ALABEL, Sarangani (February 3, 2023) – Provincial Administrator Atty. Ryan Jay Ramos convened on Wednesday (February 1) a core group meeting for the damage needs assessment analysis of the flash flood that hit Maitum and Kiamba towns on January 30.
Initially, the provincial government already dispatched 300 boxes of food supplies and medicines, while a heavy equipment has been deployed for the clearing operation and rerouting of waterway in Barangay Zion, Maitum.
Prolonged heavy rainfall caused rivers and creeks to overflow their banks, leaving massive destruction in vulnerable areas.
In the report presented by Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer (PDRRMO) Rene Punzalan, a total of 355 families were displaced in five barangays in Maitum and 158 families in eight barangays in Kiamba.
Barangay Kablacan in Maasim also suffered from the flash flood resulting to six children trapped, rescued, and returned home safely.
In Maitum, one death was reported.
The core group, according to Atty. Ramos, was convened to facilitate “immediate response sa mga disasters, calamities sa province. But, anyway, the province is always ready naman.”
The group is composed of the Provincial Governor’s Office, Provincial Administrator’s Office, PDRRMO, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, Provincial Engineering Office, Provincial Agriculture Office, and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office.
Atty. Ramos said the core group “will be institutionalized para kung may ibang problem na related to calamities sa ibang municipyo, at least may team na kaagad.”
Atty. Ramos also anticipated the services of the fleets of heavy equipment that the provincial government would procure soon through a loan with the LandBank of the Philippines.
“We believe na hindi lang ito for the maintenance of the road, road opening, but even magiging support for the clearing operations and evacuation in times of calamities,” he said.
Relative also to the provincial government’s disaster response, Atty. Ramos said the PDRRMO is preparing for the implementation of the Sarangani Integrated Disaster Emergency Quick Response Team (SIDEQTR). “Gusto kasi ni Gov. na kapag may calamities, hindi lang reactive ang probinsya, but proactive.”
Punzalan said, the establishment of the SIDEQRT is “in response to the thrust and direction under Governor Ruel Pacquiao in building Sarangani na maging resilient, dynamic, and progressive.”
The SIDEQRT, which is expected to be launched in March, will be established in three areas particularly in Malungon, MAKIMA (Maitum-Kiamba-Maasim), and GMAM (Glan-Malungon-Alabel-Malapatan) areas.
Disaster response by then, according to Punzalan, will be “integrated in approach” in partnership with trained volunteers, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine National Police, and health workers.
Punzalan said, the SIDEQRT, which is already incorporated in the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Investment Plan for 2023, will be operational 24/7 with logistics and administrative support from the provincial government. (Beverly C. Paoyon/ SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)