The challenge of flooding
By Leonardo Micua
ABALANG ko no onsabi la’y balon mayor, nabalang la’y delap”, an exasperated woman vendor on Galvan Street whined just a few meters away from us on day one of the administration of Mayor Brian Lim.
We did not give this a hoot as it would be unfair to judge the new mayor only in his first day in office as we know he’s no Superman who can fix the flood problem in one quick glance.
We know that in this period of the year, tidal flooding is a daily occurrence, almost a routine, in many coastal areas of the Pantal River that empties its water down the Lingayen Gulf. If you are familiar with the city’s geography, there are six other rivers crisscrossing Dagupan City that disgorge their water to the gulf, a part of South China Sea.
Add to this the fact that Dagupan lies one meter below sea level, and is actually the catch basin of water coming from the upland in the Cordilleras.
In this period of the year, water from the Pantal River is overflowing into adjacent residential areas as well as commercial areas along the entire stretch of A. B. Fernandez Avenue, the city’s main thoroughfare, including Herrero St. and other southern barangays crisscrossed by the river.
Areas far from the river also get flooded as water from the river is back-flowing into drainage canals, which you know is the cause of daily tidal floods on Galvan street and other inland streets.
This is also the same problem that besets the intersections of Arellano, A.B. Fernandez Avenue, and M.H. Del Pilar Street where tidal water rises even when it is not raining cats and dogs, preventing pedestrians from crossing when they see the green light in the traffic signal.
Residents of Greenfields Subdivision in Malued as well as the Maramba Bankers Village in Bonuan Gueset are not spared from the rituals of wading in daily tidal floods at this time of the year.
We are still lucky that the big monsoon rains have not come or else we would be looking at a situation similar to what had happened during last year’s July to August floods that hit Dagupan that we say cost Belen Fernandez her mayorship.
If the new city administration wants to save Galvan Street, which is the gateway to the Malimgas Public Market as well as Magic Centerpoint, CentroMart and MC Adore, which has now developed into a market, it must continue with the plan of the past city administration to elevate it and make it flood-free.
However, raising Galvan street could exacerbate the flooding in the premises of the city hall, which by the way the new city administration intends to keep and improve or replace it with a multi-level structure, and its adjoining peripheries.
It seems that the only solution left for us now is to raise Dagupan for us to survive from the intense effect of climate change for the next two or three decades.
But we have to wait for Brian to institute the necessary solution to our flooding problem. We know he has assembled the best minds in the city to be in his circles of advisers so that he can solve the city’s ills.
We also learned that before he finally assumed office, he already consulted with the mayor of Navotas, a coastal city in Metropolitan Manila, which we know has far greater flood problem than Dagupan.
Hopefully, he had learned from the Navotas mayor how he and his people are coping with a far higher seasonal flood than what presently ills Dagupan today.
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The arrest only three nights ago of a father from Barangay Bogaoan, San Carlos City who made his four daughters his sex slaves since they were young, has prompted calls in Pangasinan for the reimposition of a death penalty in our penal laws.
According to P/Colonel Rollyfer Capoquian, chief of police, the girls were being abused one after the other inside their house every time their mother left for work.
When the rapist was presented by the policemen to media men following a press conference, we surmised he may be taking drugs as we believed that only a man with a beastly mind can do this crime to his own daughters.
Rape is a heinous crime under our own laws. The rapist, especially if the victim is his own fleece and blood, deserves more than life imprisonment.
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