By Loejan S. Anudon
Flooding is always a messy business no matter where it happens. It always leaves in its wake devastation for those affected. There is one difference though. When it floods in urban areas like Manila, buildings remain when the water recedes and clean up ensues. In rural areas, flood leaves a more sweeping and permanent aftermath. It flushes out homes, farmlands and livestock leaving nothing to clean up but much to re-build.
The monsoon dubbed ‘Habagat’ that was further abetted by typhoons that hit the country recently converted several hectares of rice lands into river in barangay Cabaritan and Pindangan, Sison, Pangasinan. The dark surge of water coming from Tuba and Baguio City became more catastrophic when it also knocked down several houses and other structures that forced occupants to scamper to safety. Residents whose houses were precipitously situated were forced to evacuate by barangay officials. No report of casualties was recorded, however. Twelve hectares of farm lands were reported to have been gouged by the river, at the least.
Atty. Mina Joy Pangasinan, mayor of Sison, informed Congresswoman Kimi Cojuangco of the critical state of the two barangays and also those affected by the breached Bued River closure dike along barangay Artacho.
The gravity of the devastation impelled the lady solon to call the head of the National Flood Control Office in Manila who immediately dispatched his men to come to Sison to conduct evaluation and endorsements for immediate restoration or required engineering.
Postponing some of her official commitments, the congresswoman took the long trip back to her district to see the plight of her constituents who were hurt by the monsoon and typhoons. “Don’t worry! Your problem here has been attended to. Your mayor and I sought the help of the national office directly and enormous steps to alleviate your situation is currently remedied!'” the Congresswoman said to the residents as they gathered around her like children who missed their mother for a long time.
“We are doing our best from our side. At least our request was moved to the quick response fund. There is nothing else I can do but follow up and make ‘kulit’. Unless of course I strangle their necks which of course I can’t do!”
she also said in jest.
Through the dogged efforts of the congresswoman and due to the urgency of the situation, priority for the project was expedited.
Along with her visit were big containers of the yummy fresh cow’s milk from the district’s Sun Fresh District Dairy. The children and the old kept scurrying for refills of their cups from the congresswoman and mayor who delightedly poured them more milk directly.