TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Three-term Rep. Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang wants the public works department to guarantee the multi-year funding for the proposed P5.5 billion Chico River mega dike project that will address the perennial flooding in the lower barangays of the city and nearby Pinukpuk town in the future.
Mangaoang, who is on his final term as the province’s lawmaker, stated that he will make the representations with incoming Public Works Secretary Manuel Bunoan to ensure the provision of the required multi-year funding of the project that will serve as his legacy to the people of Kalinga once completed even beyond his term.
He claimed that the feasibility study of the DPWH central office on the proposed Chico River mega dike project is already completed and the agency had been constantly providing annual appropriations ranging from P100 to 200 million over the past several years that allowed the piecemeal implementation of the project.
The lawmaker pointed out that the primary purpose of the 18-kilometer long and 300 meters wide mega dike is to effectively and efficiently address the perennial flooding in the lower part of the city and nearby Pinukpuk town to stop the frequent implementation of dredging projects which are only stop-gap solutions to the problem of flooding that have a serious negative effect to the agriculture farms which are heavily flooded and eroded during the rainy and typhoon seasons.
According to him, he will recommend the annual allocation of some P900 million in the next 4 to 5 years to complete the construction of the mega dike that might run even beyond his term as the province’s lawmaker but what is important is that the perennial flooding in the lower part of the city and nearby Pinukpuk town will be permanently addressed.
The construction of the multi-billion Chico River mega dike project was conceptualized in 2017 with the public works department started providing an annual appropriation to date but this is not yet sufficient to complete the whole project because of the enormous fund required to complete the dike structure.
Rep. Mangaoang stipulated that the public department will heed his call for the significant increase in the funds that it had earlier been providing for the continuous implementation of the mega dike project to complete this much earlier than scheduled.
He expressed his gratitude to the agency’s team that undertook the feasibility study for the Chico River mega dike project and for coming out with positive recommendations to pursue its implementation because of its importance in the province’s lucrative agriculture sector, especially that Tabuk is known to be the rice granary of the Cordillera being the major producer of rice in the region due to the vast tracks of agricultural lands in the province.