ALL available manpower and equipment have been deployed in Maguindanao and other areas in the Bangsamoro region affected by flooding and landslides since the weekend, the autonomous region’s Ministry of Public Works (MPW) said.
“In times of calamities like this, MPW is doing its best to help alleviate the situation. We utilize our people and our equipment to assist our constituents in need,” Minister Eduard U. Guerra said in a statement.
The ministry said their work involved “simultaneous rescue, retrieval and clearing operations to the residents of Cotabato City, Maguindanao and in different BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) areas who are affected by flood and landslide due to the torrential rain which started last Thursday night brought by Tropical Storm Paeng.”
It added that the Maguindanao 1st District Engineering Office had been clearing “massive amount” of water hyacinth flowing along the Rio Grande de Mindanao in Cotabato City.
MPW Maguindanao District Engineer Avila D. Abobakar said the accumulation of water hyacinth at Delta Bridge hampers the flow of water along the river coming from the Ligawasan Marsh.
As of Nov. 2, a total of 12 bridges and roads have been cleared while 11 others were still not passable, according to the BARMM’s monitoring update.
Some bridges incurred major damage and will require reconstruction.
Infrastructure programs, including asset management, in the new autonomous region were turned over by the national government’s Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) last year in line with Republic Act 11054 or Bangsamoro Organic Law.
After the formal handover ceremony in September last year, then DPWH secretary Mark A. Villar and Mr. Guerra also signed an agreement on the coordination plan and protocols for the transition of infrastructure projects from the national to the regional government.
Meanwhile, Basilan Rep. Mujiv S. Hataman expressed support to President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s suggestion to set up a DPWH office in the BARMM.
Mr. Hataman said there would be no conflict with the Bangsamoro Organic Law as there is no provision that expressly prohibits the government from creating a DPWH District Engineering office in the region. — Marifi S. Jara and Kyanna Angela Bulan