Senator Imee R. Marcos on Wednesday said the declaration of state of calamity in Luzon should imbue government agencies to act with dispatch and a sense of urgency.
‘’The death toll rises daily and hunger is now commonplace in flooded zones. Yes, Luzon is clearly in a calamitous state,’’ Marcos, chairwoman of the Economic Affairs Committee, said.
Marcos, a former Ilocos Norte governor, said local government units (LGUs) are completely spent after the Taal eruption, coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, African Swine Flu (ASF), and typhoons. “They simply have no more money and can only hope for national calamity funds.’’
“A Task Force will ideally expedite this process,’’ she added.
Marcos emphasized that without the overhaul and upgrade of old infrastructures like Angat and Magat dams, Marikina floodway, even the Candaba aqueduct, there will be man-made disasters regardless of who manages these dams and waterways.
Hardest hit by floodwaters and the release of impounded water from Magat dam were Isabela and Cagayan.
‘’Perhaps NIA (National Irrigation Administration) panicked, perhaps communications failed between PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration) and LGUs (local government units), no doubt denuded watersheds and undredged rivers contributed to the floods,’’ Marcos said.
‘’But in the end, the blame is on us for failing to upgrade our infrastructure, so that dams that should enrich and sustain life, not destroy and kill families,’’ she said.
Senator Emmanuel ‘’Manny’’ D. Pacquiao strongly suggested that rivers in Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon be dredged to a depth of at least 10 meters.