ANTIPOLO City, Oct. 3, 2011—Damage caused by massive flooding because of the releasing of water from different reservoirs in Luzon could have been minimized, if not prevented, if the State has total control with these dams, according to Kabataan partylist statement.
This, after Pedring (international code: Nesat) had caused much flooding and damaged properties and crops that reached nearly P1 billion (US$22,867,596.85) according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) estimates.
“State control over the operations of dams such as the release of water could’ve diminished the ravages of typhoon Pedring. Corporations or establishments such as dams which has the capacity to inflict hazard to people’s welfare should have government intervention regardless of being privately-owned or not,” said Mark Louie Aquino, Kabataan Partylist second nominee, said in a statement.
For Aquino, it is totally unacceptable to blame the damages to nature alone.
“PAG-ASA [Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration had] already did their job in forecasting the storm, how strong it is and where it is expected to land and ravage, yet, no evacuation was made. Water from the dam was released and flood went up to the roofs of residents, yet, residents still remain in their roofs. We are in a country that is frequented with typhoons come the rainy season. The government should have learned by now the lessons of previous typhoon-caused disasters. It is not the local government units that are at fault here. A typhoon’s effect is felt on a nationwide scale and must also be handled on a national scale. A systematic plan on handling disasters should be implemented with the state control on dams at the forefront,” explained Aquino.
He said the Philippines could do the United States’ style of managing water reservoirs. In the US, the youth leader said, the dams were regulated by the Federal and state governments.
Aquino said that they would not buy the alibi of the National Power Corporation (NPC) that the massive flooding in the Central Luzon region is not caused by the Angat Dam’s water release.
“This (the flooding) is the detrimental effect of the privatizing of dams and it is all the more necessary for state control. President Benigno Aquino III previously bragged that never will another typhoon that passed the country two years ago ravage the nation. He just got himself his own Ondoy,” he said.
The Kabataan partylist is now conducting a series of relief efforts to help the victims of Pedring. Tulong Kabataan has already given relief goods to the residents of Marikina City, the town in Metro Manila which was severely affected by the typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana), two years ago. They have also reached the residents of Bulacan.
Aquino said that they would continue their relief efforts and the national office of Kabataan partylist is accepting help, in form of cash and goods. They can be reached 118-B Scout Rallos St., Brgy. Sacred Heart, Quezon City. Or call them at +63 (02) 352-1054.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Students of the Philippines also appeals to the public to help the victims of Pedring. In their official website, NUSP said that donations of food and foodstuff like canned goods, dried fish, coffee and sugar, milk, rice, medicines, clothes, water and water-purification tablets and materials for temporary shelter are most needed.
“We also welcome cash donations which will be used to buy goods and fund the operations,” they said.
For cash or check donations, they can be deposited at Chinabank, under the account name: National Union of Students of the Philippines- Head Office, INC., Account No: 107-248551-3.
For food, clothing and sleeping needs donations, they can be sent to the following centers: QUEZON CITY, Vinzons Hall Lobby, UP Diliman Quezon City, Contact Person: Aman Melad at 09177507529; MANILA, University Student Council office, UP Manila, Contact Person: Cleve Arguelles, 09067323693; University Student Government Office, Philippine Normal University, Contact Person: JC Sibayan, 09152952110; BULACAN, Bulacan State University – University Student Government Office, Contact Person: Brian Carpio, Bulacan State University Student Regent, 0915-2852325.
One can also contact the NUSP Secretariat through phone 0915-6469177 and via this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Noel Sales Barcelona)