GENERAL CITY OF SANTOS – The National Housing Authority (NHA) has signaled its intention to help the municipal government of Lake Sebu in southern Cotabato develop resettlement sites in the area for residents affected by recent disasters.
This was stated by the mayor of Lake Sebu, Floro Gandam, who spoke on Tuesday about the potential role of the NHA in organizing the permanent relocation of some 128 families from Barangay Lamcade who have remained displaced since June due to the emergence of ground cracks or stress cracks in at least four sitios (hamlets).
He said the agency was initially committed to helping build houses for affected residents of Sitios Tekansad, Upper Lemnongu, Lower Lemnongu and Tbob.
“We are currently dealing with the purchase of the resettlement sites,” he said in an interview with Bombo Radyo radio station here.
Besides the 128 families of Lamcade, the local government is also pushing for the displacement of 56 other households from the flood-affected parts of Barangay Talisay.
The NHA provides financial assistance to local governments for the development of resettlement housing sites through the Resettlement Assistance Program for Local Government Units (LGU).
LGUs could get up to PHP 25 million in funding, as well as additional grants for housing projects.
Gandam said the Bureau of Mines and Geosciences (MGB) 12 (Soccsksargen) had approved at least three potential resettlement sites for displaced households from Lamcade, which were evacuated by the municipal government in mid-June.
The preventive evacuation resulted from the appearance of new stress cracks which had already caused landslides and closed a main road connecting the town proper and other neighboring villages.
The mayor said that the resettlement sites approved by MGB-12 are located in Sitios Tekansad and Tebudtud.
He said most of the evacuees, whom he visited again on Monday, are still in makeshift sheds by the roadside in Sitio Tekansad, which is close to the border of Barangays Lamcade and Lamdalag.
“We are fixing some issues with the land to make the (purchasing) process fair and legal,” he said.
The MGB-12 initially recommended the relocation of households to parts of Lamcade in 2018 following the emergence of tension cracks in the area, which were identified in its geohazard mapping as “moderate to very sensitive to landslides. ground “.
He said the area has steep slopes as well as “old and inactive landslides” that could collapse further due to the continued rains.
Gandam said they were constantly monitoring several areas of Lake Sebu that are considered highly prone to landslides and flash floods.
On October 31, he said a flash flood hit parts of Sitio Lubo in Barangay Ned but no casualties were reported.
He said the Municipal Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (MDRRMO) and Barangay Ned officials were still assessing the affected sites, which included several resorts located near rivers and waterfalls.
“We have asked affected residents and resort owners to report the damage to us so that we can provide assistance,” he said.
Gandam said he had ordered the MDRRMO and relevant officials to move homes and other structures from identified danger areas, especially in buffer zones of rivers and other critical waterways. (ANP)