A task force will soon be formed to devise ways to rehabilitate major rivers in Negros Oriental that were affected by Typhoon Sendong.

Gov. Roel Degamo is expected to issue an executive order this week formally creating Task Force Kinabuhi, said Capitol Information Officer Adrian Sedillo.


Silliman University president and known environmentalist Dr. Ben Malayang III was selected to lead Task Force Kinabuhi, during a meeting attended by mayors of 10 storm-affected towns and cities and Gov. Degamo last January 4.

The task force aims to conduct studies on rivers in the province focusing first on Okoy, Banica and Tanjay rivers, and to come up with simple and practical solutions on how to rehabilitate them and prevent flooding to occur again here.

Okoy, Banica and Tanjay rivers overflowed during the onslaught of Typhoon Sendong that struck the province on Dec. 17, 2011.

One of Dr. Malayang’s initial recommendations presented during said meeting is to put up canals and water impounding projects in the major tributaries of Okoy and Banica rivers.
Another measure he suggested is to plant more bamboos along riverbanks. Sedillo said the task force will convene again 15 days after the issuance of said order to discuss what measures will be implemented first based on their study.

The provincial government is currently conducting re-channeling, dredging and deepening activities along Banica and Okoy rivers. Sedillo said the provincial government has allotted P8 million for the rental fee of heavy equipment used in said activities.

Another P5 million is allotted for the construction of gabions as flood-control measure. (RMN/PIA Negros Oriental)