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Probe must find solution to flood woe — Speaker

Allan Velasco
Speaker Lord Allan Velasco

SPEAKER Lord Allan Velasco wants the House probe into the massive floods in Cagayan and Isabela to come up with long-term solutions to the perennial problem of typhoon-induced deluge.

The House committee on agriculture chaired by Quezon Rep. Mark Enverga, will start today the inquiry into the devastating floods that occurred in the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela amid the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses.

Velasco said the purpose of the House probe is to establish facts that could lead to corrective actions, and not to find fault.

“We hope to hear everyone’s side and get a clearer picture of the events that transpired when Typhoon Ulysses struck and caused widespread flooding in Luzon,” Velasco said.

“The aim here is to come up with solutions and legislation, if needed, to prevent the unnecessary loss of lives and properties during typhoons,” he added.

The country was hit by three successive typhoons—Quinta, Rolly and Ulysses—from late October to early November this year. Typhoon Ulysses brought with it extreme rainfall, causing dam operators to release waters that flooded nearby areas.

Reports said that the cause of deadly flooding in Cagayan province is the water released from Magat Dam as it reached critical levels.

Velasco, together with Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and Minority Leader Joseph Stephen Paduano, has filed House Resolution No. 1348 calling for an inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the cause of massive flooding that submerged the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela at the height of Typhoon Ulysses.

The panel has sent invitation to the officials of the National Irrigation Administration and the local governments of Cagayan and Isabela.

Velasco said the congressional hearing will focus on how to better address proper protocols and preparedness even before a natural disaster strikes.

“There will be more typhoons that will come our way, and we have to become better at preparations and in handling situations that call for sound judgement to prevent deaths and loss of properties from happening,” Velasco said.