Water channel created to save Pampanga from floodsPhilippine Daily Inquirer
BACOLOR, Pampanga—The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has carved a 1.1-kilometer channel that diverted water away from the capital city of San Fernando and the neighboring towns of Sto. Tomas and Minalin, sparing these areas from floods for the rest of this year’s rainy season.
The DPWH spent only P700,000 for the project. The money was used to buy diesel for the three bulldozers and three backhoes that were sent to do earth-moving work at the downstream of Gugu Creek, said Loreta Malaluan, assistant regional director of the DPWH in Central Luzon.
The operators of these equipment are DPWH employees who used to be assigned with the Mount Pinatubo rehabilitation project management office.
Malaluan said the channel has worked, as water flow has been trained straight toward Sapang Labuan Channel leading to the boundaries of Minalin and Guagua towns, draining through Sasmuan town and Manila Bay.
This happened after the DPWH closed a 100-meter gap on the eastern bank. Here, water from Gugu Creek flowing inside the FVR Megadike turned toward Barangay Talba in Bacolor, entered the damaged tail dike and breached two sections in Barangay San Pedro Cutud in San Fernando on Aug. 7.
As of Wednesday, the Gugu Creek stopped flowing toward the dike and the villages of San Pedro Cutud, Sta. Lucia, Pandaras and San Nicolas in San Fernando, and the villages of Sapa and San Vicente in Sto. Tomas.
The new channel is different from the one that local governments made on Dalan Pari Creek from Bacolor to Minalin.
The DPWH would repair the two damaged portions as soon as the P272-million budget is released, said Antonio Molano Jr., the agency’s regional director.
But those who suffered the brunt and trauma of the monsoon-induced floods are not ready to return home. “I worry for my children. They could not run as fast as we adults do when floodwaters rise fast. I’d rather stay here,” said Arturo Castillo, a father of eight.
Castillo’s family and other flood victims are staying in an area where tents were put up by the San Fernando City government for 136 families whose houses were destroyed. Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon