‘Panay River Basin project could stem flooding in Capiz

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

The Panay River Basin Integrated Development Project (PRBIDP) could have at least minimized flooding in Capiz, according to Capiz Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Judy Grace Pelaez.


Wala ko gahambal nga totally i-prevent sang Panay River Basin project ang flooding or madula gid ang whole flooding but kahit paano mahagan-hagan gid ang pagbaha or kon may pagbaha man maybe flashflood na lang nga gamay,” Pelaez said on Friday.

Heavy rains brought by Typhoon Ursula again sunk the entire province of Capiz with floodwater rising to as high as two to five meters.


Typhoon Ursula flooded 179 barangays in Capiz in the towns of Cuartero, Sigma, Mambusao, Jamindan, President Roxas, Ivisan, Dumalag, Pilar, Panay, Dao, Dumarao, and Maayon.


Pelaez said flooding has become a perennial problem of Capiz.


Pirmi gid ginabaha especially kon may bagyo,” she said.


Apart from Typhoon Ursula, the province also suffered the worst floods when Typhoon Frank and Super Typhoon Yolanda hit Panay island in 2009 and 2013, according to Pelaez.


Ang baha subong daw parehos man kay Frank kag kay Yolanda. Baskog gid ang Yolanda pero damo man di sa mga nagkalaguba sa Capiz na wala nagguba pag Yolanda pero naguba pag-agi ni Ursula,” she said.


The flooding problem in the province can be linked to its geographical location, Pelaez said emphasizing that the province has been the prime catch basin of rainwater in the region.


“Geographical location kay pag umulan didto sa Aklan kay malaka-laka ang puno, manaog gid diri ang tubig kag ang coastal areas high risk gid,” she said.


Pelaez added that flooding can also be caused by the silted Panay River.

Ang amon na Panay River silted na gid. Subong ang problema naton pagwa diri sa aton na exit points sa open sea para at least hindi diri mabaha sa areas nga low-lying kag sa mga areas nga within Panay river,” she said.

According to Pelaez, the implementation of the PRBIDP has long been the dream and ambition of Capizeños.

Dugay dugay na gid siya nga kon baga ginadamgo kag ginapangayo sa Capiz. Garing tungod guro sa cost, and prioritization amo na guro nga wala pa gihapon,” she said.

Aside from addressing the flooding in the province, Pelaez said the Panay River Basin project could also bolster the tourism, livelihood and economy of Capiz.

Masyado ka dako ang bulig because damo component, may ara siya infrastructure, may irrigation, tourism, livelihood, and economy,” she said.

Last January, members of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) passed a resolution seeking the hastening of the PRBIDP project to address the flooding in Capiz.

It was in 1985 when the first feasibility study of the project was undertaken by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to focus on the flood control aspect of the study.

However, the Regional Development Council in 2012 recommended the updating of the flood control study.

The PRBIDP will not only address the flooding in the sub-basins of the Panay River but will also provide year-round supply of water to 26, 800 hectares in Capiz and Iloilo and will benefit 25,046 farmers once realized.

Meanwhile, Typhoon Ursula has affected 32,701 families or 138,663 Capizeños and totally damaged 3,771 houses.

The effects of the typhoon also prompted the local government officials to place the province under a state of calamity. (With a report from Philippine News Agency)