Capitol shows way in rebuilding landslide victims’ lives

Helping the victims of the City of Naga landslide stand on their feet again is an utmost priority not to mention it is a daunting task.

The Cebu Provincial Government, in its own way, is opening up a path towards that direction.

The Cebu Provincial Board approved yesterday a resolution authorizing Gov. Hilario P. Davide III to sign and execute a deed of donation, giving a portion of the Province-owned Balili property as relocation site for the displaced families of the tragedy.

A 2.1-hectare lot will be donated by the Province as promised earlier by Davide and Vice Gov. Agnes A. Magpale following the Sept. 20 massive landslide that claimed 78 lives.

The resolution was sponsored by Magpale, and PB Members Raul Bacaltos and Yolanda Daan, representing Cebu’s first district.

Once used as tracks by the Philippine Railway, the relocation site located in Barangay Tinaan can cater to at least 500 units of two-story houses.

Naga City Mayor Kristine Vanessa Chiong said earlier that the City Government would immediately begin the process of construction once the land donation got the PB’s nod.

She said the City has allocated P25 million for 80 housing units as its counterpart to the National Housing Authority’s commitment to build 320 homes.

A day after the landslide, Davide met President Rodrigo Duterte at the Naga City evacuation center where the governor made a promise to the victims that he would provide them a relocation area.

Aside from providing them land, the Cebu Province will also give P1 million in financial assistance to the City and P10,000 to each fatality.

In yesterday’s session, the PB made some recommendations to representatives of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau 7 after hearing the latter’s briefing on the Naga landslide.

“We don’t want this to happen again.  We are gathered this afternoon not to point fingers but to unite our efforts to find ways on how to prevent this tragedy from repeating,” Magpale said.

The recommendations include the fast-tracking of the completion of the provincial disaster office’s hazard map and manual project for all municipalities and cities under the province and distribution of the geographic information system software that contains a digital map of the entire province using the Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology.

The geospatial data, which maps out the 4.8-square-kilometer land area of Cebu by an airborne technology, includes high resolution hazard maps, digital elevation and surface 3D models and other resource information.

The information derived from the maps will be used to refine natural hazard information and proactive approach in pursuing initiatives to foster resiliency against calamities.

Mayor Lakambini Reluya of the neighboring San Fernando town also proposed to include representative of the Province’s disaster office as a member in the committee that reviews the permit of big-scale quarrying.

Under the existing rules, MGB has jurisdiction over quarry operations above five hectares.

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