The long term solution

By Leonardo Micua


IF there is one upcoming project in Dagupan that should be given its due course, it is the flood mitigation project in the flood-prone intersection of A.B. Fernandez Avenue, Arellano Street and M.H. del Pilar Street.

A project of the DPWH at the request of the Dagupan City government, it will hopefully end the perennial flood in that area during the rainy season. It is one project that must be done  and should be given way.

Set to start in the next few days if not just a couple of weeks, the project will see the installation of a bigger drainage system that would empty its water down the Pantal River, just below the Quintos Bridge.

And when this is done, elevation of these stretches by approximately one meter above the usual flood level will be next.

It has become imperative for owners of business establishments in the area to also raise their properties because unless they do, rain water will remain in low lying areas where the rainwater will naturally flow aside from the covered manholes in the streets.

That my friend, is a difficult task to do given the tight money situation of most of our local businessmen nowadays.

But methinks that rather than continuously getting inconvenienced every heavy rains fall as flooding is an ordeal for years that already drained much energy and resources of our indomitable local traders, it’d be wiser for them to go with the tide and elevate their locations.

Conceived as a possible cure-all solution to the frequent flooding in that area, the project may yet prevent the back flow of water from the Pantal River, which always happens during high tide.

It is no secret that because Dagupan is one meter below sea level, the water from adjacent river flows inland, especially in the central business district, during high tide. And where else will the excess floodwater go except the drainage canals?

Construction of this project will take months and probably a year but we just have to  grin and bear it because this project is for our own good and for the good of the next  generations of Dagupeños.

We can expect long and winding traffic gridlock, like what we saw when Dagupan City underwent massive infrastructure development in the aftermath of the great 1990 earthquake, but we patiently survived. There is no other choice. This project must take place.

Shop owners may frown because of their anticipated poor sales when the construction gets going but this is only temporary. Sooner or later, they will be relieved of all their financial worries because of disruptions caused by incessant flooding.

I,  too, can just imagine the ordeal of having to tip-toe on muddy grounds every time I report to The Punch on A.B.F. Avenue.

Well, it is an ordeal that all of us must take, so progress and development can take shape in our beloved city.

By the way, this project was sought by Mayor Belen Fernandez when DPWH Regional Director Ronnel Tan called on her sometime in August last year, after only more than a month in office, and while the roads in Dagupan were submerged in floodwaters.

In this project, not a single centavo will come from the coffers of the city. Unlike the flood mitigation projects prepared by a commission formed by the past city administration, that failed to take off because funding was expected from the city government.

Mayor Belen also requested similar project to be done at the intersection of Perez Boulevard, Burgos Street and the Tapuac road,  as well as the intersection  of Perez Boulevard, Mayombo Road and M. H. Del Pilar, both also flood-prone. These two might come next.

She was right when she passed the buck – mitigating floods on national roads in the city – to the DPWH.

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