BAGUIO CITY – Some P30 million was earmarked by the Department of Public works and Highways – Baguio City District Engineering Office (DPWH-BCDEO) under the agency’s annual budget next year for the continuous concreting of the unpaved portions of the City Camp lagoon tunnel to prevent the perennial flooding in the City Camp area during the rainy season.
DPWH-BCDEO District Engineer Rene Zarate said that for this year there was no budget allocated by the agency for the concreting of around 700 lineal meters of the nearly 3-kilometer tunnel from the City Camp area and drains in the Crystal Cave area. The supposed completion of the project next year will be moved to 2019.
“We will use the allotted funds for the concreting of around 500 lineal meters of the unpaved portion of the City Camp lagoon tunnel so that we will be able to include the funds for the completion of the project by 2019 and subsequently prevent the perennial flooding in the area,” Zarate stressed.
The district engineer underscored the importance of the project’s completion to allow the water from its tributaries to freely flow into the tunnel and drain into the Asin River in Crystal Cave and put an end to the problems of flooding in the area which had affected thousands of families through the years.
According to him, the agency is committed to complete the project that is why they worked extra hard to include part of the needed budget to complete the rehabilitation of the tunnel for it to serve its purpose of draining water from the lagoon area to the Asin River in the future.
Zarate called on residents living in the barangays surrounding the City Camp lagoon area to refrain from dumping their garbage to the creeks that serve as tributaries to the lagoon tunnel so as not to clog the lagoon that will bring back flooding in the residential areas that will cause their evacuation during the rainy and typhoon seasons and inconvenience others in the future.
The rehabilitation of the City Camp lagoon tunnel started in 2014 wherein the DPWH-BCDEO earmarked over P200 million through a multi-year obligation, except for this year, for the widening and concreting of the 3-kilometer tunnel to allow the smooth flow of water during the rainy season and prevent the perennial flooding in the area.
Zarate emphasized now that the government was able to do what is supposed to be done in the rehabilitation of the City Camp lagoon tunnel, it is now the residents that should do their part by policing their own ranks so that unscrupulous individuals who continuously dump their garbage on creeks that are the tributaries of the lagoon should be punished to teach them a lesson and for them to appropriately dispose of their garbage.
He expressed confidence that the DPWH-BCDEO will complete their priority project by the end of 2019 so residents living within the vicinity of the City Camp lagoon will be effectively and efficiently addressed to lessen their fears of having to relocate to safer grounds during the rainy season considering that the water cannot flow into the lagoon because of garbage which have clogged the tunnel.
By Dexter A. See