By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – A Japanese consultant is currently here to explore drainage and flood control projects in this city.
This was revealed by Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez after his meeting with them at the Bacolod City Government Center (BCGC) yesterday.
“They’re going around the city trying to identify the best solutions for our flood,” Benitez said, adding that this consultant is working with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Benitez said that one of the proposed solutions which the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has officially requested with the national government is that the five major rivers here would be installed with flood gates and pumping stations that will bring out water coming from the mountains and to prevent the entry of water caused by high tide.
Benitez said there was already a formal proposal on this matter and the DPWH has already finished its program of works with a proposed project cost of P500 million with the national government.
Benitez said that the said budget is mainly allocated for the construction of the floodgates in five rivers – Magsungay, Banago, Pahanocoy-Sum-ag, Lupit, and Mandalagan. “Eventually, we will upgrade our rivers and outflows,” he added.
“The idea is that our flood control will be effective if we manage our river outlets effectively. Kung mahimu-an system, kung efficient ang pagsulod kag pag guwa sang tubig, amo ini ang ending result – wala ta baha,” the mayor said.
Benitez is hoping to start the project next year. The local government also welcomes the help of the JICA and ADB on this project.
Earlier, a Dutch company has also expressed interest in coming up with solutions that can address flooding here, as they have a series of preventive systems that have been successful in the Netherlands.
In August, Bacolod was placed under a state of calamity after 33 out of 61 barangays here were severely flooded and more than 9,000 residents were displaced due to the effects of Typhoon “Goring” and the southwest monsoon or “habagat.”
The city government, based on their post-typhoon assessment, noted that obstructions along rivers and creeks, the accumulation of sediments in waterways originating from upland areas, and the lack of interconnection of inland drainage systems were some of the root causes of flooding.