Philippines: Master Plan Includes Dredging of Rio Grande and Tamontaka

More than 100,000 persons here have been affected by floods that continue to rise following days of incessant rains in Maguindanao and North Cotabato, officials announced.

Lawyer Cynthia Guiani Sayadi, Cotabato City administrator, said 26 of Cotabato City’s 37 villages have been submerged by flood waters for a week already forcing thousands of resident to move to safer grounds.

Some affected families prefer to stay in their homes and used bancas in moving to other places while majority opted to move to temporary evacuation centers put up by the city government.

The city, sitting in between Rio Grande de Mindanao and Tamontaka River, served as catch basin of flood water from Liguasan marshland in Maguindanao which also served as flood deposits of water from North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato.

Since the two huge rivers have been heavily silted through the years, flood water easily flow toward residential and agriculture areas, damaging properties and millions worth of agricultural crops.

Engr. Emil Sadain, ARMM’s regional DPWH secretary, told reporters the activation of the disbanded Task Force on Mindanao River Basin Rehabilitation and Development (TFMRBRD) would help address the problem.

The TFMRBRD, then chaired by Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, was disbanded by President Aquino and transferred all its functions to the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

Sadain said the disbanded task force was able to create a master plan before it was disbanded that could be very viable.

He said the master plan recommended the construction of dikes and simultaneous dredging of Rio Grande and Tamontaka Rivers.

Sadain said the same solution was tried and tested in other parts of the country, especially in the Pasig river and communities around Mt. Pinatubo.

Press Release, August 22, 2013

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