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Councilor pushes for safe relocation of informal settlers 

COUNCILOR Diosdado Mahipus said they will push for an ordinance to establish disaster-free shelters for informal settlers living in danger zones. 

Mahipus, who chairs the committee on disaster risk reduction and management, saw the need to establish safer sites to prevent a loss of property and lives. 

Ang gina-buhat sa syudad is we remind the people within the danger zone supposedly to vacate the area because that area is considered a danger zone but the predicament is kung ato silang pahawaon, asa nato sila ibutang?” Mahipus said during the Aprubado sa Konseho media forum, Feb. 6.

Mahipus said the committee is still studying the proposal including the possible areas where the shelters will be established. 

Ang kinahanglan nato luwas nga lot, and mangita tag property sa city nga pwede natong magamit, perhaps i-allocate para sa ilaha o tukuran nato building para ilang puy-an,” he said. 

Pwede ta mag [build] og mid-rise building kung dili community atong makaya,” the councilor added. 

The proposal was already approved on first reading and is currently at the committee level for deliberation. 

Mahipus stressed they are coordinating with the City Planning and Development Office to ensure housing and other developments are in line with the comprehensive land use plan. 

“We are very determined to prevent a similar situation where a development is put in an area which is really not suitable for it, so to speak,” Mahipus said, citing the case of Jade Valley Subdivision’s recent flooding incident. 

The City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office reported the flooding in Barangay Tigatto in Buhangin District impacted 5,494 families, equivalent to 21,165 total population affected. Jade Valley Subdivision is situated in Tigatto, one of the 23 barangays placed under a state of calamity on Feb. 6.

The councilor revealed the city is still waiting for the Davao River flood control master plan, which will hopefully lessen flooding concerns. 

Consequences of poor planning

EnP. Lemuel Manalo, Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability program coordinator, revealed in his report that Jade Valley is located in a meander (river curve). 

“The geophysics of floodplain is that a river can naturally play along with its channel, and can go linear, curve bend or erode forming other ways.”

Manalo further reports river meanders should be uninhabitable, as even when the river shifted to its current form in the 60s and 70s abandoning the old channel,  the floodwater forces it to enter the old channel when the river is at a high level,  which submerges the subdivision. 


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