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Wanted: Super body to check flooding

By Leonardo Micua

WHILE most of us were still snoring in bed, Tropical Depression Jenny crossed Northern Luzon and sneaked past Dagupan City and Pangasinan. And before we could switch on our TV to get the latest update on the weather, “Jenny” was already howling at approximately 125 kilometers west of Dagupan.

So gentle, so sweet and so fast was “Jenny” that many of us did not know it was already gone when we woke up from our deep slumber.  It was exactly the opposite of Typhoon “Ineng”, which pummeled northern part of the country a few days before Jenny entered. Its unprecedented rains caused floods that destroyed crops and public and private properties in Ilocos Norte and La Union.

We were lucky we were spared by both weather disturbances. Had we been in the way, “Jenny” and “Ineng” would have wrought havoc on the ready to be harvested rice crops planted by farmers.

In Dagupan, some fish farmers were ready to harvest their bangus in anticipation of heavy rains that maybe dumped by “Jenny” but postponed it when they saw no heavy downpour coming.    

But despite the absence of rains from “Jenny”, some areas in Dagupan and in Calasiao were still underwater as usual because of high tide occurring in rivers connected to the Lingayen Gulf. 

What else is new in Dagupan? Tidal flood is a regular ordeal, which is something every Dagupeño must live with every rainy season. Unless an effective solution is found today, the next generation will still be wading in floodwaters for decades if the city has not yet sunk to the bottom of the sea.

But a ray of hope was given by Fourth District Rep. Toff de Venecia when he was inspecting his ongoing flood mitigation project in the southern bank of the Pantal River.

Toff said he is now about ready to file a bill in Congress that proposes the creation of the Pangasinan Integrated Flood Control System (PIFCS), a super body akin to the Pampanga Integrated Flood Control Project hat will address the flooding not only in Dagupan but in the whole province.

He said in talks with officials of DPWH and NEDA, a feasibility study on the proposed flood control by that super body will hopefully end the flooding in Pangasinan. 

Since rivers in Pangasinan are inter-connected, it is logical to expect the national government and LGUs to be coordinated in formulating the plan. Toff believes that developments should not be concentrated in Dagupan alone, but in all other cities and towns in Pangasinan.

He said the PIFCS once created and provided a regular yearly allocation for its programs and projects, will accomplish that.  

It’s important that all Pangasinan congressmen support the creation of PIFCS to impress upon the national government of the gravity of the situation. 

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Police arrested a jueteng collector, a resident of Careenan Street in Dagupan City, at the Malimgas Public Market by virtue of an arrest warrant for the crime of Violation of Republic Act No. 9287 with a recommended bail bond of P120,000.

RA 8267 imposes the penalty of imprisonment for eight years and one day to 10 years for his violation of the law. Let the recent arrest warn others that they stand to rot in jail because of the higher bail bond being required by the court. 

A lowly jueteng collector cannot be expected to produce P120,000 in an instant as bail bond. The arrest of that jueteng collector could indicate that the illegal numbers game is back in Dagupan despite the one-strike policy of the police on presence of jueteng and any form of gambling vs police chiefs.

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