TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Rep. Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang questioned the motive of those who facilitated the passage of a resolution during the province’s monthly Kapihan sa Kapitolyo urging the Department of Public works and Highways – Lower Kalinga Engineering District (DPWH-LKED) to hold in abeyance the implementation of the P5.5 billion Chico River mega-dike project until such time that the feasibility study and the master plan of the project shall have been presented and adopted by the Provincial Development Council (PDC), saying that there is already an effort among his detractors to sow confusion among the people regarding the real benefits of the project in solving the flooding problems along the lower portions of the major river system.
The first-term lawmaker explained that the resolution is not actually the product of a meeting of the PDC but instead it was an offshoot of the discussions during the regular monthly meeting at the Provincial Capitol.
He added that majority of the signatories to the purported PDC resolution reportedly denied having knowledge of the contents of the document because what they knew was that their signatures were affixed to the attendance sheet that they were requested to sign.
“We never excluded anybody in the conduct of the previous consultations regarding the Chico River mega-dike project because we have in possession pertinent documents that they were actually informed about t5he plans for the mega-dike as early as two years ago,” Mangaoang, who is also serving as the caretaker congressman of Mountain Province, stressed.
Mangaoang asserted the mega-dike project which will be funded through the so-called multi-year funding from the DPWH has been seen as the sustainable and long-term solution to the perennial flooding in the 16 barangays of lower Tabuk City and 5 barangays of Pinukpuk.
According to him, the construction of an 18-kilometer long and 300-meter wide flood control along the identified critical portions of the Chico River will definitely address flooding in the said areas aside from serving as alternate routes, ecotourism destinations, business hubs and the site of the put up of an air strip that will contribute in enticing foreign and domestic visitors to patronize the scenic tourist destinations of Kalinga in the future.
The lawmaker challenged critics of the project to participate in closely monitoring the implementation of the project whether or it project implementors are strictly adhering to project standards and specifications for the sake of transparency for them to see for themselves the quality of the projects that were and will be implemented.
Mangaoang also vehemently denied the allegations of his detractors that the P1.2 billion previously earmarked for calamity projects for the different parts of the province was realigned for the mega-dike project, saying that the projects that were previously identified based on the investigations and validations conducted by the agencies after the onslaught of the calamities are the ones that will be implemented in the different calamity-stricken areas around the province.
He emphasized the implementation of the calamity projects will be done by the concerned government agencies where the funds were lodged while the mega-dike project will be the sole responsibility of the DPWH-LKED through the so-called multi-year funding to guarantee its completion within a short period of time.