China pours funds to stop Maguindanao floods
COTABATO CITY—China will allot funds for flood control and river management to help end the perennial flooding of parts of this city and two towns in Maguindanao province that are along downstream Mindanao River.
Engineer Wang Chong, of China National Electric Engineering Company (CNEEC), said major river management project and flood control works would start from technical studies previously conducted on the Mindanao River Basin (MRB) by the Woodfields Engineering Co.
Wo Dongmei, deputy general manager of the Fifth Engineering Department of CNEEC, said she looks forward to working on a long-term basis on flood control programs in the MRB.
“We want to help,” Wo told officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DPWH-ARMM) in a meeting here last week.
CNEEC, one of the biggest firms in China, is a state-owned international engineering company based in Beijing. CNEEC provides energy and hydraulic engineering services, with operations in more than 70 countries.
The visit of its team of experts followed last month’s state visit to China of President Duterte.
Wo said the Chinese government has given the green light on the projects.
Don Mustapha Loong, DPWH-ARMM secretary, said CNEEC’s projects would boost development efforts in ARMM.
River overflowing has hurt the livelihood of thousands of families in this city and in nearby Maguindanao towns of Sultan Kudarat and Sultan Mastura.
The team of Chinese engineering experts went on a site inspection with ARMM public works officials. They initially found that at least 20 percent of the area covered by MRB is inside Muslim Mindanao.
Flood control programs, drainage and river management projects, which the CNEEC has handled, included those in the once flood-prone southern provinces of Li Shui and Tai Zhou and communities in Dong Tiao and Xiang Rivers in China.
“With the inspection of the Simuay River and the Rio Grande de Mindanao by our office and the team of the CNEEC, we hope the project can start soon, so we can then prevent the perennial flooding in Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato City,” said Loong. —NASH B. MAULANA
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