by Claire R. Gigje
MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur (PIA)–The Provincial Government of Lanao del Sur, through its Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), strengthens its response to disaster calls by pouring sufficient attention and addressing concerns on environmental protection.
In the recently held first regular quarterly meeting of the PDRRMC, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Head Pili Papandayan announced that they plan to spearhead an environment summit, June 6, after Ramadan.
He detailed that pre-summit activities would be conducted first before the final summit. Papandayan said they would discuss thoroughly and address the environmental issues here.
“Ikaconduct natin iyan sa lahat ng identified municipalities (We will conduct all of them in the identified municipalities),” said Papandayan.
Board Member Fahad Arimao, who also chairs the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, shared that they proposed a resolution requiring all municipalities and school divisions in the province to conduct tree-planting activities.
He stated that this is to prevent the occurrence of flooding.
Such efforts were affirmed by PDRRM Office Head Shaminoden Sambitor, who stressed that the environmental activities planned to be conducted soon are vital in their aim of mitigating the effects of calamities here.
He underscored that environmental and disaster matters are related, considering that if the environment is well taken care of, fewer disasters transpire in a place.
“Kapag napabayaan natin ang kapaligiran (If we disregard our environment), more disasters will happen. That is why, the environmental office and our office are always partners,” said Sambitory.
The PDRRMO head earlier recalled the natural disasters experienced by his province last year. One of these was the severe tropical storm Paeng, which passed through the country, October 28, 2022.
Sambitory said 20 barangays in six towns were affected by this calamity, including the municipalities of Balabagan with eight affected barangays; Malabang with its seven barangays; Picong with its two barangays; and one village each of Binidayan, Pagayawan, and Tubaran.
Accordingly, a total of 638 households, or 2,455 individuals, were impacted by the disaster.
Sambitory added that the province also faced the consequences of a shear line, low pressure area (LPA), flooding, landslides, and tornadoes in the previous year.
He revealed that 42 barangays in five municipalities here were affected due to the most recent shear line, or LPA.
These municipalities were Taraka with 12 impacted barangays, Tamparan with five barangays, Maguing with nine barangays, Molundo with its five barangays, and Bubong with eleven barangays.
At least 2,585 households, or 17,425 individuals, were listed as being affected.
Sambitory further disclosed that 10 schools and 2 madrasahs in Taraka town here were flooded due to the shear line, or LPA, recently experienced by the province.
In addition to this, P1 million worth of crops in Taraka town were also destroyed.
Sambitory further noted that 17 localities in this province, including Marawi City, have experienced flooding while four towns such as Calanogas, Watu Balindong, Binidayan, and Amai Manabilang, as well as Marawi City, had landslides with varying frequencies last year.
On the other hand, Marawi City and Bubong town had separate encounters with a tornado.
Sambitory said the province experienced human-induced calamities as well, like fire incidents and vehicular accidents. (CRG/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)