Residents insist on staying while they stand on the edge a newly eroded section of their neighborhood.
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Lower Bayanihan Street in Barangay Commonwealth in Quezon City has been declared landslide prone.
The local government of Quezon City said soil erosion has been common in the area which increases the risk of a landslide and endangering the lives of hundreds of residents.
Local officials admit they have warned the residents many times especially ahead of the rainy season but the residents seem unconvinced and no one wants to leave despite the danger.
“Paulit ulit na nating sinasabi sa ating mga kapitbahay na pagka nandyan na iyong instruction para mag evacuate dahil may napipintong peligro, sana makinig naman ang ating mga kapitbahay at lumikas na,” said City Administrator Aldrin Cuña.
Some residents said they understand fully the concern of the local government as they too have sleepless nights, especially during a heavy downpour. However, they say they have no choice as they earn their living in the area.
“Kung lilipat pa po kami sa malayo, paano po ang hanapbuhay ng mga asawa naming? Nandito po (ang trabaho nila). Ang hirap po ng kalagayan namin kung i-relocate pa kami sa malayo,” said Jonalyn Ramos who has been living in the area for 20 years already together with her family.
The local government also admits they have not planned yet for the relocation of residents in Lower Bayanihan citing the long process of a request for relocation from the National Housing Authority (NHA).
“Ang tanging challenge na lang siguro ay ang pakikipagugnayan ng pamahalaang lokal sa National Housing Authority upang mabigyan sila ng tinatawag nating housing units na paglilipatan. Iyon ang ma-trabahong portion ng disaster resiliency ang pag-relocate ng residenteng nasa danger zone”
In August 2012, nine lives were lost to a landslide at Lower Bayanihan Street also following non-stop rains.
The QC government is also monitoring the situation in Barangay Payatas which is also a landslide-prone area. – Mon Jocson / Marje Pelayo