House probe on ‘Ulysses’ floods to focus on corrective solutions

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MANILA, Philippines – Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on Monday said the probe on the devastating “Ulysses” floods will focus on coming up with long-term solutions to prevent life and property losses in future typhoons.

Velasco said the House inquiry set on Tuesday would also draw out a “clearer picture” of the events that transpired when Typhoon Ulysses struck and caused widespread flooding in Luzon, not to “find fault” but to provide corrective actions.

“The aim here is to come up with solutions and legislation, if needed, to prevent the unnecessary loss of lives and properties during typhoons,” Velasco said.

The probe is pursuant to House Resolution 1348 calling for an inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the cause of massive flooding that submerged the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela during the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses.

He said Typhoon Ulysses brought with it extreme rainfall causing dam operators to release waters that flooded nearby areas.

He noted that the deadliest of this was the flooding in Cagayan province where officials released water from Magat Dam after it reached a critical level.

The panel will begin its investigation on Tuesday as it invited officials of the National Irrigation Administration and the local governments of Cagayan and Isabela.

Velasco said the congressional hearing will focus on how to better address proper protocols and preparedness even before a natural disaster strikes.

“There will be more typhoons that will come our way, and we have to become better at preparations and in handling situations that call for sound judgment to prevent deaths and loss of properties from happening,” Velasco said.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said “Ulysses” claimed 73 lives and brought about PHP10 billion worth of damages to infrastructure and agriculture in Luzon.

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