Maguindanao, Cotabato under state of calamity PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 03 August 2013 11:20

Officials have separately declared the entire Maguindanao province and Cotabato City under state of calamity to maximize the utilization of calamity funds for thousands of residents dislocated early this week by floods spawned by heavy rains.

Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu told Daily Zamboanga Times Thursday he had signed a resolution by the provincial board declaring the province under state of calamity.

“This declaration will hasten our relief missions in flooded areas,” Mangudadatu said.

He said with Maguindanao under state of calamity now, the provincial government can procure “non food items,” such as shelter materials and other supplies needed in the evacuation sites.

He said workers of the provincial government have initially distributed relief supplies, comprised of rice, instant noodles, and canned sardines, to thousands of evacuees in the adjoining towns of Pagalungan, Montawal, Sultan Sa Barongis, Buluan and Pandag, all in the second district of Maguindanao.

Relief workers are also to disperse supplies to thousands more of evacuees in flooded towns in the first district of the province, according to Mangudadatu.

Dozens of villages in Cotabato City have also been flooded as a result of the incessant rains last week that caused big rivers straddling the city to overflow.

A member of the city council, Florante Formento, said the city was placed under state of calamity last Tuesday.

Mangudadatu said they have initially counted more than 32,000 evacuees from the flooded towns in the province, forced to relocate to higher grounds after rampaging flood waters swept through their villages.

Health and social welfare officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao said 19 of the 36 towns in Maguindanao were affected by the floods.

The neighboring Maguindanao and Cotabato City, which has 37 barangays, are known geographical catch basins of big rivers that spring from forested hinterlands in the provinces of Bukidnon, North Cotabato, South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.

While Cotabato City is inside Maguindanao, it is under Administrative Region 12. Maguindanao is one of the five component provinces of ARMM.

Mangudadatu said they are contemplating on buying a modern river dredger by early 2014 to excavate the waterways crisscrossing the province that were made shallow by soil debris flushed down by rains from surrounding hinterlands over the decades.