Press Release
July 1, 2011

Appeals for construction of water catchment and impounding projects to recycle flood waters

COTABATO CITY -- Senator Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, yesterday (June 30) met with Archbishop Orlando Quevedo of the Diocese of Cotabato, chairman of the Task Force Mindanao River Basin, to personally get an update on the flooding problems in the region following the recent massive clogging of water hyacinths in Rio Grande de Mindanao. He also vowed to invite government officials and flood prevention experts in a Senate inquiry to shed light and offer possible solutions on the matter.

"Flooding has been our perennial problem. We have to find productive ways to use the flood water to irrigate our farms and improve our agriculture output like what they do in Vietnam, Thailand and China. I would appeal to President Aquino that instead of building drainage systems let us make water impounding projects and dams to save the flood waters and use it during the summer months," Zubiri suggested.

He further added that: "Let us put water catchment projects sa Bukidnon, North Cotabato and Maguindanao para pag dating sa Cotabato City through the Rio Grande ay maliit na lamang ang tubig, just enough not to cause flood instead run off na lang."

The Mindanao senator also visited families affected by flood in Bilo Elementary School and Tamontaka Elementary School. He distributed some 2,500 relief goods consisting of rice, noodles and canned goods in partnership with the Rotary Club 3870 of Cotabato City-South.

From Cotabato City, Zubiri flew to Davao on the same day to turnover P2-M funds for mobile hospital programs and P980 thousand worth of financial medical assistance for indigent patients and residents who were affected by the recent floods.

Davao City Mayor Sarah Duterte received the financial assistance and briefed the senator about the damage caused by the flash floods. At present, five barangays namely: Matina, Pangi, Matina Aplaya, Barangay 74-A ,Talomo and Ma-a. have been declared under state of calamity.

Zubiri hopes that the passage of the Forest Management Act will provide a long term solution to the country's flood problems.

The measure which mandates the development and adoption of a policy based on rational allocation of forestland use, and promotion of land use practices that increase productivity while conserving soil, water and other resources is currently being prepared in a technical working group by Zubiri's committee on environment and natural resources before submitting it to a plenary discussion when the Senate session resumes on July 25.

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