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2,205 tagged high-risk areas — DILG

City Of San Fernando, Pampanga — A total 2,205 households in Bulacan and Pampanga that lie along the riverbanks of Pampanga River are now in great danger of flash floods especially during rainy season, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) revealed yesterday.

DILG Region 3 Director Florida Dijan said the affected houses in the towns of Candaba and Apalit in Pampanga and Calumpit and Paombong in Bulacan are sitting on considered danger zones and must be relocated.

Dijan explained that Candaba has 286 private homes while Apalit has 1072 located along the riverbanks of the Pampanga River are subject for relocation. In Bulacan, Calumpit has 650 private homes and Paombong has 197 also targeted for relocation.

Earlier DILG Undersecretary Francisco “Bimbo” Fernandez, head for the Urban Poor and other Special Concern together with other officials also visited the vulnerable families situated within 3-meter easement of the Pampanga River in Barangay Buas, Candaba town to validate their poor condition.

Fernandez disclosed that national government ordered that all relocation strategies of the government agencies should prevent the displacement of families from their source of livelihood and schools.

He said the DILG is the key agency that is coordinating with local governments, non-government organizations and agencies such as National Housing Authority (NHA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other concern state agencies not only ensuring safe and permanent housing sites, but also for the provision of basic services and livelihood programs for families living in the 3-meter easement of the Pampanga River which he described as danger zone.

He stressed that they give priority to the informal settlers along the riverbank as they are most prone to disasters brought about by sudden silt and deposit flows or soil erosion that occur mostly during raining seasons.

Candaba Mayor Rene Maglanque for his part said, he will coordinate immediately the situation on that matter.

Maglangque lauded the support of the national government especially the DILG, NHA for providing positive intervention to the sad condition of the vulnerable families living along the riverbank.

The mayor said the municipality has already purchased 6.7 hectare relocation site in Barangay Pasig, this town for the families who would relocated which is also near to their source of livelihood.