DPWH sends more equipment, manpower to Cotabato City
More equipment and manpower are heading to flood-ravaged Cotabato City and nearby areas to help declog the Rio Grande de Mindanao, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said on Wednesday.
An emergency response team from the DPWH-President’s Bridge Program Office was on its way to Cotabato to help remove tons of water lilies and other debris especially near the mouth of the river, according to DPWH spokesperson Elizabeth Pilorin.
Since Saturday, Pilorin said, trailer trucks from the PBPO Tagoloan depot in Cagayan de Oro City had delivered one backhoe, one crane and 12 barge components to the area.
“The clogged area is so massive that DPWH personnel have resorted to pulling the water lilies manually,” she said.
Pilorin said clearing operations were mainly being carried out by the DPWH office in Central Mindanao, which had two dredgers and additional support from military and civilian government personnel.
Also on Wednesday, Public Works Undersecretary for Regional Operations Romeo Momo denied criticisms that the DPWH had been negligent in its flood control program down in Mindanao.
“We were there since Day One. From 20 hectares of water lilies (that had to be cleared), it’s now only 2.5 ha,” Momo reported.
“We got equipment from different parts of Cotabato. It took us three days to mobilize. But we were able to reduce it. We’re doing our job, it’s just that there were too many water lilies,” he said.
Momo added that up to 70 DPWH personnel had been conducting 24-hour declogging and dredging operations in Rio Grande.
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