LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Public Works Secretary Mark Villar assured local executives from the different parts of the Cordillera that the agency will fund the implementation of important flood control projects in flood-prone areas in the region to prevent flooding during monsoon rains and typhoons that pose a serious threat to life and limb.
Villar, who was with President Rodrigo Duterte during a post-disaster conference at the Ben Palispis Hall of the Benguet Provincial Capitol, said that there is no truth to the allegation of Apayao Gov. Elias C. Bulut, Jr. that the agency has deprived the region of flood control projects since the government focused its funding support to seawall projects in lowland communities, saying that proposals for flood control projects from local chief executives were also prioritized because of the urgent need to address flooding in low-lying areas of the region.
Secretary Villar told Gov. Bulut during an informal meeting that the agency will consider providing funding to his proposal for a flood control project along the Apayao river to address the long overdue concern of the provincial government to prevent flooding in various communities endangering lives and properties during the previous monsoon rains and typhoons.
He claimed flood control projects in the region and other areas that are suitable for the put up of the said structures are of equal importance to the seawall projects of the government in areas that have been previously identified to be in need of such projects.
“We will look into the request of Gov. Bulut so that it will be given the necessary funding in the upcoming annual budget of the agency. We do not actually discriminate on the type of projects that we fund because what is important to us is the identified project is the need of the communities and the people around the country,’ Secretary Villar stressed.
Earlier, Gov. Bulut raised during the third quarter joint meeting of the Regional development Council (RDC-CAR) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC-CAR) the alleged failure of the Cordillera Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to prioritize the provision of funds for the construction of a flood control along the Apayao river which is prone to flooding thereby posing a serious threat to the communities along the said river system.
He disclosed that the provincial government made numerous requests to the NDRRMC, CDRRMC and other concerned government agencies for the provision of funds for such project but their efforts allegedly fell on deaf ears that prompted him to raise the matter to the regional bodies to solicit their support in lobbying for the needed project funds.
The governor revealed that he will await the realization of the commitment of the Secretary on one of his priority projects to spare other communities along the river systems from being exposed to perennial flooding so that residents along the province’s mayor river system will have peace of mind during the heavy monsoon rains and typhoons that result to flooding and their evacuation to centers established for such purpose in their places.