Senator Win Gatchalian conducts site inspections in Cagayan and Isabela provinces today as a prelude to the anticipated Senate probe on the severe flooding in several parts of Luzon following the onslaught of typhoon Ulysses.
Gatchalian, Vice Chairman of Economic Affairs Committee, said he wanted to personally ascertain the damage left behind by deep floods that practically submerged the entire Cagayan province and some parts of Isabela ahead of the said Senate inquiry.
“There may be a need to revisit the protocols being observed by those in the know in order to prevent this from happening again or at the very least, lessen the damage to properties, infrastructure and agriculture,” the senator explained.
“Paulit ulit na lang itong mga ganitong pagbaha. Hindi ito ang unang pagkakataon na ganito kalawak ang naging pinsala ng pagbaha dulot ng pagbubukas ng mga dam, hindi lang ng Magat kundi pati ‘yung iba na nakaapekto rin sa Marikina. Gusto kong malaman kung bakit paulit-ulit na lang ito,” Gatchalian added.
The entire system, the release of water from the dam all the way to the catchment and river basin, should be studied very carefully not only in Cagayan but in other areas that were flooded at the height of typhoon Ulysses, the senator said.
“Ang pagdinig ay tungkol sa pagpapakawala ng tubig mula sa mga dam. Ganito rin ang nangyari noong bagyong Ondoy ilang taon na rin ang nakalipas. Hindi pwedeng paulit-ulit na lang ito dahil maraming ari-arian ang nasisira at maraming buhay ang nasasakripisyo,” he added.
Gatchalian is distributing 2,000 sacks of rice worth P4 million from the city government of Valenzuela for residents in Tuguegarao, Aparri, Enrile, Solana, Amulung in Cagayan and Cabagan, Ilagan and Tumauini in Isabela. The senator is joined by Valenzuela Vice Mayor Lorie Natividad-Borja and Councilor Rovin Feliciano.
The senator’s family is separately donating one million peso-worth of sacks of rice to the Cagayan Provincial Government, Tuguegarao City, and the municipality of Aparri, the hometown of the Gatchalian matriarch. They will also give out face masks, face shields, and slippers to ensure that everyone is protected from COVID-19.
Officials from Cagayan and Isabela receive the said donations in a turnover ceremony.