“Malabon needs help.”
This was the cry of citizens on social media as parts of the city in Northern Manila drown in floodwaters for over three weeks already.
Twitter users reposted images and clips of submerged houses and structures uploaded by some residents online.
“MALABON NEEDS HELP!!! For 2 weeks straight, lubog sa baha ang Malabon. Jobs were disrupted. Sobrang hirap ang mga estudyante,” one user wrote, posting pictures that were originally uploaded by Facebook user Harold Roque.
“Mind you, those photos were taken nang hindi pa umuulan like, GANON SIYA KALALA,” the online user added.
Last Wednesday, Roque shared pictures and a video in Barangay Hulong Duhat in Malabon City that shows some residents using small boats and other floating devices in residential streets.
“We are demanding the attention of the LGU (local government unit) to please provide humanly assistance and utmost urgency in fixing the broken floodgates, which have been causing the waist-level (close to Ondoy) na flooding for 2 weeks now. Partida, wala pang ulan ‘yan. Hindi ito kaya ng Barangay-level lang, please,” he wrote.
“Dami ng nasirang gamit, lumubog na bahay at naperwisyong hanap buhay. We deserve better, people,” Roque added.
Another Twitter user reposted a video of residents holding a swimming contest in the floodwaters.
“So baha dito sa Malabon for about 2-3 weeks na and ongoing pa rin dahil sa nasirang prinsa daw. Dami ko nakikita na video of people swimming, daming bahay na pinasok ng tubig…” the user wrote.
“Mind you, walang ulan, walang bagyo… Pero lubog ang part na ‘to ng Malabon. Nakakalungkot lang isipin na ang bagal ng aksyon pero sobrang bilis nung bago mag-eleksyon,” the post continued.
The video was from Facebook user Princess Monica Castelo who posted it last Thursday. It was also taken in the same village.
Other Twitter users lamented the perceived lack of coverage in the area, referencing the shutdown of ABS-CBN’s broadcasting operations.
“Grabe, ‘di masyadong nane-news ‘yung baha sa Malabon/Valenzuela/Obando for days now. This is what happens when u (you) prioritize the shutdown of reliable news companies,” someone wrote.
Last December, Filipinos lamented anew the loss of the broadcasting giant’s regional stations which were usually the first in line when it comes to disaster reporting.
This is because the network has dedicated reporters assigned to different areas across the country through its ABS-CBN Regional Network Group.
The grievances came after Typhoon “Odette” ravaged parts of the country on Christmas month.
Meanwhile, there have been online reports about Malabon and its flooding since the beginning of June.
Videos about the situation were also uploaded on the internet two weeks ago by different networks.
A report by ABS-CBN on Friday revealed that residents of Don Basilio Bautista in Brgy. Hulong Duhat was still being affected by floodwaters.
The flooding was attributed to the ongoing repairs of the Metro Manila Development Authority‘s flood gates in Dampalit and Tanza, which are also accompanied by the daily high tides of rivers.
There is also the threat of rain showers due to the southwest monsoon, which is enhanced by Tropical Storm Domeng and Severe Tropical Storm Chaba (formerly “Caloy”).
MMDA officials say the repair work is challenging since it is done underwater. Their personnel cannot go under when it is raining or during high tides, making them stop the operation.
The city government is advising the affected residents to approach them if they have foot wounds so they will be given medicines against leptospirosis.
It is a bacterial infection caused by contact in water contaminated by urine or fluids of infected animals.