Random Thoughts

Soon, flood gates in Dagupan

By Leonardo Micua


THE good news is, Typhoon ‘Rosita’ that packed gusty winds of up to 150 kilometers per hour did not generate much rain and exacted only negligible damages in Pangasinan compared to past typhoons like “Ompong”.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) and the Pangasinan PNP confirmed that no flooding occurred in any of the 47 towns and cities.

According to the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, the occurrence of light flooding in some places was limited to few coastal areas due to moderate storm surge.

The bad news is, the collapsed dike in Barangay Alibago, Sta. Barbara has yet to be restored by the DPWH, making Sta. Barbara, Calasiao, Dagupan and parts of Binmaley still vulnerable to future floods.  That dike collapsed in July this year when the Sinocalan River overflowed at the height of the monsoon rains in July. It has not yet been repaired by the DPWH.

The damaged dike is under the jurisdiction of the Highways District Office No. 4 covering the Third District based in Sta. Barbara town.

We were informed that the collapsed infrastructure was already reported to the DPWH  office, which had to allocate funds for its restoration. But why the delay?  What’s taking too long for the project to be implemented? Is it the usual bureaucratic red tape in government that’s blocking the implementation of the needed repair? If the fund was already downloaded, why hasn’t a bidding conducted?

The DPWH should treat this project with utmost priority. Any undue delay on the part of the agency could spell another disaster for Dagupan, Sta. Barbara, Calasiao and parts of Binmaley as they will surely go underwater again in the event another huge volume of rainwater from upstream flow to the Sinocalan River.

Thank God, Typhoon ‘Rosita’ only unleashed floodwater from sporadic rains, otherwise it could have caused extreme flooding again in the usual flood-prone areas. .

We in Dagupan were spared. But until when?

We hope the project in Barangay Alibago will not be lost in the maelstrom of bureaucratic red tapes.  We hope too that the Build, Build, Build Project of the DPWH under Secretary Mark Villar will finally reach Pangasinan and Dagupan soon. We all deserve that. After all, Pangasinan is the third most populous province in the entire country today.

Another good news: The DPWH, according to Mayor Belen Fernandez, has agreed to build flood gates at Barangay Poblacion Oeste where water from the Calmay river enters during high tide that can be closed during high tide and opened during low tide.

Elevation of  the Malued road as well as A.B. Fernandez Avenue West are ongoing while a dike is set to be built soon at the back of Nazareth Hospital, all funded by the DPWH.

Mayor Belen credited Fourth District Congressman Toff de Venecia for the implementation of these projects, including an evacuation center in Bonuan Boquig.

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