Pampanga antiflood system revived
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—The House committee on public works and highways has endorsed a resolution calling for the revival of the Pampanga River Control System (PRCS), 10 years after the deactivation of the agency tasked to do flood control measures in 10 provinces in northern and Central Luzon.
House Resolution No. 134 also called for the inclusion of PRCS programs and operations in the yearly budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Pampanga Rep. Juan Pablo Bondoc refiled the measure in August 2016 to address the yearly floods in Central Luzon. Bondoc first filed the resolution in 2015.
Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda and Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino Alvarado have clamored for a review of the flood management system in the Pampanga River basin as their provinces end up receiving the brunt of floodwaters.
In a hearing on Wednesday, no one in the committee, chaired by Zamboanga City Rep. Celso Lobregat, opposed the PRCS revival. Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales and Baguio City Rep. Mark Go strongly pushed for it.
PRCS, formerly Pampanga River Control District, was established in 1939. The DPWH closed it in 2006 as it mobilized its 200 personnel and equipment to help in the massive emergency works to recover major rivers and highways silted or buried by Mt. Pinatubo’s volcanic debris following the 1991 eruptions.
PRCS used to maintain the 264-kilometer-long Pampanga River basin, the fourth biggest among 20 major river basins in the country. Draining from Caraballo mountains and ending at the mouth of Manila Bay, the basin’s flooding was eased by year-round dredging, construction and maintenance of dikes and levees, and other flood-control projects to protect 90 towns and cities in Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and Tarlac provinces.
The Pampanga and Agno river basins flood an average of 418,000 hectares in six Central Luzon provinces and Pangasinan, Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces in northern Luzon during the rainy season. The runoffs of Casecnan and Umiray-Angat transbasin tunnels also drain toward the Pampanga River basin.
PRCS’ last project was the Japan-funded Pampanga Delta Development Project in Masantol and Macabebe towns in Pampanga. —TONETTE OREJAS
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