‘Major flood control project’ will benefit Bulacan, Pampanga – DPWH
MANILA, Philippines — A major flood control project eyed for implementation in 2024 may solve the perennial flooding problem in Bulacan and Pampanga, Public Works Secretary Manuel Bonoan said on Wednesday during a Senat hearing on the issue.
“The Pampanga River Floodway and San Antonio Swamp Ring Dike will be the major project that we think will be able to contribute significantly to address the flooding problems in Bulacan and Pampanga,” Bonoan said.
The project involves the construction by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) of a 60-kilometer and 400-meter-wide floodway. It will start from the mouth of the San Antonio Swamp and will pass through seven towns of Pampanga — namely, Arayat, Santa Ana, Mexico, Santo Tomas, Minalin, Macabebe, and Masantol.
“This is an Asian Development Bank-financed project. We are [coordinating] with [them] for the detailed engineering design,” Bonoan said, adding that they are gearing towards starting the project by 2024.
More than 40 towns in Pampanga and Bulacan will benefit from this flood control measure in the following ways:
- reduce flood damage of about P21.3 billion on infrastructure, buildings, commercial establishments, and facilities
- significantly reduce flood damage to agriculture by 92.8 percent
- reduce the duration of flooding by 76 percent
Bonoan added that another flood control measure — the Pampanga Delta Project, which was introduced in the late 90s – could have addressed the incessant flooding in Pampanga and Bulacan, but he noted that the DPWH was not able to finish it.
“[The] first phase of this project was implemented in the lower reaches of Pampanga in Macabebe [and] Masantol areas. We have completed that.The second phase of this project would have gone through the towns of Apalit, Calumpit, Paombong, and Hagonoy. Unfortunately, we were not able to successfully implement this,” said Bonoan.
Asked why they were not able to complete the project, Bonoan simply said: “To be honest, it’s the local government[s] that did not want [to continue] the second phase.”