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When the Oceans rise and the Thunder falls
24. May 2019 at 00:26
This explores the often complex yet linear connection between the extensive flood crisis in the city of Dagupan which is situated in the quaint province of Pangasinan nested within the Philippines islands. It aims to give a rational insight on the cause of the crisis as well as how the local government unit is handling it amidst backlash.

Dagupan City is a well – known metropolitan community that is home to fisherfolks and is gifted with the subtle natural beauty of coastal beaches and distinct flavors of seafood cuisine immortalized through its famed milkfish. Housing over 171, 271 citizens in its banks, Dagupan City is the place to be for international students, budding entrepreneurs, adventure seekers and for those who wish to reside in an urban – rural landscape that exemplifies the highest values of safety and order alongside with youth development.

         Despite these immense positive aspects that lures in numerous visitors every year, the downside of living in the commercial hub of the North is the geologic landscape that is comprised of pliant soil and strong waves that come in from the different bodies of water surrounding the city. Aside from the aforementioned fact is that Dagupan unfortunately serves as the unwilling catch basin of excess water streaming in from neighboring towns and from the rivers of Agno and Sinocalan. Thus, the presence of low pressure areas and the undeniable possibility of the formation of tropical cyclones heighten disaster risk concerns of Dagupeños due to the severe flooding that might occur.

         However, it might be helpful to note that Dagupan is not a stranger when it comes to experiencing floods; in fact, Dagupan City has been a resilient witness to three of the most devasting floods to hit the Philippines. Tracing back the history of the city, the first killer flood that wiped out the old Franklin Bridge, that connected the quaint Barangay Calmay to the city center, and Dagupan’s first sectarian school, St. Albertus Magno College was in 1935. Thirty seven years after, particularly in 1972, Dagupan was isolated by floods that ravaged the land due to the prolonged monsoon rains from June to September.  And how could one forget Typhoon Pepeng? Pepeng , in all its grandeur, established its name in the books of history for spawning rainfalls that overran the parameters of the San Roque Dam.

         From 1935 to 2009, floods served as tangible lessons to learn from in order to prepare for future unprecedented events. But whatever precautionary measures the local government unit (LGU) might have implemented was quickly dissolved when three consecutive floods caused the suspension of a month’s worth of classes along with the steady sales decline of businessmen who were unable to open their respective enterprises due to the situation. And while the economic flow was haphazardly affected, the health and safety of Dagupeños were placed at risk due to the presence of hazards such as leptospirosis or the possibility of drowning or starvation because of lack of access to nutritious food or even potable water.

         With almost millions of assets lost during the flood, local executives are coming up with a diverse set of solutions to address the problem. First and foremost, the Sangguniang Bayan invoked their authority to declare the city under a State of Calamity that enables the LGU to set and amend specific price rates, accept national and international aid relief along with disposing of the allocated Calamity Fund. Second, the Office of the Congressman of the 4th Legislative District of Pangasinan appealed to the Department of Public Works and Highways to create sufficient infrastructures that will serve as evacuation centers and fortify the current architectural design of the city center. Finally, the Vice Mayor of Dagupan City rallied businessmen and private individuals to fund an in-depth study that seeks to resolve multiple cases of flooding while establishing a research center that caters to meteorological and geological development since Dagupan is a common site of tectonic activities such as the 1990 Earthquake and often a vulnerable area when it comes to weather disturbances.

         Throughout the entire ordeal, everyone had their own share of pinpointing the blame from the administration to those under the sublevels of responsibility. Nevertheless, it is vital to take into mind that when oceans rise and thunder falls it will not matter who blames who or which caused what , all that matters is that the Dagupeños may find the strength to rely on each other to ride out any disaster.

Cite This Article As: Francine Beatriz Pradez. "When the Oceans rise and the Thunder falls." International Youth Journal, 24. May 2019.

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