SARRAT, Ilocos Norte, Jan.5 (PIA) – An export company has admitted liability in the overspill of a river in this town due to its sudden release of river water without prior public notice.
Officials of Omnico, a gravel exporter, have reportedly apologized to the Sarrateños thru Sarrat Mayor Edito Balintona for negligence in coordinating with the local government before releasing volume of water into the river.
Balintona told reporters that the overspill from the river resort caused damages to fish cages and commercial cottages that small businessmen have been operating.
“We have yet to determine how much damages the business owners have suffered. But we will make an assessment and make the company pay,” he said.
Balintona earlier said the local government will help affected cottage owners in suing the company should they refuse to pay the damages they incurred.
Company representatives have reportedly sat down with the mayor and assured them of prompt payment for the damages once the amount has been determined.
The Sarrat river resort is one of the popular destinations during the holiday and summer breaks.
Resort operators said they were caught by surprise when the river started swelling when no rains were observed during the Holiday season.
Balintona said owners were still lucky that no life was lost at the time the river started swelling.
“It would have been a disaster if there were river frolickers who got drowned during the overspill,” he added. (Cristina Arzadon)