MAGUINDANAO – More than 4,000 families are now affected by floods in the town of Datu Montawal, Maguindanao due to rains experienced in parts of Mindanao.
Residents who refused to stay in evacuation centers managed to put up their stalls and tents along the national highway.
A wife of a barangay kagawad, Ely Belontendos, said they will stay along the streets to guard their houses and watch over their farm animals.
The last time Datu Montawal experienced flooding was on December 6 during the height of Typhoon Pablo, but floodwaters submerged only a few barangays overnight.
Datu Montawal town mayor Datu Ohto Montawal said the water this time came from Bukidnon, which passed through a protection dike in Kabacan town.
"Doon dumadaan ang tubig pero weak na kasi siya kaya pati ‘yung barangay sa highway binabaha na rin," Montawal said.
All 11 barangays have been submerged in water for 3 days now.
More than 40,000 hectares of rice and corn fields have also been affected by floodwaters.
In the latest report from the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council of ARMM, the damage to crops is estimated at P20 million and P5 million in infrastructure damages.
The local government units have already extended initial assistance to the flooded victims.
Relief goods from the Maguindanao provincial government are also underway to help the affected residents.
In Barangay Kayaga, Kabacan, North Cotabato, farmers were forced to harvest their rice fields after getting submerged in flood waters for days.
Farmers dried up the rice grains along roadside hoping these can still be sold in the market.