Mallari said that the amount was actually recommended by DPWH regional director Antonio Molano after “computed” the program of works for massive dredging, diversion and rechanneling of water ways, among others.
To better serve its purpose, Gov Abet S Garcia, Foreign consultant Brent Berry who represented the DPWH secretary, Director Molano, Mallari, Mayor Danilo Malana of Hermosa town and District engineer Reynaldo Venturina of the Second district, held a meeting in Balanga city to discuss the mechanics of the massive dredging projects.
“The project estimated cost needs at least P3.5 billion (not P7 billion as earlier reported), and this was the recommendation made by the DPWH regional office to be implemented in the next seven years, starting this year (if there is available fund),” pointed out Engr. Mallari.
Earlier, Gov. Garcia and Congressman Enrique “Tet” Garcia (2nd district) appealed to Pres Aquino and Sec Singson to act on their request for dredging fund following the severe flooding that hit Bataan, particularly towns of Dinalupihan, Hermosa, Orani Balanga city and other parts of Second district.
Mallari said They had already crafted a feasibility studies on how to address the flooding problem in the towns of Dinalupihan and Hermosa in Bataan and Lubao town, Pampanga, together with the cost of the projects that would take seven years to do it.
Under the scheme, the District engineer said that the DPWH regional office had proposed for a three phases-urgent, short term and medium term- under what they called alternatives 1, 2 and 3.
On the urgent measures (Phase 1) , Mallari said that a dredging on Almacen river and Sabo dam would be implemented, while on short term measures (Phase 2)include the creation of Layac diversion channel and the construction/rehabilitation of the Palihan bridge.
A Palihan bridge worth less than P200 million, however, had been constructed years ago by the DPWH regional office, earning the ire of provincial leaders and local newsmen here since the bridge was virtually a “useless” as it was just established atop of the rice field that motorists up to now cannot understand its usage “but newsmen see it as a mere apparent wastage of government’s money that needs to be investigated.”
Newsmen learned that Dinalupihan and Hermosa towns were severely hit by flash floods for the past several years or since the construction of the SCTEx, blamed for being poorly designed if not “half-baked” since some parts of the area (SCTEx) had become a water impounding area during rainy season.
“We are also looking into this complaint,” said Governor Garcia, when informed about it (water impounding) along the SCTEx Dinalupihan area.
Rep. Tet Garcia had expressed fear that the province will pay dearly if the severe flooding problem will not be solved immediately.
A governor for the last Nine consecutive years, Rep Garcia said that the province needs to purchase or rent a new dredging Machine that could dredge as soon as possible the heavily-silted Almacen river, and other major water ways that were seen to be the cause of severe flooding in the province.