by Kattryn Erryc Sayo
The rescue and relief operations in Bulacan province improved, particularly during the surge of the powerful Southwest Monsoon (Hanging Habagat) on the second week of August 2012, a Provincial Special Operations Officer said yesterday.
The Southwest Monsoon was already being monitored on July 23 to 30 when tropical storm Ferdie entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility. It was being observed even before it gained strength from International storm Haiku on August 7.
“July 23 pa lang binabantayan na ang Habagat, no’ng pumasok ang bagyong Ferdie,” said Bulacan Special Operations Officer Raul Agustin.
The number of municipalities affected by the monsoon rains and floods were 23, thus, Bulacan was declared under a state of calamity. The 23 towns were affected by flash flood, back flooding and immense dam releases.
A faster response and rescue was said to be done during the disaster by the Bulacan Rescue Teams, Local Government Unit Response Teams, Rescue 117, and the Philippine National Police. Military trucks, rubber boats and motor boats were dispatched and used in the rescue, coming from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) and District II Congressman Pedro Pancho.
On August 12 to 15, massive relief operations took place in the whole province as ordered by Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, wherein a total of 216,000 packs of goods were provided to critically-affected residents.
by Isabelle dela Cruz
BULACAN - After a year, the terror of Typhoon Pedring recurred in the town of Hagonoy, leaving several barangay severely flooded.
The rarity happened on August 7, continuing until friday of that week, when the Southwest Monsoon (Hanging habagat) brought a great downpour of rain leaving Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga, Laguna and other areas near NCR flooded and under a state of calamity.
Four out of four residents of Hagonoy said that they had experienced higher level of floods during Typhoon Pedring rather than Southwest Monsoon, but the monsoon caused more damage to them. They suggested that the best solution to preventsevere inundation is to have self-discipline in disposing waste materials.
“Nagdulot ng malaking kaabalahan sa isang tulad ko na ang hanapbuhay ay sa construction. Naantala ang aking trabaho dahil sa pagbaha na umabot hanggang baywang sa kalsada, hanggang tuhod sa bakuran at bukong-bukong sa loob ng bahay. Mas malalim 'yong tubig baha noong nakaraang Bagyong Pedring. 'Yong nakapagpalala sa baha ay 'yong mga basura na nagkalat sa kapaligiran na nagpapabara sa mga kanal. Solusyon dito ay kailangan tayo mismo mag-ayos ng basura natin at matataas na daanan. May mga tumulong naman sa amin at nagbigay ng relief goods,” said Rustico Santos, 54, from Abulalas, Hagonoy.
Carmelita Bernardo, a 52-year-old church volunteer from San Pedro, Hagonoy said, “Hanggang baywang ang baha sa amin, mas malalim 'yong baha noong Pedring pero mas malaki ang pinsalang naidulot ng hanging habagat kasi mas marami ang apektadong tao. Sa aking pagninilay ang kalamidad na ito ay dala ng pag-abuso ng mga tao sa ating kalikasan. Mahalin at pangalagaan natin ang biyayang sa pamamagitan ng hindi pagpapalit nito sa matataas na building o subdivision. Mas maraming tumulong noong bagyong Pedring kaysa sa pananalanta ng hanging habagat.”
“Malaking pinsala po sa bawat tahanan, lunsod at lalawigan ang dinulot ng habagat na nagdala ng baha na umaabot sa lalim na binti sa bakuran namin at lagpas tuhod sa kalsada. Lubog halos buong bakuran dito sa Abulalas at San Pedro. Mas malaki tubig nung Bagyong Pedring pero maraming namahagi ng relief goods subalit ngayon sa habagat wala po kaming natanggap na anuman. Perwisyo ito sa mga mag-aaral , palaisdaan at bayan bayan. Siguro magandang solusyon ay malinis na kapaligiran, dapat buo ang mga kanal upang mabilis ang paghupa ng tubig baha. Una sa lahat magdasal tayong lahat sa Diyos at magkaisa,” said Felipe Sarmiento, 48, a construction worker and one-year resident of Abulalas Hagonoy, Bulacan.
