June 11, 2013: The national highway connecting Cotabato City and Davao City particularly in Barangay Bulalo, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao has been always experiencing floods that cause the road to have a heavy traffic congestion that irritates commuters jammed and the residents.
This was observed Saturday morning, June 8, when UNYPAD delegates passed through the area attended a forum highlighting the presentation of Prof. Rosalie Arcala Hall, Ph.D., of the University of the Philippines Visayas on her findings on research paper titled “From Rebels to Soldiers: An Analysis of the Philippine Policy Integrating Former Moro National Liberation Front Combatants into the Armed Forces” held at the Bangsamoro Leaders Management Institute (BLMI) Office in Simuay, Sultan Kudarat.
It was almost an hour before the two UNYPAD national officers led by Secretary General Yusoph S. Lumambas allowed were to move along with the other commuters in a long queue of vehicles.
“We are surprised by the floodwater in barangay Bulalo because there was no rain in Cotabato City,” Lumambas said.
“If there is a heavy downpour in the provinces of North Cotabato and Bukidnon, it flows immediately towards Simuay River and the Rio Grande de Mindanao. This causes the level of water in Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato City to rise, which puts the residents and the riding public into a high risk,” he elucidated.
“The commuters who rode motorbikes were forced to remove their shoes and folded their pants to knees,” Lumambas furthered.
In 2011, there was an attempt initiated by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in reducing the harmful effects of the flashflood by excavating a cut-off-channel in Simuay River to allow voluminous water from upstream be diverted directly to Illana bay to ease the flooding in areas of Suktan Kudarat and Cotabato City.
Accordingly, the DPWH had allocated P17 million for the reconstruction of the Simuay River cut-off channel.
The same year, the Presidential Task Force on the Mindanao River Basin Rehabilitation and Development has started the Rehabilitation of Rio Grande de Mindanao but, due to some controversies, the projects did not prosper. (UNYPAD News)