Nueva Ecija guv wants POC be expanded to run after houses along waterways

October 15, 2009 10:14 pm 

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, Oct. 16 — Governor Aurelio Umali has pushed for the membership of the Peace and Order Council (POC) be expanded to particularly address the unabated erection of houses along waterways.

Umali made the proposal as hundreds of people from low-lying areas were evacuated to safer grounds at the height of the flooding spawned by continuous rains due to recent typhoons.

The Pampanga River channels, likewise overflowed after Pantabangan dam released 120 cubic meters per second to 700 cubic meter per second last week to ease up the giant reservoir.

Experts said the move has been wise enough, which spared a lot of properties and lives although some P500,000,000 worth of agricultural products were reportedly damaged in the province.

Umali said aside from the current POC members which include the Nueva Ecija Police Provincial Office (NEPPO), the Philippine Army (PA), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the council should involve the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and other agencies.

But, Umali said the local government units (LGUs) should also be called upon to exercise political will in addressing the problem of building houses along river, creeks and irrigation canals.

The POC, which prime concern is the maintenance of peace and order particularly provisions of special laws, he said, is "intertwined" with the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC).

Umali also asked for an updates on the geo-hazard report of several areas in the province to guide LGUs in land use and development planning. (PNA)

FFC/zst/AG/ps

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