BALANGA, Bataan – As mandated in the Supreme Court decision to various government agencies to remove and demolish structures built along water bodies, the Provincial Government of Bataan, as the lead agency in the province, conducted an initial dialogue thru its focal person Mr. Cris Leongson of the Governor’s office with the barangay officials of Brgy. Cabcaben headed by Captain Jose Yambao, along with its residents and other representatives from DENR, DILG, NHA and LGU of Mariveles, despite being a Sunday.
Ms. Mila Ramirez and Engr. Bobet Quizon of DENR-Bataan presented and clarified to the people the background on the Supreme Court Order, the need to clear the water ways along Manila Bay with the main purpose of letting the people know that the illegal settlers along river banks and water bodies doesn’t only contribute to widespread flooding but more so, poses danger to the lives of our people especially during calamities. Engr. Bobet Quizon said that their next activity after this will be delineating areas of the affected families.
Mrs. Ines Gonzales of NHA-Bataan presented the sieve mapping they have conducted and explained the set of standards in choosing a relocation site on the basis of land use, topography, flooding and landslide susceptibility, wherein they produce a visual representation of areas that show potentials for future settlement group. Mam Gonzales also said that among barangays of Balong Antio, 2 sites in barangay Alas-asin and 2 sites in barangay Batangas Dos, Brgy. Cabcaben according to NHA official, revealed to be most suitable for the particular purpose.
On the part of the provincial government, Cris Leongson explained that he has been directed by Governor Abet Garcia to immediately act on the need for the relocation of around 1,000 displaced settlers, Leongson added that it will be the provincial government and the NHA that will take charge on the funding for the housing project in coordination with agencies for technical support like MENRO Elpidio Estiebar of LGU-Mariveles, Ms. Donna Joy Nacar of DILG, DPWH and the DENR people.
As additional information, DPWH Manila Bay project coordinator in their report stated that along 406 structures in the 4 barangays in Balanga City have encroached into the Talisay river while 114 houses were found to have impeded the flow of waters in the PEVTOR-Balsic river in Dinalupihan town.