Congressman Enrique “Tet” Garcia, 2nd district, has appealed to DPWH secretary Rogelio Singson to allow the renting of a dredging machine to immediately dredge the heavily-silted coastal areas of Balanga, saying “if we do not act now, we have to pay it dearly.”
Earlier, the DPWH has sought at least P500 million yearly fund for seven years to solve the severe flooding problems in the province, including Northern Bataan towns.
DPWH 1st district engineer Wilfredo S. Mallari told this correspondent that the amount was actually recommended by DPWH regional office after conducting the programs of works for the projects to include massive dredging, diversion and rechanneling of water ways, among others.
“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.
Alarmed by the flooding problem, Gov. Abet S. Garcia and Congressman Garcia had in fact appealed to President Aquino to set aside fund for the problem, following the severe flooding that hit Bataan, particularly towns of Dinalupihan, Hermosa, Orani and other parts of Second district.
“We 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,” Mallari told the governor.
Citing the comprehensive study made by the DPWH regional office, Engineer Mallari said that they proposed for a three phases-urgent, short term and medium term- under what they called alternatives 1, 2 and 3.
The estimated total financial and economic cost on the three alternatives projects are, Engr. Mallari pointed out, estimated to be P3,291,709,634 on the alternative 1; P2,735,296.342 on the Alternative 2; and P2,128,978.975 on Alternative 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.
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.