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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Completion of anti-flood project in Iloilo to save people millions in property losses

Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. has mobilized public works and highways officials and personnel in Iloilo to rush the
completion of over P2.5 billion flood control projects that would spare the residents of millions in annual loses in properties and
missed business opportunities due to floods.

"Secretary Ebdane wants us to work fast to mitigate flood damages and inundation in Iloilo in order to give the people there a sustainable
urban community and safer, more pleasant living condition," said Patrick B.Gatan, head of the DPWH-Project Management Office for Major
Flood Control I (DPWH-PMO-MFCP1).

"The flood control project is mainly composed of river improvement and construction of floodways.  Two floodways are employed to divert the excess flood discharge of Jaro River towards the Iloilo Strait, namely Jaro Floodway and La Paz Floodway," Gatan said in explaining the scope of the project.

Funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Gatan said there are three contract packages for the Iloilo Flood Control Project.

Package one (1), costing P1,580,361,689.33, involves the construction of the Jaro floodway. It is 79.69 percent complete. Implemented by the
Korean-firm Hanjin Construction, the project includes the building of four bridges that will divert the overflowing flood in Jaro River.

DPWH-PMO-MFCP Assistant Project Director Ramon Ariola III said package 1 also includes the construction Tigum and Aganan River improvement.

Package two (2), costing P 1,061,208,472.47, covers the construction of Carpenter Bridge, which is 98.1percent complete. It also involves
the improvement of the Upper Ingore Creek, Jaro River Mouth and Iloilo River.

According to Gatan, the Carpenter Bridge is now one of the busiest and most useful bridges in Iloilo since it serves as a major gateway to
the city proper.

Contract package three (3), costing P 29,552,223.05, includes the construction and development of relocation sites in Buntatala, Sooc
and Kasadyahan. The project provides shelter to the informal settlers in Iloilo City.

With a 100 percent completion rate, the project provided adequate water supply, lighting system and livelihood projects for 3,000
families at the relocation sites.

Summing up the importance of these flood-mitigation projects, Gatan said: "These project would definitely save our people from
impoverishment and bring progress as well."

Iloilo City has been suffering from flood damages almost every year due to the insufficient flow capacity of the Jaro River and poor
drainage system in the Iloilo River Basin.

An earlier report from the DPWH-PMO-MFCP1showed that flood causes Filipinos all over the country up to P5-Billion annually in damaged
properties and loss in economic opportunities.

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