Local government units and barangay officials in Negros Oriental must take a more active role in preventing and responding to disasters amid visible changes in weather patterns brought about by climate change, Allen Cabaron, Civil Defense coordinator of Negros Oriental, said yesterday.
Cabaron admitted the need to strengthen coordination among major players in disaster risk reduction and management, because of observations about the absence of uniform reporting in the recent flooding incident that claimed the lives of at least four people.
On Tuesday, a father and son, Baludoy and Jimmer Banjao, from Manjuyod town died when they attempted to cross the Tanjay River in Odiongan, Tanjay City, a report from Alejandro Somoza, head of the Negros Oriental Search and Rescue said.
Rescue operations by the NOSAR and the Philippine National Police that continued until Wednesday resulted in the recovery of the body of the father in shores of Amlan town, and the son’s body at the Tanjay River.
On the same day, a mother and a daughter from Pamplona town were reported dead after also trying to cross the same river, Cabaron said.
Cabaron said that based on a report from the Pamplona police station, the victims, a certain Mr. Padilla was driving a motorcycle with his wife, Antonietta Padilla, 36, and daughter, Cherry May, a teenager, while crossing a spillway in Abante, Pamplona around 7 p.m. Tuesday last week, when rushing floodwaters carried them downstream.
The father managed to cling to some tree branches and was rescued alive, but, the bodies of the mother and daughter were recovered about two hours later downstream, Cabaron said.
Somoza said they only learned about the incident in Pamplona later from other sources.
Cabaron said the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council is expected to have a functional operations center and more equipment for disaster response soon.*JFP
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