para dili ma-hamper services, gi-encourage pud siya sa private offices for the safety of workers (Even if Davao City is not mentioned directly in the rainfall warning, the impact of this rainfall affects Davao City that is why for the safety of Dabawenyos, classes were suspended and work from home set up was announced for employees so that services will not be hampered, the same was encouraged forth private offices to ensure the safety of workers),” Baloran said.
"Atong gitan-aw ang adverse effect kay kung niundang unta tong rainfall--no need to declare and based sa latest advisories apil ang Davao that is why we declared (We looked at the adverse effect because if only the rainfall had stopped, there is no need to declare anymore but based on the latest advisories, Davao City is included that is why we declared)," Baloran added.
He said they have considered the advisories and forecast mentioned before they relayed to the executive department the need for the issuance of the proclamation.
Based on the monitoring of river cameras and observing the critical level in Bunawan River also on Tuesday, Baloran said that pre-emptive evacuation was conducted for the safety of residents in the impact area.
"Not all barangays but Purok 2-A. Kaganinang kaadlawon pa nag pre-emptive kay medyo hinay ang pagbaba sa tubig, kay nisugat pud ang high tide (Not all barangays, but only Purok 2-A. Early in the morning, we already conducted pre-emptive evacuation because of the slow subsiding water, this is also because of the high tide)," Baloran said.
City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) Head Julie Dayaday, in an interview with the City Information Office on Tuesday afternoon, said that as of noon, a total of 101 families were evacuated and are staying at Barangay Bunawan Proper Gym.
Together with the Barangay Council of Bunawan Proper, the CSWDO team provided meals to affected residents. CSWDO has also set up a child-friendly space at the evacuation site. A team from the City Health Office (CHO) is also present onsite to provide medical support to the residents.
Baloran warned that for the rest of the week, the effects of the shear line, which are localized thunderstorms and rainfall, are to be expected.
“Pahimangno sa kaigsuunan mag inampingon ta kanunay labi na gyud kadtong nagpuyo sa landslide prone and sa mga low lying area flood-prone area magbinantayon ta kanunay ug maminaw ta sa advisories. Ang atong opisina nakig-alayon ta sa Pagasa para makuha pud nato ang on time nga information regarding sa weather disturbances para mapahibalo pud nato dayon sa atong kaigsuunan. (A warning to all Dabawenyos, let us ensure our safety, especially those living in landslide-prone and low-lying flood-prone areas. We must stay alert and always listen to the advisories. Our office is in partnership with Pagasa to get on-time information regarding weather disturbances so that we can relay it immediately),” Baloran said.
He also urged Dabawenyos to bring rain protection and for those driving on the streets to drive safely to avoid accidents.
In the Davao Region, the Office of the Civil Defense-Davao(OCD-Davao) reported that about 552 families were affected by heavy downpours with 446 of them staying inside evacuation centers.
In Davao de Oro around 336 families are sheltered in the evacuation center; 20 families in Davao Occidental; and 110 families in Davao Oriental.
A total of 13 areas in the region were flooded: Barangay Doña Josefa and Aguinaldo in Laak; Brgy. Sarmiento in New Bataan; Brgys. Nueva Visayas, Bawani, Andili, and Poblacion in Mawab; Brgys. Magading in Nabunturan; and Brgys. Poblacion in Maco all in Davao de Oro.
There were also three rain-induced landslides reported in Brgy. Camanlangan, New Bataan, Brgy. Linda, Nabunturan and Brgy. Gubatan, Maco, Davao de Oro.
One scouring of a bridge was reported in New Bataan, Davao de Oro.
Four roads are not passable for all types of vehicles in Trukat, Camanlangan, New Bataan, the Nabunturan-Maragusan national road; Rizal, Monkayo national road; and Bahi, Maragusan National Road.
To prevent further casualties and untoward incidents, about 27 municipalities declared class suspensions while 14 suspended work.
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Davao Region (DSWD-Davao) has given food packs to 550 families amounting to around P328,625 as well as 60 packs of five kilograms of rice worth P14,000 to the Local Government of Caraga.
As of press time, no casualties were reported in Davao Region. CIO with reports from David Ezra Francisquete and Rojean Grace Patumbon