“Mahirap dahil hindi makatuyo ng mga damit tapos hanggang sa kalsada may tubig. Naapektuhan din kami ng Pedring mas malalim nga 'yon kaysa sa habagat pero mas naging perwisyo ang hanging habagta dahil sa matagal na pag-ulan at pagbaha. Mayroon namang tumulong sa amin pero kailangan may ticket ka para makatanggap ka ng tulong. Siguro ang pinakamabuting solusyon ay ang pag-iwas sa pagtatapon ng basura sa mga ilog o sapa,” said Maria Santiago, 47, a house wife and nine-year resident of Abulalas Hagonoy Bulacan.
by Deliza Maye Fernandez
Bulacan-- Improper disposal of garbage is the major environmental problem in Balagtas, according to the town's Environmental Officer.
In the recent monsoon rains that made the municipality sank in flood, some part of it has broken the history of Ondoy making the area flooded for the first time. Other barangays had not encountered the high-level of floods before, unlike what the monsoon rains had brought.
“Hindi naman binabaha ng gano'n kagrabe ‘tong Balagtas eh. Usually, binabaha lang naman tayo ‘pag nagpapalabas ng tubig 'yong mga dams nang sabay-sabay’” said Reynaldo Miranda, the encironmental officer of Balagtas.
The initial response of the government with these environmental problem is the segregation of garbage and proper waste disposal. The biodegradable wastes especially the ones that are coming from the market will be set for the compost and will be used for planting the 1,600 seedlings of trees given by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The non-biodegradable wastes will be put on Material Recovery Facilities in which the garbage will be divided according to its kind such as papers, plastic and others that can be recycled and sold.
Meanwhile, the implementation of the No-plastic ordinance has been set in the municipality. “Inuunti-unti natin ‘yan kasi hindi pa masunod ng tao kasi nasanay na tayo sa paggamit ng plastic, marami ang matitigas ang ulo,” said Miranda.
Reconstructing the roads and renovating other facilities are some of the responses of the government in Balagtas. Miranda assured that people in the said municipality may look forward that the flood they had encountered by the Monsoon rains will never happen again. But still, he assured that if the municipality will experience another environmental problem, they will always be there to respond as instant as possible.
by Kattryn Erryc Sayo
The Southwest Monsoon (Hanging Habagat) rains which took place on the second week of August 2012 were enough to create a disaster to the residents of Plaridel, Bulacan.
Plaridel is one of the few towns in Bulacan which rarely gets flooded because of its elevated land. But just this year, in the surge of the odd yet intense Southwest Monsoon, the municipality was shockingly affected with inundation. A total of 16 barangays were disturbed and distressed.
“Ang Plaridel kasi mataas. Pero nitong pagdating ng Habagat mataas talaga ang tubig sa ilang barangay. Halos lahat ng barangay apektado,” said Engr. Reynaldo dela Cruz, the Action Head of the Municipal Planning and Development Office (MPDO).
“Malala ito dahil kung titignan natin ‘yong damages, marami-rami. ‘Yong mga pananim, particularly palay ay nalusaw, maraming bakuran ang lumubog. May konting roads din na nasira, nagkaroon ng hukay-hukay, especially sa may Parulan. Medyo malaki rin ang damage sa may Angat River. Nagkaroon ng soil erosion. So ‘yong mga illegal settlers do’n in-evacuate,” added Engr. Dela Cruz.
According also to Engr. dela Cruz, 5% of the whole municipal budget has been used as calamity fund, all for the package of relief goods, cooked foods, sleeping mat and blanket, as well as the reconstruction of damaged infrastructure.
An estimation of 1,082 households were affected, particularly a total of 5,450 persons. The evacuated families ranged up to 796, specifically consisting of 4,026 persons.
The Don Caesario San Diego gym in the barangay of Poblacion became the temporary home or evacuation center of the victims, including some public elementary and high schools in Bagong Silang, Banga 1st, Banga 2nd, Culianin, Parulan, San Jose, Sipat and Tabang.
“’Yong 1,082 families na ‘yon, or ‘yong 5,450 affected residents, nasa evacuation center man o hindi, ay nabigyan lahat ng assistance,” said Arlyn Valencia, Coordinator of the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO).
The number of relief goods distributed extended up to 2,400 packages. 500 of which were from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), 400 came from former RP Vice President Teofisto Guingona, and the other 1,500 packs were from the municipality.
Aside from those, the town Mayor Anastacia R. Vistan also provided sleeping mats and blankets, and cooked foods, and Non-Government Organizations donated assorted breads, bottled water, cooked foods and used clothes.
