Heavy rains recently lashed many parts of northern Cagayan brought by Typhoon “Neneng” and Tropical Depression “Obet,” flooding farmlands, streets, schools, houses, etc.
Flooding incidents, especially in the northernmost towns in Cagayan, are becoming common. Nowadays, when a typhoon hits these towns, flooding in these areas is expected. During the onslaught of Neneng, according to news reports, the towns of Ballesteros, Lal-lo, Camalaniugan, Aparri, Buguey, Sta. Ana, Lasam, Baggao, Santa Teresita, Gattaran, Santa Praxedes, and Claveria were heavily flooded.
While local governments in these towns had made crucial information and resources available to their constituents, the focus should not be on response and mitigation efforts alone. They should address the flooding problem with permanent solutions. Is dredging the Cagayan River a long-term solution? Are flood control infrastructures able to protect the coastal and river bank areas in these flood-prone towns?
Our response to flooding problems is practically a default response—evacuate the flood victims, distribute relief goods, help them recover from the calamity. Let us start thinking outside the box, and find a permanent solution to this.
REGINALD B. TAMAYO,
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