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Cotabato City safe amid floods

Last Sunday June 26, 2011, I was with 9 other Soccsksargen Bloggers who were invited to see first hand  the situation in Cotabato City after floods hit the city and it's neighboring towns in Maguindanao Province and some part of Sultan Kudarat. 

Pagdating  namin ng Tamontaka Bridge ay ini-welcome na kami ng aming mga guide as we have officially entered Cotabato City after more than 2 hours of travel from General Santos City, the guide have repeatedly told us that we're safe in the city as there were presence of Philippine Marines and other law enforcers along the streets. Grabe ang police and military visibility! 

We then headed  to see the water hyacinths clogged at Delta Bridge, this was reportedly causing the floods in Cotabato City. 
Water Hyacinths flowing the Rio Grande de Mindanao
Napakadaming tao sa Delta Bridge, parang naging tourist attraction na ito at ang mga water hyacinths. May nagsabi din na ang mga tao ay nag-aabang ng distribution ng relief goods.
It was also in Delta Bridge that we met  Atty. Frances Cynthia Guiani- Sayadi, she is the City Administrator of Cotabato City and sister to Mayor Jojo Guiani. She explained to the group what was really causing the floods in the area and the undertakings their LGU have been doing to solve the problem. The city administrator also answered the question raised by the group regarding the controversies on the highly politicized giving of relief goods to the victims. 

It can be recalled that Cotabato City Mayor Japal Guiani, Jr.  criticized no less than President Aquino for not providing a quick and immediate solution to the water hyacinths problem and not bringing relief goods to the victims on his visit, parang  namasyal lang daw ito sa area.

We then proceeded to see the evacuation centers in the city.
The school gym in Cotabato City Pilot School has become the temporary shelter of more than a thousand Cotabateños for 3 weeks.
Messages addressed to the leadership of the DSWD. 
Signs of support to the City Mayor after Malacanang Palace defended Pres. Aquino and called Mayor Guiani, Jr. a liar.

For me, after seeing the situation of the victims in the 3 evacuation centers that we have visited that day in Cotabato City for the problem to be solve the local government units and the national agencies involved should first unite and cooperate with each other and with the communities. 

Cotabato city is safe and is a very nice place, the leaders there  should face the problem squarely, it's not the right time to blame each other, they should give immediate solutions to the victims in need, and think of a long-term solution regarding the water hyacinths and the flooding problems, leave politics aside, there are so many works to be done.

Group Picture outside the People's Palace.  PHOTO COURTESY of  KYAWSTER

Bits and Facts:

  • Using the road from Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat, we pass through nine (9) towns of Maguindanao in less than 1 hour of travel before reaching Cotabato City.
  1. Datu Abdullah Sangki
  2. Ampatuan
  3. Shariff Aguak
  4. Datu Unsay Ampatuan
  5. Talayan
  6. Datu Saudi Ampatuan
  7. Guindulungan
  8. Talitay
  9. Datu Odin Sinsuat
  • Husky Bus is the lone bus company plying the Cotabato City- General Santos City route.
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