A MONITORING station will be constructed at the Bubunawan Irrigation Intake Facility in Bukidnon to improve data gathering and flood forecasting for the Cagayan de Oro River Basin. The Telemetered Rainfall and Water Level Gauging Station will be undertaken by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), NIA announced on Wednesday as the two agencies signed an agreement for the project. “There is a need to install automatic rainfall and water level gauging equipment and construct repeater/relay towers to enable the speedy transmission of hydrological data… Thus, effectively carrying out flood forecasting and warning activities,” NIA said. PAGASA will be responsible for fund sourcing and implementation. The project is part of the government’s program to mitigate the impact of flooding through the establishment of early warning systems in all major river basins in the country, NIA said.
Cagayan de Oro City, the regional center and most urbanized part of Northern Mindanao, suffers from recurrent flooding and was the hardest hit area during typhoon Sendong (international name: Washi) in December 2011. It is hosting the 3rd Philippine Environment Summit, ongoing from Feb. 26–28, which focuses on concerns and solutions relating to food security, healthy environment, and sustainable economy. Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar S. Moreno, in his welcome speech for the gathering, presented local initiatives for improving disaster resilience not just in the city but for the entire Northern Mindanao Region. “Kami rin (We too) in our small ways, inspired by the Cagayan de Oro River Basin Management Council… We learned many lessons from Sendong… Ang ating (Our) battle cry is no more Sendong.”
The multi-sector Cagayan de Oro River Basin Management Council, created in 2010, has been undertaking rehabilitation and preservation programs for the interlinked watersheds, rivers, forests and seas. — MSJ