The online news portal of TV5
ANGELES CITY, Philippines -- A peasant organization in Central Luzon has launched a relief drive for farmers, indigenous people and fisherfolk affected by the heavy flooding in the region.
The Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luson has been closely monitoring the effects of the calamity on its provincial chapters and other marginalized sectors since typhoon “Gener” struck two weeks ago.
Joseph Canlas, AMGL chairman, said that, “We launched our relief drive operation dubbed as Oplan Sagip Kanayunan-Gitnang Luson to mitigate the flood-affected farmers, indigenous people and fisherfolk in the region. We need food, medicines, clothing, mat, water and other basic needs.”
“We have been receiving text messages from our provincial chapters that the flooding (has damaged) farmers’ houses and crops (which will) push them deeper into poverty, hunger and indebtedness,” he said.
Over 800,000 of the 1.2 million people in the region affected by the floods are farmers, indigenous people and fisherfolk.
“In Zambales alone, there were 2, 627 families of farmers, IPs and fisherfolk that were hit by the flood,” Canlas said. “In Sta. Cruz town, six barangays, namely Sabang, Guisguis, Pagatpat, Babuyan, Canaynayan and Lomboy have been heavily flooded due to their topography’s destruction by mining companies operating there.”
The AMGL said at least 1,150 families are in need of aid in the province.
Fifty families are stranded in Barangay Babuyan and need small boat to be able to leave.
Canlas said they believe the flooding in Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Pangasinan was worsened by the releases of water from major dams in the region.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported that on August 7, the Bustos dam in Bulacan released water that spilled over from Angat dam, at a rate of 202.4 cubic meters per second.
Canlas said the spillover inundated more than 2,000 hectares of ricefields in Bulacan and Pampanga.
He said the management of the dams should have started releasing water slowly before their reservoirs reached critical levels instead of waiting for water to build up and releasing large volumes that he blamed for aggravating the floods.
However, he said managing the dams with the people's interests foremost was only possible if these were nationalized.