January 5, 2012
Legarda to Gov't: Prohibit Settlement in Landslide-Prone Areas;
Senator Loren Legarda today called on the government to strictly prohibit citizens from building homes in landslide-prone areas, particularly those in nearby mining zones, and waste no time in relocating those who are already residing in such places to safer communities.
Legarda made the statement following the landslide that occurred in Barangay Napnapan, Pantukan, Compostela Valley, which according to police reports has caused the death of at least 25 individuals.
"This is not the first time that a landslide occurred in the town of Pantukan. In April last year, a landslide that was triggered by heavy rains occurred in a small-scale mining community in Barangay Kingking. In May 2009, mudslide in Barangay Napnapan killed at least 16 people. We must stop this cycle of disaster," she said.
"We should make use of the geo-hazard maps to determine hazard-prone areas and prohibit settlement in such places. As many would certainly ignore the call since they would have no other place to go to, the government must strictly enforce its policies and initiate the relocation of families in landslide-prone areas not only in Compostela Valley but all over the country before they are all engulfed by the very place they call home," the Senator stressed.
Legarda also said that the government must ensure that mining operations do not pose threat to lives, homes and properties.
"Landslide susceptibility and hazard maps should be effectively used in regulating small-scale and large-scale mining activities to prevent the occurrence of environmental disasters," she added.
"Many would disregard government warnings, but we should implement a no-nonsense policy especially with regard to disaster prevention programs because with weak enforcement, lives will always be at risk," Legarda concluded.
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