August 25, 2022
MANILA — The Maguindanao Provincial Board placed the province under a state of calamity on Wednesday due to a series of floods that submerged 105 villages in 15 of 36 towns.
Maguindanao Vice Gov. Bai Ainee Sinsuat said the declaration was approved during the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s regular session, upon the recommendation of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC).
Sinsuat said the floods displaced 46,922 families (234,610 people), half of whom remain in various evacuation centers.
Maguindanao is no stranger to the massive dislocation of people, being a major battleground of the Moro rebellion since 1972. But in the last five years, with a peace deal with Moro rebels in place, floods have replaced armed conflict as the major driver of displacement.
Prior to the province-wide calamity declaration, six towns were already placed under a state of calamity due to floods that began in late July.
Nasrullah Imam, Maguindanao provincial disaster risk reduction and management officer, said some of the displaced families chose not to take shelter in evacuation sites and stayed in homes of relatives.
The calamity declaration came after disaster response and agriculture officials reported that at least P130.5 million worth of crops, mostly palay, had been destroyed by floods.
A report from the PDRRMC said torrential rains in the past three weeks submerged low-lying areas of Northern Kabuntalan, Sultan sa Barongis, Datu Piang, Mamasapano, Rajah Buayan, Datu Salibo, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Pagalungan, Datu Montawal, Guindulungan, Talayan, Talitay, General SK Pendatun, Kabuntalan Mother and Datu Odin Sinsuat.
Ronjamin Maulana, Maguindanao director of the Bangsamoro Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, said the series of floods damaged palay, corn and other crops that have “no chances of recovery.”
Damage to palay fields were estimated at P115.2 million; corn, P11.2 million; and others crops, P4.1 million.
Also on Wednesday, Balumol Kadiding, Datu Montawal disaster response officer, said all of the town’s 11 villages were flooded after the Kabacan River overflowed due to heavy rains in Bukidnon and Cotabato provinces that swelled its tributaries.