MANILA – Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba has thanked President Rodrigo R. Duterte for his visit and pledge of support to the flood-hit province.
During the Laging Handa briefing on Monday, Mamba said Duterte knows many of Cagayan’s problems and challenges — both new and recurring — noting that discussions are already ongoing on how to fix these issues.
“There were suggestions and there were moves undertaken na nagbibigay sa amin ng pag-asa na sa lalong madaling panahon ay makakapag-plano at siguro at magi-start na rin ito (that are giving us hope and resulted in immediate planning so that maybe, we can start solving these issues),” Mamba said.
Some of Duterte’s actions, he said, include ordering an investigation on the alleged late release of water from Magat Dam that worsened flooding in both the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela after the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses.
He said Duterte will also look into policies for regulating the release of water from dams, illegal logging in Cagayan, and the immediate dredging—removing sediments and debris from the bottom of a body of water—the entire length of Cagayan River.
“Ang laking tulong po at laking pag-asa (This is a big help and gives a lot of hope)—we see hope after how many decades na hindi po napansin ito (of these being neglected),” Mamba said.
Duterte’s visit on Sunday, he said, was the President’s fifth visit to Cagayan during his term.
“Palaging nandito po siya basta meron (He always visits after) major calamities. This is his fifth time and all of these, may problema po yung mga pinuntahan niya dito (he visits areas that have problems),” Mamba said.
Duterte’s first two visits to Cagayan as President, he said, were during the onslaught of super typhoon “Lawin” (Haima) in 2016 and typhoon “Ompong (Mangkhut) in 2018.”
These were followed by two visits to Santa Ana, Cagayan in 2018 for the destruction of over a hundred contraband luxury cars and motorbikes with a total worth of about PHP300 million.
On Sunday, Duterte visited Cagayan and met with his Cabinet and local officials in Tuguegarao City to discuss the rescue and relief efforts for those affected by flooding and the rebuilding of the province.
On Saturday, residents of parts of Cagayan and Isabela pleaded for help after being blindsided with flooding said to be the worst in the past 40 years. Raymond Carl Dela Cruz / PNA – northboundasia.com