Roxas leads flood drill in Pasay City

June 15, 2013 12:09 pm 

By Sammy F. Martin

MANILA, June 14 (PNA) — The safety of informal settler-families living along dangerous waterways is the government’s overriding concern, Sec. Mar Roxas of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Friday.

Roxas led government officials in its disaster preparedness program by conducting flood drill in barangay 201 on the banks of Tripa de Gallina, a narrow waterway in Pasay City.

Of the more than 13,000 residents in the showcase barangay, more than 3,000 informal settlers are living along the waterway that runs through Pasay, Paranaque and Manila.

Roxas stressed that with the onset of the rainy season, the residents and the government, working hand in hand, can do away with apathy and lack of preparedness.

“Nasa atin ang responsibilidad na paghandaan ito, paghandaan di lang sa salita, kundi sa pamamagitan ng paghahandang aktuwal tulad ng flood drill na ginagawa natin na kung saan may lubos na pagtulong an gating mga kababayan,” Roxas told the crowd that gathered at the barangay covered court and eagerly anticipated his visit.

The flood drill, which came before a heavy downpour swamped the metropolis for a second straight day, was one of simultaneous exercises held in various barangays on the banks of six Metro Manila waterways in anticipation of the rainy season.

Roxas said that more than 20 typhoons hit the country every year, generating floods and landslides that bring death and destruction to wide areas across the country.

The safety of some 60,000 informal settler-families living on geo-hazard areas in 11 cities in the metropolis is the overriding concern of the Aquino administration, Roxas said.

He described the disaster preparedness program for barangays and communities along the dangerous waterways as a temporary response to the annual flooding.

The government has a program that will move at least 60,000 ISFs over the next three years to permanent on-site, near-site or in-city relocation areas where they are provided with decent housing and the basic amenities, Roxas said.

A resident who witnessed the fury of Ondoy four years ago, described the rushing floodwaters as so scary, they had to climb the roof of their houses just to be able to survive.

DILG Secretary Francisco Fernandez and DILG Director for NCR Renato Brion assisted Roxas in both the briefing and actual flood drill. (PNA)

DSP/SFM/UTB

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