Senator Christopher “Bong” Go reiterated the commitment of President Duterte to the region’s recovery measures to address the perennial flooding in the region. In his statement during the Joint Meeting of the Cagayan Valley Regional Development Council (RDC II), RDC-Advisory Committee (AdCom), Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) and the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) on 01 December 2020, Senator Go recognized the urgency to address the flooding problem that recently paralyzed the region after the typhoon Ulysses.
To ensure funding of the recovery programs, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Wendel E. Avisado shared that an additional PhP400 million will be given to the region to augment its local calamity funds. Of the total, the hardest hit provinces of Cagayan and Isabela were allocated PhP200 million and PhP123 million, respectively.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu highlighted the immediate need to dredge the heavily silted Cagayan River. He assured that the equipment of the Armed Forces of the Philippines engineering brigade are readily available to start the dredging pending the identification of a private contractor.
Among the identified recovery measures, Department of Transportation (DOTR) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade recognized three priority areas. These include the dredging of the Cagayan River, reforestation of the Sierra Madre mountain range and the maintenance of airports and seaports to ensure access and connectivity to the region.
The recent infrastructure damages have also greatly impacted the region. Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark A. Villar shared that his department is currently contemplating on increasing infrastructure capacity to withstand typhoons as strong as 350km/hour. This is in response to the recent super typhoons that have ravaged the country in the recent years. Also, additional evacuation centers will be built to augment the region’s disaster preparedness.
In response to the show of support from the national government, Nueva Vizcaya Governor Carlos M. Padilla solicited their commitment and funding support to the long terms plans and proposals of the region. Likewise, RDC2 Chair and Isabela Governor Rodolfo T. Albano, RPOC2 Chair and Cagayan Governor Manuel N. Mamba and Quirino Governor Dakila Carlo E. Cua thanked Senator Go and the Cabinet Secretaries for joining the meeting and for their commitments to support the region’s rehabilitation and recovery efforts from TY Ulysses.