Evacuees still fill Taguig, Muntinlupa schools

By Jaymee T. Gamil
Philippine Daily Inquirer


A week after torrential rains caused widespread flooding in Metro Manila, two schools in Taguig City continue to serve as evacuation centers.


In Muntinlupa, the city government said 4,013 families remained in 13 evacuation centers, 11 of which are schools. Classes, however, have resumed in all public schools in the city as of Monday.


Napindan Elementary School still housed 280 families while Eusebio Santos Elementary School was still sheltering 35 families mostly from the still-submerged Barangay Wawa, according to Ronald Galicia, chief of the Taguig disaster risk reduction and management council.


Also still flooded as of Tuesday were the PND Village and the Sta. Ana Politan Compound in Barangay Tuktukan; Ruhale Street in Calzada, and Italit Compound in Napindan.


The city’s disaster officials remained on alert as Napindan River continued to swell and with the threat posed by incoming Tropical Storm “Helen.”


“On orders of Mayor Lani Cayetano, we already have in position our assets in low-lying areas,” Galicia said.


These assets include P105-million worth of rescue and relief-transport equipment, including 30 wooden boats, two rubber boats, two amphibious vehicles and several trucks.


Galicia also said the three pumping stations in the city that broke down last week had already been fixed. Two of them had their switch-boxes fixed to a higher position after rising floodwaters last week reached them and caused a malfunction. The third had been assured of a steady supply of fuel.


The city government is set to hold medical missions today from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the worst-hit areas. At least 47 and 451 government personnel and volunteers will set up makeshift clinics in 10 barangay covered courts.


In Muntinlupa, the city government struggled to house both evacuees and students in schools starting on Monday, as several communities remained flooded due to the continuing overflow of Laguna de Bay.


“We just transferred the evacuees from the classrooms to covered courts or other areas inside the schools. We also asked them if they have families that could take them in,” said public information officer Omar Sana.


Some campuses, such as the Buli Business School and Muntinlupa Science High School, still had chest-deep floods, making it necessary to construct foot bridges.


“We managed, but it’s still a problem. For one, the evacuees and students have to share the same toilets. With the flood and the cramped spaces, the kids may also be exposed to illnesses like dengue,” Sana explained.


He admitted it was also difficult to bring relief goods to some flooded evacuation centers. “For some, we still have to use boats.”


Free doxycycline, an antibiotic against leptospirosis, has been distributed in the city.


“This flood may last for months, like in the aftermath of ’Ondoy.’ The health problems could get worse when the water becomes stagnant,” he said.

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