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Lingering problem 

  • Jade Valley residents lament flooding issue even after 30 years



RESIDENTS of Jade Valley, who evacuated and settled in the Juliville Health Center’s gym following the Jan. 19 flooding, are still wondering why the government hasn’t solved the issue that has been lingering for the past three decades. 

Evangeline Balgemino, a resident of Jade Valley for 17 years, said she has been complaining for years but their complaints and concerns fell on deaf ears. She also complained that the temporary shelter area lacked blankets, towels, and bed mats to make their stay comfortable. 

Kung naay mga calamity mukuan gyud mu tabang gyud ang atong gobyerno gyud. So ngano man nga karon nga ika upat na baha karon kung wala pay assistance wala gyud. Upat gyud kabahaan ang wala (The government was ready to assist during every calamity. However, for the past four floodings, we haven’t received any),” she said.

Elevera Cataylo, a resident of Juliville since 1993, said she doesn’t want to dismiss the government’s or their barangay’s efforts. At the same time, she demands more transparency in the programs to address the perennial flooding in their village.

Nonetheless, both Evangeline and Elvera have no plans to relocate simply because they have no choice. 

Meanwhile, Salvacion Baguio, a resident of Jade Valley for 31 years, said she grew her family and built her dreams in her home. 

Nandito nag graduate ang aking mga anak from the beginning, gagmay pa childhood pa. For 31 years, abroad akong mga anak, tapos na ang mga eskwela… Kung kinsa kadtong nasa gobyerno na mutabang sa amo, I will accept, we will accept also (We were here since my children were still small and now they have graduated and are now working abroad … We will accept whatever help we can get from the government),” she said.

Jade Valley hugs the Davao River, which overflows during heavy rains and floods the communities around it. While some people blame land conversion as the culprit, city planners are quick to say that the areas converted from forestal or agricultural into residential are negligible enough to cause environmental damage. 

The Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance aims to prevent a similar scenario by identifying flood-prone areas in the city and declaring them as conservation zones and thus, free from housing or commercial developments.

Tigatto Barangay Captain Lito B. Lapitan said the city and national government presented to them plans and projects to mitigate the problem. These programs include floodgates, pump stations, alternate routes to redirect the water flow, and dikes to prevent river overflow.

However, he also acknowledged that these projects won’t prevent another flooding. “Ang kuan lang pag mass calamity di gyud na nimo ma pugngan bisan pag unsa pa ang imohang proyekto (No amount of projects will prevent a mass calamity event,)” he said.



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