Sibuco barangay chiefs see less devastations, deaths vs calamities PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 25 October 2014 12:01

Jackaton C. Dodong looked even more drained to count losses natural disasters left yearly, only recently did he feel relieved when Atro Mining Vitali Inc. (AMVI) and Mines & Geosciences Bureau (MGB) began geohazard mapping to mitigate future devastations and deaths.

His house and livelihood once flushed off by flood two years ago, Dodong disclosed in an interview, adding that many of his relatives unfortunately suffered the same every year.

With all similar disasters besetting the country lately, Geohazard Mapping and Assessment Program (GMAP) has preoccupied the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to identify areas susceptible to various natural or geologic hazards. This time, Zamboanga del Norte’s Sibuco municipality is GMAP’s target beneficiary. To implement the program, MGB-9 has tapped AMVI to provide technical professionals accomplish it.

“Our people indeed have needed guide as to when and where shall they scamper for safety,” Dodong said in the vernacular. Or, this may lead them where to safely establish their dwellings and livelihood, he continued. “Geohazard mapping is most welcome development,” he said.

He has lived for 30 years along with his Kolibogan tribe by the stream-mouth of Sulogan River, where Barangay Mantivuh is –his turf.

Sulogan River is a stream in Sibuco with an average elevation of a meter above sea level. The barangay has 70% flooding risks. But, according to a government webpage, it is also exposed to town’s 100% earthquake hazard scaling 7 Richter magnitude once every 50 years.

In the most recent typhoon incidents, undocumented numbers of livestock, farm animals, including fishing bancas were washed away. While several cassava, rice and corn farmlands damaged as river overflowed over his barangay. This is not to mention human lives lost in some places. According to Dodong, flood water can become several meters deep during high tide.

Sibuco is Zamboanga del Norte’s southernmost bay municipality. The town has 28 barangays and Brgy. Mantivuh is one of its rural coastline areas hosting more or less 700 people. Marriage relocated Dodong there from Zamboanga City’s barangay Labuan.

He is now the incumbent barangay captain of the place where most of his tribesmen make their lives out of hook-and-line fishing.

The barangay captain has been a fisherman himself since 40-years back. He asserted their catch has so far remained a high priced quality in markets outside Sibuco. But risks and uncertainties kill local development opportunities, he lamented.

Dodong was one of the 28barangay captains from the municipality to attend the launching of the AMVI-MGB geohazard mapping activity in Zamboanga City late last week.

He further said that his people, along with the rest of the Sibuco townfolks, will be delighted to learn this new development.

MGB-9 Regional Director Alfredo Relampagos, on the other hand, said in his speech that although geohazards cannot be totally prevented, their impact on people, properties and environment can however be minimized.

He also disclosed that the “government’s lack of geologist-personnel constrained MGB to tap AMVI’s technical capability to assist the government implement the program.”

He said that AMVI’s activity for geological hazard mapping is part of latter’s corporate social responsibility stressing further that this costs the government nothing.

Elson S. Ogario, AMVI president, said in a press statement that being a good corporate citizen the company has accepted the task MGB assigned.

Ogario also disclosed that AMVI is a large scale mining operator, the Philippine government recently approved to start mine development and commercial productions in Brgy. Vitali, which is 73 kilometers easternmost of Zamboanga City.

AMVI is a responsible mining entity, he added admitting that the company shoulders all the activity’s expenses being part of the agreement.

Meanwhile, Sibuco Mayor Norbi Edding has organized strategy for the security for the whole activity duration.

In a statement, he assured that they have already maintained peace and order situation even as bad stories went on around since.

Edding stressed that Sibuco is even safer to tourists. Investors today have expressed confidence over the municipality, he added arguing that “to prove it a multi-national power company is now in our town.”

The mayor further anticipated influx of investments for Sibuco anytime soon once geohazard mapping is done. — NGNews