The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will undertake immediate river dredging works as solution to perennial and apparently worsening flooding problem in the affected areas of Kalaklan river in Zambales.
DPWH Secretary Rogelio L. Singson ordered Region 3 Director Antonio V. Molano Jr. to prepare the necessary programs of work for the needed activities so that funds may be available to engage private contractors and commence work for the dredging jobs.
Prevailing southwest monsoon or “Habagat” following the onslaught of typhoon “Odette” caused massive flooding in Northern and Central Luzon including areas of Olongapo City and some towns of Zambales.
Singson said that among the viable solutions to Olongapo City’s worsening flooding woes is to unclog the mouth of Kalaklan River from lahar and sand bar build-up through dredging to allow free passage of runoff towards the sea.
In the recent flooding, over flow of river is a result of not only of sand and Mt. Pinatubo lahar but also erosion of soil, mud, rock and other particles from the mountains cascading down to Kalaklan river and other water tributaries in the Province of Zambales.
“Regular desilting works through dredging were being undertaken at Kalaklan River to reduce siltation for several years until in August 2011 when the deployed dredger PDD III broke down its converter module and apparently machine parts are not anymore available in the market,” said Molano.
“To prevent flooding, we need to deepen the waterway of Kalaklan River with the use of dredger equipped with scooping or suction devices to remove materials from the riverbed,” Molano added.
Aside from dredging activities, DPWH is also encouraging concerned local government units to help in the efforts of removing illegal structures to include shanties encroached along riverbanks and those situated under bridges because these structures impede the flow of water and hasten the siltation process.
Press Release, September 25, 2013