Dagupan to ask DPWH rebuild, reinforce dikes


OTHER causes and solutions to the prolonged flood that hit Dagupan for almost two weeks aside from the Sinocalan River will be discussed on August 6 when the city council holds a committee hearing.

The hearing will discuss a draft resolution presented by Councilor Jose Netu Tamayo requesting Public Works Secretary Mark Villar to prepare and implement a more comprehensive flood control program for the province, particularly, towns traversed by the Sinocalan River.

The resolution seeks to request Secretary Villar initially to fast track the construction of sturdier dikes along the Sinocalan River in Sta. Barbara to fully protect the city from massive flooding.

Tamayo presented his draft resolution during the last regular session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) at the Event Center of the Metro Plaza. (The SP session located at the third floor of the SP building was used as storage area for office records, supplies and equipment when the first floor of city hall was inundated).

Invited to the committee hearing are officials of the DPWH, especially its flood control office, city engineer’s office, city planning office, barangay captains and business sector.

Tamayo said the prolonged flood in Dagupan City was aggravated by the collapse of an earth dike along the Sinocalan River at the height of torrential rains over a wide area in Pangasinan and the Cordilleras.

He said the torrential rains that started July 18 caused by the southwest monsoon, exacerbated by Typhoons “Inday “and “Josie”, made Sinocalan River swell and overflowed its banks.

Mayor Belen Fernandez reported over P100-million damages to aquaculture/fisheries and infrastructure as a result of the  one-week flooding. Classes were also suspended for a week.

The ordeal of the Dagupeños, he said, will continue unless the dikes along the Sinocalan River are restored and reinforced to withstand bigger volume of water.

He added that the city and the provincial government cannot possibly fund the cost of reconstructing the damaged dikes, the city has to appeal to Secretary Villar to build the structure.

The Dagupan SP learned that the DPWH already completed three flood control projects in Central Iloilo town and soon to finish another 12 flood mitigation structures in Leyte.

Since Dagupan is the catch basin of all water coming from the uplands through the Sinocalan River, the city government appeals to DPWH to include Dagupan and Pangasinan as beneficiaries of its flood control projects.

The DPWH, upon the request of Mayor Belen Fernandez, sent three dredging machines to Dagupan, one of which bogged down and needs immediate repair.

The dredging machine needing repair is the biggest of three that can dredge the sandbars that accumulated at the mouth of the Calmay River to the Lingayen Gulf. (With report from Leonardo Micua)


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