MANILA, Philippines – Aside from its flood control master plan for Metro Manila and outlying provinces, the Department of Public Works and Highways has completed similar plans for effective and comprehensive flood management of 12 of the 56 river systems throughout the country that are on DPWH’s priority list.
In a copy of a DPWH report furnished the Inquirer, the agency’s Project Management Office for Major Flood Control Projects disclosed that feasibility studies are ongoing for 12 other river basins.
There are 421 major river basins all over the country, according to the DPWH.
The government has allocated at least P4.91 billion in the next two years for the construction of water impounding and other flood control structures in the 56 priority river basins.
The completed master plans cover the following river basins (with their respective budget allocations): Amburayan in Region 1 and Cordillera Administration Region, P37.6 million; Agos in Region 4-A, P19.3 million; Balete in Region 4-B, P12.7 million; Yawa-Basud-Quirangay in Region 5, P9.68 million; Aklan in Region 6, P28.4 million; Guinabasan in Region 7, P9.23 million; Dungcaan in Region 8, P9.52 million; Tumaga in Region 9, P12.3 million; Lipadas in Region 11, P6.54 million; Silway-Popong-Sinaual in Region 12; Lake Maitum-Tubay in Region 13, P251 million; and Cagayan del Oro, P6.7 million.
River basins with ongoing feasibility studies: Bauang in Region 1 and CAR, P14.7 million; Pamplona, Region 2 and CAR, P27.8 million; Sta. Rita-Kalaklan in Region 3, P8.53 million; Caguray in Region 4-B, P44.4 million; Bago in Region 6, P42.03 million; Daguitan Marabong in Region 8, P12.7 million; Sibugay in Region 9, P113.8 million; Iponan in Region 10, P12.8 million; and Buayan-Malungun in Regions 11 and 12, P24.5 million.
Three other river basins — Tandag in Surigao del Sur and Amnay and Mag-asawang Tubig in Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro, respectively — are also undergoing feasibility studies. However, the DPWH did not disclose their respective budget allocations.
Despite the absence of master plans, other major river basins were also allocated funds, the biggest of which were the Mindanao River Basin and Agno Upstream in Pangasinan, with allocations of P626.6 million and P295 million, respectively.
On the same list are the following river basins: Abra in Region 1 and CAR, P100.9 million; Patalan-Cayanga-Angalacan in Region 1 and CAR, P66.3 million; Sinocalan-Marosoy-Dagupan in Region 1 and CAR, P159.3 million; Abulug in Region 2 and CAR, P192.09 million; Nangalisan-Baggao-Pared in Region 2 and CAR, P648.7 million; Angat in Region 3, P42.8 million; Kabilugan-Velasco-Batu in Region 5, P410.1 million; Bago in Region 6, P42.03 million; Panay-Mambusao in Region 6,188.5 million; Jalaur in Region 6, P114.4 million; Davao in Region 11, P49 million; Upper Agusan in Region 11, P119.3 million; Tagum-Liboganon in Region 11, P103.6 million; Tuganay in Region 11, P126.8 million; and Tago in Region 13, P127.5 million, among others.
The DPWH master plan for flood management in Metro Manila and outlying provinces calls for at least P351.72 billion in infrastructure spending.
The plan covers a total of 11 infrastructure projects, including the construction of a large dam in Marikina that will cost P198.43 billion, according to Patrick Gatan, head of the DPWH PMO-MFCP.
“The construction of Marikina dam plus improvements on the Pasig and Marikina river embankments, as well as the West Laguna lakeshore landraising project, are considered very high priority projects of the department,” Gatan told the Inquirer.
Between 2011 and 2016, the DPWH plans to spend at least P83.9 billion on flood control projects, including the construction of river walls and revetments, dikes, mini dams, drainage mains, and flood gates, as well as waterway improvements.
Earlier, the DPWH completed at least 11 major flood control projects. Five of them were in Metro Manila: the Napindan Hydraulic Control Structure in 1983; Mangahan Floodway in 1988; Effective Flood Control and Warning System in 2002; West of Mangahan Flood Control in 2008; and Phase 2 of the Kalookan-Malabon-Navotas-Valenzuela River Channel Improvement this year.
Finished projects outside the metropolis include Phases 1 and 2 of the Ormoc City Flood Mitigation Project in 2001; Phase 1 of the Pampanga Delta Development Project in 2002; Laoag River Basin in 2008; Agno River in 2010; Camiguin Island Flood Disaster Mitigation Project in 2011; and Phase 2 of the Iloilo Flood Control Project this year.
Some completed flood control projects were funded by international aid organizations like the Japan International Cooperation Agency. They include the Iloilo Flood Control Project 2, which had a budget of P230 million; the P241-million Mt. Pinatubo Hazard Mitigation Project and the P239-million Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project.
Aside from extreme rainfall, the other main causes of flooding in Metro Manila and other parts of the country are denuded watersheds, illegal logging, limited river channel capacity, inaccessible waterways, informal and illegal settlements, and indiscriminate dumping of wastes, according to DPWH.