MGB experts to check safety of relocation site in Boljoon

By: Jessa Mae O. Sotto November 06,2017 - 11:09 PM

Aerial view of the areas affected by the series of landslides in Boljoon, Cebu. / CND PHOTO – Tone Depojo

Church lauded for donation; landslide-affected families open to moving to relocation site

The four-hectare property donated by the church to be used as a relocation site for the families displaced by the landslides in Lower Becerril in Boljoon town in southern Cebu will be checked if it is a safe area to relocate.

Baltazar Tribunalo Jr., chief of Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), said that the property to be donated by the Archdiocese of Cebu is about a kilometer away from the landslide-hit barangays.

Tribunalo said that he believed the area is safe for relocation, but the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Visayas (DENR-7) will make sure that the area is a safe area to relocate.

He said that he met with the MGB officials on Monday and they would inspect the area in Sitio Lomboy today, Tuesday.

“Karon gipa-verify nato sa MGB ang relocation nga gi-propose nga safe ba siya. Paghuman kay matagaan tag certification ug ma-arrange sa mga tag-iya. Hopefully, within this year mapabalhin nato sila,” he said.

(We had the proposed relocation site verified by MGB if it is safe. After that, they will give us certification and will start having arrangements with the owner. Hopefully, they can be relocated within this year.)

He said the area was just across the mountain and was seen as safe.

“Safe. Concreted ang area. Naay tubig ug kuryente (There is water and electricity).” he said.

Ex-mayor’s offer

Tribunalo also said former Boljoon mayor Deogenes “Wargong” Derama was also willing to donate a lot for the landslide-affected families.

“Kon dili pa gyod masulod didto, ang former mayor kay mag-donate pud siya og 3 hectares kapin duol sa eskwelahan (If they still had not been transferred, the former mayor would be willing to donate a 3-hectare lot, which is located near the school),” he said.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide said he was thankful to the archdiocese that they would donate its property.

“Thankfully, dunay willing mo-donate og yuta for the relocation kay kailangan man gyod sila ibalhin. Hopefully, walay moresist sa ila,” Davide said.

(Thankfully, there are people willing to donate the lot for relocation, and the residents are advised to transfer. Hopefully, they would not resist),” he said.

He also said that Tribunalo told him that the affected residents were open to transferring to the new relocation site.

“Sa iyang report nako, majority kay willing man gyud and they realized the danger,” he said.

(In his report, majority are willing to transfer to the site and they also realized the danger they are in.)

Aside from the church property, the Iglesia ni Cristo earlier also offered a 25-hectare lot to be used as a relocation site for the landslide victims.
This was revealed by incumbent Mayor Merlou Derama in an earlier interview.

P4-million rehab fund

Tribunalo also said that they would use the P4-million fund left in the rehabilitation fund of the province to provide shelter kits for the affected families.

Davide also said that they would provide emergency shelter kits like tin sheets and plywood to families to start building new houses in their relocation site.

“Namalit ta og shelter kits sa ila like mga sin kay katong mga balay nga nangaguba gyod ato silang tagaan,” he said.

Aside from that, Tribunalo also saw potential on how to use the 550,000 cubic meters of river water building up in certain parts of the river blocked by land that fell there.

“Pwede nato siya mahimong natural irrigation. Water supply sa mga barangay (We can have it as natural irrigation and be the source of water supply to the barangay),” he said.

Meanwhile, some of the roads blocked or damaged by the landslides had already been repaired and would allow motorcycles to pass through.

Road accessible

Eutemio Ternate, a local disater officer, said the road was already accessible to motorcycles.

“Giayo lang sa backhoe ganiha buntag para lang gyod maagian sa mga motor lang mientras wala pa ta makaabli og karsada.”

(A backhoe made the road accessible for motorcycles for now, while they are still fixing the road.)

Relief packs of food were distributed yesterday to at least 18 families. The aid came from the province of Cebu, the Department of Social Welfare and Development and from the Boljoon municipal government.

Ternate said that families were temporarily housed in their chapel, day care centers and some went to their relatives who were living in the other sitios.

Ternate said the landslide area was no longer safe for the residents, and he suggested that they move to the relocation site.

“Kon gusto sila mobalhin naa silay kabalhinan (If they want to be transferred, they have a place to settle),” he said as the church would donate its lot to the families.

“Once ma fully developed, tanan nga na-displaced families dili lang katong naa sa landslide areas apil nato ang namuyo sa lain pa nga landslide-prone areas,” he said.

(If the relocation site would be developed, then the displaced families living in landslide areas would be allowed to relocate there.)

Rains caused landslides

The MGB had found that the landslides were caused by the softening of the soil caused by the constant rains in the past few days and not as earlier believed to have been caused by fault lines.

The landslides mostly affected Barangay Lower Becerril especially in Sitios Calfranco, Sangi and Upper Cansiloy.

“Dili siya fault line. Ang atong yuta kay basa kaayo, kusog kaayo ang ulan unya hugaw ang ilawom mao ng mihagsa (It is not the fault line. The soil was moist. The rain was too rough which resulted in landslide),” he said.

Ternate also said that the fault line was in Barangay Nangka, which is 6.7 kilometers away from the landslide area.

Boljoon municipal government had earlier placed six of the 11 barangays under the state calamity due to the series of landslides.

These included Lower Becerril, Upper Becerril and even Poblacion which is located downstream and would be in danger of a possible mudslide that might happen if the artificial river dams created by the landslides would not be addressed.

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TAGS: Boljoon, check, experts, MGB, relocation, safety

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