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Socot pushes relocation of 199 families living in danger zones

GENERAL SANTOS City– The provincial government of South Cotabato is working for the relocation of at least 199 families who are situated near the banks of critical rivers in two municipalities in the province.

Genelene Vidanes, response and social rehabilitation section head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), Tuesday said the move is part of their efforts to clear residents off river banks that have been identified as danger zones.

She said the relocation will specifically involve residents settled near two major rivers in Tupi and Banga towns.

“These families are facing imminent danger to severe flooding and landslides during the rainy season,” she said.

Citing their assessment, Vidanes said at least 68 families in Purok Lamplawam in Barangay Lunen and 44 more in Barangay Bunao in Tupi should be relocated immediately.

She said the two areas were considered highly prone to landslides and flashfloods, and should be off-limits to dwelling or housing structures.

Last month, three people were killed after flashfloods and landslides hit the two villages.

Tupi Mayor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. earlier said they have already identified a potential relocation site for the affected families.

The municipal government has signified to avail of the PHP3 million relocation fund that was set aside by the provincial government, through the PDRRM Council. In Banga town, Vidanes said a total of 65 families in Barangay Yangco and 25 in Rang-ay, Lampari and Cinco should also be relocated soon.

She said these families were directly affected by the flashfloods that hit the Banga River and several other tributaries last June 24.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) had released emergency shelter assistance of PP10 thousand pesos to  P15 thousand pesos to the affected families, she said.

Vidanes said they are currently conducting a profiling of the families that will be covered by the relocation program.

She said they have so far completed the profiling of 50 families or households in Barangay Yangco, 10 in Lampari and 12 in Rang-ay. (PNA)

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