The total cost of assistance granted by both the Local Government of Plaridel and Non-Government Organizations was Php712,700.
by Juvy Gail Colili
Guguinto, Bulacan -Isang matinding pag-ulan ang dala ng Hanging Habagat sa mga taga-Central Luzon noong nakaraang linggo, na nagdulot ng pagbaha at pagkasira ng mga pananim sa bayang ito.
Lumubog ang malaking bahagi ng sakahan sa bayan ng Guiguinto ng Bulacan. Nakaranas din ng pagkalubog sa baha ang mga residente, na sinasabing hindi inaasahan at hindi pangkaraniwan.
“100% of the plains in guiguinto are damaged, they are submerged in the flood. Ine-report ko talaga 100%. Nag-ikot din naman kami, talagang lahat nakalubog, 100% talagang nag-submerge, malalaman natin ngayon kung may makaka-recover (crops) kasi mga bata pa eh. Four days na siyang lubog (yung mga pananim). Hanggang ngayon hindi pa din lumulutang yung ano (punla). Kahit bumaba na ang tubig medyo mahina na 'yon,” ani Dr. Eduardo Jose, kawani ng munisipyo ng Guiguinto tungkol sa agraryo.
Dagsag pa ni Jose, ''Yong chance ng recovery walana siguro. Kung meron man kaunting-kaunti lang ang makaka-recover. Kasi nga hanggang ngayon (Agosto 10) hindi pa lumulutang o hindi pa nakikita ung mga puno at mga halaman, wala na matutunaw na 'yon.”
Hanggang sa ngayon wala pa ring plano ang munisipyo tungkol sa mga nasirang pananim.
“Sa ngayon wala pa, nagrereport pa kami sa Provincial, then regional makakarating ng National 'yon. May mga ginagawa namang programa pero hindi pa sa siguro sa ngayon. I-e-estimate pa kung ilan o gaano yung na-damage tsaka lang mag-pro-program at mag-ba-budget para sa rehab (rehabilitasyon ng pananim). Minsan nagbibigay sila ng seedling tapos pataba.” ani Jose.
by Justine Marie Bernardo
The Save Sierra Madre Network Alliance: Pagpapanumbalik sA Dating kaaYusan ng kAliKasan known as PADYAK, held a mass and lecture program that made the Bulakenyos conscious about the condition of Sierra Madre, last June 30, at the ICSB grounds in Malolos.
The Sierra Madre Cross, which symbolizes the wakeup call for the people to help restore and preserve mountain range, was brought from a place to another. From Cagayan, where the cross was made, it was sent to Manila, Quezon, Marikina, Angat, and now, Malolos. The cross will be staying in the Malolos Cathedral for a few days and after, it will be sent off to Caloocan and Cubao.
Fr. Pete Montellana, the chief person of Sierra Madre Network Alliance, explained the history and importance of the said event. He said the group was formed last April 19, 2009 and it all started as an activity. But when the Typhoon Ondoy destructed and killed many Filipinos last 2009, the activity became a tradition.
The Sierra Madre Cross was made by the Ifugaos out of pieces of the woods that were illegally logged. They formed the cross which symbolizes the alarming situation of the mountains and forests we have now.
“Sinimulan namin ito dahil gusto naming ipaalam sa mga tao ang nangyayari. Kasi may mga tao ring natatakot dahil ayaw nilang ipaglaban ang kanilang karapatan na tumutol sa pagmimina." Fr. Montellana added. He said that the project is non-government.
Ms. Tessie Calayag, 64 years old, a member of Dioceses of Environment and Ecological Program or DEEP, admitted that she never thought of be joining this project. But as days passed, she realized that everything was really in His lead.
“Malaki ang pag-asa na maisalba ang Sierra Madre.” Ms. Calayag added. She believes that the present generation will be the ones to save and continue their project.
For the past year, many Kawayan trees were planted in Marilao and Meycauayan and this year they planned to hold a Tree Planting Rite in Sierra Madre in September 26, 2012. Everyone is encouraged to join to the Planting Rite.
Marvin Santos, a volunteer cyclist, joined the procession because he also wanted to promote a healthy living and a good environment. He also added that he’s also willing to attend the tree planting on September 26.