TABUK CITY, Kalinga– Rep. Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang underscored that the completion of the P5.5 Billion Chico River mega-dike project will be the ultimate solution to the perennial flooding of some 19 barangays of this component city and 5 barangays of Pinukpuk which are often prejudiced by the effects of the overflow of the major river system in the Cordillera.
Mangaoang, who is also serving as the caretaker congressman of Mountain Province, said that it is unfortunate that the conceptualization and the start of the implementation of the multi-year project has affected the stop-gap measures being annually implemented by the city and provincial governments which are all temporary in nature, thus, the put up of the mega-dike was seen as a far more permanent solution to end floodings in the low-lying barangays of the city and nearby towns.
“We are after the implementation of sustainable infrastructure projects that will permanently address the perennial flooding problems of our low-lying barangays in Tabuk City and Pinukpuk. Dredging is simply a stop-gap measure to address the flooding issue but the put up of permanent structures are considered by experts as feasible solution to the problem,” Mangaoang stressed.
The lawmaker emphasized the put up of the mega-dike which is around 18 kilometers long and more than 300 to 500 meters wide in certain areas is a 4-pronged approach to solve the perennial flooding in the low-lying barangays, reduce illegal quarrying along the river system that will result to increased income to the local governments, reclaim a huge portion of the area traversed by the project that could be the subject of reforestation, put up of an air strip and a site for the establishment of a government center, provide opportunities for the put up of ecotourism sites and business centers and serve s alternate route for motorists among other purposes.
According to him, the funding for the proposed mega-dike project will be on a multi-year basis that will end on 2022 so that the project will serve as one of the identified permanent solutions to the perennial flooding of the low-lying areas that have affected the sustainable sources of livelihood of the people and caused billions of losses in terms of agricultural produce of the farmers and personal properties of the people side from major infrastructure projects of the government in the past.
Mangaoang pointed out that the opposition being raised by some local officials and their supporters to the implementation of the mega-dike project is just a sign of insensitivity to the plight of the people living in the flood-prone villages for concerned government agencies and the local government to come out with long-term solutions to their problem and not simply to be contented in the implementation of questionable dredging projects that are considered by experts as ban aid solutions to the perennial floodings on various sections of the river system.
Mangaoang stipulated that he does not understand why there are sectors in the province who continue to ride on the opposition to the implementation of the multi-billion project. By HENT