The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is working to restore access to three national road sections in the Cordillera Administrative Region and Mimaropa that are currently impassable due to heavy monsoon rains.
DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, citing the report of the agency’s Bureau of Maintenance, said as of 12 noon on Friday, the impassable roads in CAR are the Kennon Road, in Camp 5, Tuba, Benguet due to rockfall, and the Abra - Kalinga Road, in Gacab, Malibcong, Abra due to soil and rock collapse.
In Mimaropa, the Calapan North Road in Barangay Aninuan, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro is also closed to traffic due to landslides.
Villar said a quick response team has already been deployed to conduct clearing operations along CNR.
Other teams in CAR are on standby to resume clearing affected road sections once the weather is deemed safe for the crew and equipment.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Friday said scattered to widespread monsoon rains will continue over many areas in Luzon as Typhoon Fabian enhances the southwest monsoon.
The weather condition will prevail over the Ilocos Region, the Cordillera Administrative Region, Metro Manila, most of Calabarzon and Central Luzon, and portions of Mimaropa.
Meanwhile, a congressman from Rizal warned against worse flooding in Metro Manila and nearby areas particularly his province during the rainy season if the development of the Kaliwa Dam were implemented to make it another source of potable water for the metropolis.
“Environmental groups have long warned us that the Kaliwa Dam project will spell disaster not just upstream, where it will endanger 291 hectares of watershed and 172 plant species, but also for the populous areas downstream that will bear the brunt of deadly and destructive flooding,” Rizal Rep. Fidel Nograles said.
Nograles, a deputy majority leader, added the project has been peppered with controversy, from illegal construction of access roads and questionable Free, Prior and Informed Consent process with Dumagat and Remontado tribesmen in the area, since its inception.
In Pampanga, policemen waded through waist-deep floodwaters in Msantol town to reach out to hundreds of residents trapped in their houses due to widespread flooding that inundated the town.
Carrying food packs, the policemen went on a house-to-house distribution of relief goods, unmindful of murky waters that spilled over from nearby fishponds.
A total of 24 of 26 villages in Masantol were submerged to hightide and continuous rains brought about by monsoon rains, the provincial risk reduction and management office said.
“The perennial flooding has acclimatized residents here. They respond physiologically and behaviorally to a persistent environment,” said Mayor Danilo Guinto.
A second class municipality, Masantol is among low-lying towns in Pampanga. It has a population of 53,063 during the last census.
Provincial disaster officials are closely monitoring the province’s coastal and low-lying municipalities including Macabebe, Sasmuan, Lubao and Guagua due to Hightide and monsoon rains.
Angelina Blanco PDRRMO officer, said 34 villages had been experiencing flooding since Thursday.
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