CEBU CITY—Barely a fortnight before the fourth anniversary of the Super Typhoon “Yolanda” that shocked the country, five barangays in Bugasong town in Antique suffered its worst flood in years.
The Kilusang Pagbabago chapter in Region 6 blamed the inefficiency of “Yolanda” housing czar and Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino for the flooding, after it conducted a fact-finding mission in the area on Oct. 20.
That date is 20 days before the anniversary of the record breaking storm that carved a large path of destruction across the Visayas last Nov. 8, 2013.
“Sa sinkwentay sinco anyos ko dya nga puyu sa Lacayon wara ko ka eksperyensia kang amu nga dya nga baha [In the 55 years of living in Lacayon, I have not experienced floods until now],” said Consolacion Espino of Barangay Lacayon, Bugasong.
Lacayon residents have sought the help of Fr. Jose Elmer Cajilig, KP lead convenor for Region 6, who subsequently vowed to bring their concern of Lacayon residents to the attention of President Rodrigo Duterte through Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr.
Tagged as the fifth and the most devastating flood this year, the waters inundated Barangays Puho, Hatay-Hatay, Calog, Lacayon and Cubay in South Bugasong.
Some 35 residents, who attended a community dialogue conducted by a KP team, pointed at a nearby housing project by the National Housing Authority. They noted that the project, being constructed by EDDMARI Construction and Trading, will have 1,787 units once completed.
According to the residents, the construction firm bulldozed the hilly and forested portion of Barangay Lacayon and reclaimed four creeks. The waters from the creeks are dumped into a single tributary when it rains, and thus caused the flooding.
On Aug. 22, 2016, some 82 residents signed a complaint addressed to Mayor John Lloyd M. Pacete of Bugasong, Antique, a copy of which was furnished to the Presidential Action Center.
They said Pacete has not acted on the plea neither has he acted on a letter dated Jan. 29, 2017 from Presidential Action Center Director Jaime Llaguno Mabilin.
In an earlier statement, Dino has blamed uncooperative local government units and members of a pro-Duterte organization, which he did not name.
However, Lacayon residents said Dino has not visited the area since President Duterte named him Yolanda housing czar.
Dino also had been accused by Yolanda survivors in Tacloban City for failing to follow up on the completion of Yolanda housing projects. Junex Doronio