The national government is set to implement multi-million worth of projects that could help alleviate flooding in areas around the Mindanao River Basin (MRB), particularly in Cotabato City and the provinces of Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat.
The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) told Philippine Information Agency 12 in a statement that Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson has announced the commitment of funds for projects including dredging, construction of dikes, and widening of cut-off channels in identified areas of MRB.
“The projects must be implemented the soonest to mitigate recurring flooding that has been displacing thousands of residents and damaging livelihood and properties in the area especially during torrential rains,” Singson said as quoted in the MinDA statement.
Singson also assured local officials in a meeting at the sidelines of the 22nd Business Conference held recently in Davao City that these projects “are not merely band-aid solutions to the perennial flooding in MRB.
Present in the said meeting were President Benigno Aquino III, MinDA chair Luwalhati Antonino as well as Governors Daisy Avance-Fuentes of South Cotabato, Emmylou Mendoza of North Cotabato, Esmael Mangudadatu of Maguindanao and Suharto Mangudadatu of Sultan Kudarat.
Earlier, MinDA endorsed to DPWH several flood control projects with an estimated cost of P6.9 billion that include the dredging and widening of the 7.7-kilometer cut-off channel to divert flood water from Ambal-Simuay River directly to Illana Bay without passing through the Rio Grande de Mindanao to protect the populated areas of Cotabato City and the municipality of Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.
“The dredging of Rio Grande de Mindanao and construction of dike along the Tunggol cut-off channel in Pulangui River will also protect the Tunggol Bridge that connects the Davao-Cotabato National Highway and adjacent communities,” said Secretary Antonino.
She added that a riverbank protection project in Ala River will also be constructed to avoid flooding in the Municipality of Lambayong.
MinDA is also pursuing non-structural solutions to complement with DPWH’s infrastructure projects in MRB.
“Although we see the flood control projects as an immediate step to curb flooding around the MRB, MinDA, through its MindaNOW Nurturing Our Waters (MindaNOW) program in partnership with key government agencies and local government units, is also adopting bio-engineering measures for erosion control and slope stabilization,” explained Antonino.
Press Release, August 27, 2013