Some Oro residents don’t rely on disaster support

DESPITE the massive preparation that the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council does as disaster looms, some residents in Cagayan de Oro City have opted to follow their own methods of responding to disaster risks.

Caloy Mercado, 50, a resident of Balangay Pangandoy, Sitio Tibasak in Barangay Macasandig and a Sendong survivor, said he would never rely on the government alone whenever weather disturbances threaten the city.

Tropical Storm Sendong poured heavy rains that resulted in the swelling of Cagayan de Oro River that brought rampaging waters in the evening of December 16, claiming more than a thousand lives among residents living along the riverbanks.

Mercado blamed the failure of information dissemination and preparation by the City Government at that time.

“We’ve learned. We have decided not to rely on what the government or any authority will command or advise to us. We now have our initiatives to do our own precautions, we will not wait for them to tell us what to do because we already learned from the past typhoons and especially that we are residing along the riverbanks,” Mercado said.

He said most of the residents in Barangay Macasandig are already prepared for any possible incident that may happen as Ruby makes its landfall in Eastern Samar-Northern Samar area today, December 6.

Mercado added that while CDRRMC has been busy preparing for risk management, the residents in Barangay Macasandig have been preparing for safety once the water level goes high and the possible calamity it brings.

Yaye Limbo, 26, a Sendong survivor also of Sitio Tibasak, said that everyone in their neighborhood and other sitios are very much prepared.

“Our GO bags are ready, food, water, and all basic necessities are all prepared, if ever the water will go high, we will stay at the roof of our covered court with the ropes we have requested at the barangay,” Limbo said.

Limbo added that the barangay officials advised them to evacuate at Calaanan Relocation Site on Saturday when Ruby hits Samar.

“But we have decided to evacuate this afternoon (Friday), we will not wait for the water to rise, we are also monitoring here in case of emergencies once incidents happen so that we will be spared from the threats of this calamity,” said Tessie Legones, 44, a resident of Barangay Consolacion.

Cristine Rehas, 32, also a resident of Consolacion, said it has been the people’s initiative now to prepare in times of calamities even without the information feed to them.

With regard to government assistance during the evacuation, Legones said they also don’t rely much.

“After Sendong, we were provided with food assistance and given permanent relocation. However, we were told not to return to Consolacion due to the looming dangers each time the river swells and could bring damage to communities along the riverbanks. But the relocation doesn’t provide us income for us to buy food. So, we have to come back here in Consolacion to earn since we have our livelihood here. Yes, we have a shelter at the relocation, but we don’t have food to eat?” she said.

Legones clarified they are not demanding for a yearlong assistance. “That is why we have to do something to survive because we cannot solely rely with what the government can assist us.”

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