The Bacolod City government is planning to acquire its own dredging machine for its flood control program as a long term solution to the flooding problem in the city, Jomarie Vargas, acting Bacolod City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office head, said yesterday.
The equipment will cost about P53 million and they are now waiting for the approval of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of the bidding, Vargas said. Once they have the equipment, they will start dredging operations in Banago, he also said, adding that the second phase will be conducted next year.
Vargas said the city spent P5 million alone for the dredging of two rivers using the equipment it had rented from Sipalay City. The dredgers of Sipalay and the provincial government cannot always be available for the city because they are also being used by these local governments for their needs, he said.
He cited, for example, that the flooding in Cagayan de Oro could have been avoided if their rivers had been dredged and cleared of obstructions, he added.
Vargas said that, in case of disasters, Mayor Evelio Leonardia’s Tubigan ng Bayan will provide water to the victims for free.
He said the city was also planning to acquire mobile evacuation facilities that are supplied by China. But because of the present situation inthe Scarborough Shoal, they arenow looking for a local supplier, he said.
Vargas said the facilities are estimated to cost a total of about P11.5 million and this has already been approved by the SP for bidding.
He said the mobile evacuation facility (which looks like a container van) will have 10 bathrooms and 10 toilets. Another facility will have a clinic or treatment facility and an infant care unit, while another will have an office, a storage room and a generator set.
These facilities will be placed in flood prone areas like, Barangays Bata, 4 and Banago, Andress Bonifacio Elementary School ll and Bata National High School, that will be classified under cluster 1.
Others will be situated in Brgy. Singcang and Taculing, J.R. Torres Elementary School under cluster 2, and Brgys. Pahanocoy and Tangub, and Medalla Integrated School under cluster lll.
Meanwhile, Vargas said they will conduct a city-wide earthquake preparedness program, or drill, during the opening of classes.
Vargas, who conducted an orientation on “Bacolod DRRM system, on the role of media during emergencies and basic first aid” said Saturday, that they will start the drills in hospitals, schools, government offices, commercial establishments, among others.
After the orientation they conducted with the media, they will hold trainings in the barangays to focus on the implementation of the local flood area warning system, he said.
Vargas said the city is prepared in case of disasters and it also has many responding teams ready in case of an earthquake situation.
He said the city also has two ambulances, plus 10 from volunteers groups, three rubber boats, plus 11 from other rescue groups, two jet skis and two others from volunteer groups, and 18 rescue vehicles.*CGS