A top official of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in the 1st District of the province is optimistic that the appropriate solutions to perennial flooding in the low-lying coastal villages of Hermosa town is the continuous dredging of waterways and construction of a cut-off channel in Almacen river.
Engineer Erlindo Flores,Jr. Bataan 1st district engineer, explained the implementation of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) feasibility study allocating P2.4 billion for the flood control program of Almacen river and nearby areas would minimize the flooding woes of the residents.
Engineer Flores Jr. said the continuous dredging of the mouth of Almacen River which had been filled with destructive lahar during the eruption of Mount Pinatubo twenty years ago and the construction of a cut-off channel will eventually control the flooding but not totally eliminate the problem.
Massive volume of lahar flowed to Almacen River and other tributaries in the towns of Dinalupihan, Hermosa and Orani.
“Kung ako tatanungin, talagang puspusan ang dapat gawing paglilinis diyan. Immediate removal of illegally-constructed fish pens and fish ponds blocking the natural flow of waters to Manila Bay and clearing of heavily-silted waterways should be undertaken ,” Flores said.
He said because of the obstructions the required 150 meters by 200 meters width could not be maintained hence the barriers and the siltation of the mouth of Almacen River, floodwaters could not drift directly out of Manila Bay.
Another solid solution to reduce flood water level there or to control and not to eliminate, is to build cut-off channel. There is a fishpond that is no longer being used and the owner agreed for us to open it),” Flores said.