Navotas City Mayor John Rey Tiangco over the weekend led city hall officials and employees and hundreds of volunteers in the massive clean-up operations, especially along coastal areas which were largely affected by the storm surge at the height of the torrential rains spawned by southwest monsoon or “habagat.”
He said some city hall workers were tasked to do the repacking of relief goods which are being regularly distributed to several evacuation centers where there are still evacuees who could not yet return to their houses which were reportedly still submerged in flood- waters.
The mayor was all praises for the employees and officials as well as hundreds of volunteers who have been on his side during the calamity even if most of them are also flood victims.
“I take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you who truly gave their time and effort to extend the much needed assistance to the affected families though I know that they themselves are flood victims,” Tiangco said.
Last Monday, the mayor declared a state of calamity all over the coastal city and enjoined the local government workers to join him in repacking thousands of relief goods prior to their distribution to various schools, barangay halls and covered courts which were converted into the flood victims’ temporary shelters.
At the same time, he directed them to be part of the several teams he formed to conduct massive clean-up drive which will be undertaken on major streets and thoroughfares and along coastal areas where heaps of garbage piled up.
“We need to work double-time in order to clean up the streets and the coastal areas of heaps of garbage which were carried ashore by the waves and floodwaters,” Tiangco told the Camanava Press Corps.
Tiangco said he will meet anew with the members of the local Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Council to assess the damage to property brought about by the incessant rains that lasted for nearly two weeks.
He said the heavy monsoon rains, that were worsened by high tides which reached a record high on Tuesday at 2.2 meters, had caused some dikes and pumping stations in the city’s villages to break down.
As a result, more residents were caught flat-footed though they have been prepared for the typhoons because of the sudden rise in flood- waters that forced them to evacuate to safer grounds with the help of the local government’s anti-disaster response teams.
Since the city is now under the state of calamity, the mayor told Tribune in a phone interview that the local government can release sufficient funds to provide for the much-needed assistance to the flood victims.
“That’s why I have enjoined the city hall employees to lead in the repacking of relief goods to ensure the prompt distribution of the foods and clothing for the affected families at the evacuation centers,” Tiangco said.
In Malabon, acting Mayor Antolin “Lenlen” Oreta III decided to place the city under the state of calamity after more families numbering to over 15,000 residents were transferred to several evacuation centers.
To make sure the needed help is extended to the affected families, city public information officer Bong Padua said the acting mayor was seen for days at various evacuation centers where he mingled and sympathized with the flood victims.
But with the rains stopped, Oreta said they now heaved a sigh of relief as more affected families have started to return to their respective houses.
The same situation is taking place in Valenzuela City as the city government is now pre-occupied with undertaking massive clean-up operations to collect garbage left by “habagat” on the streets and school premises, according to Ms. Ahna Mejia, city’s public information officer.