Dagupan Mayor hits critics who exploit the floods

August 28, 2018 at 5:53 pm Leave a comment

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

DAGUPAN CITY – The mayor here assailed her detractors who ride on the series of extra ordinary rainfalls from three typhoons and torrential rain that submerged many villages here in July and August this year.

“Hindi dahilan ang pagtabon sa baha ng Dagupan. Paninira lang ng mga naninira sa politics walang basis dahil maliit lang ang tabon. In fact nakakatulong pa kasi may waterway din na open,” Mayor Belen T. Fernandez slammed her critics.

Culvert Cuison

BUSTED – The exit of a small culvert at Cuison Road in Barangay Tapuac, Dagupan that accommodates the stagnant flood  in Barangays Malued, Tapuac, and Lucao in Dagupan City. According to Sidney Lomboy, the culvert which is 18 inches in diameter, was the culprit behind the recurring flooding in the three villages.

She said the demolition jobs acrimoniously posted on the social media were politically motivated.

“Fake news iyon gawa gawa lang. Politicking lang. Medyo gutom na. Gusto ng maka balik at gawing negosyo ulit ang government. Nawalan kasi ng kita,” she said.

The much maligned fishponds in the villages of Lucao and Pantal here composed only ten percent of the entire topography of fishponds here, according to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of the local government.

Former Department of Public Works & Highway’s District Engineer Rodolfo Dion said the filling up of fishponds in Barangay Pantal here were not the reason that this city and its villages remain flooded even after Typhoons Inday, Josie, and Karding have left the area.

“Fish ponds are not waterways, anggano tabonan mo tan anggapo so effect to tan ed delap (even if you filled them up they have nothing to do with the lingering flood),” he said.

“We cannot control natural disaster,” Fernandez said on her Face Book’s account.

 Isagani Ico, a concerned citizen, said what this city needs is a waterway that could contain huge volume of inflows of water.

“Kung natabunan ang fish pond derederecho na daloy ang tubig sa ilog. Kung walang tabon at napuno ang fish pond aapaw din sa ilog. It’s that simple po. What we need is a well-engineered waterways design which can contain large volume of flow into the river or to the sea, regardless you fill those fishponds or not. So the problems are not those fish ponds. It is the lack of adequate waterways”.

Former National Irrigation Administration Regional Manager John Celeste, a resident of Barangay Pantal, said to solve the perennial flood in his barangay,  it should construct flap valves.

“Restore our rivers and other waterways to their natural original depth and width by dredging, de-silting, clearing and cleaning debris, trashes and removing illegal structures and filled up earth materials. If sea level is higher than natural ground like in our city, install flap valves in all our drainage outlet structures at river bank,” he said.

Mayor Fernandez agreed with the proposals of Celeste.

“We have been requesting for floodgate. And again during our last Saturday meeting with DPWH, DENR, CEO we requested again for floodgate, continuous dike, and additional dredging machine”.

Aside from the two extraordinary force majeure that inundate this city with murky water, the mayor said the area is a catch basin.

“Catch basin ang Dagupan ang tubig ay galing sa upland Binalonan, Urdaneta (City), Sta Barbara, Calasiao through Sinocalan River, Pantal River to the mouth of Pugaro River. Kaya ako may dredging for four years already pagpatayo ng dike ng DPWH through our congressman”.

In a meeting with Congressman Christopher de Venecia and the brass of the Department of Public Works & Highway, she requested that they and Congresswoman Rosemarie Arenas expedite the construction of the remaining part of a dike in Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan.

Chief Meteorological Officer, Jose T. Estrada Jr., of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) – Dagupan City, said that climate change is the reason for the persistent heavy rains experienced all over the province.

He cited that one month’s volume of rainwater was dumped during the three days of continuous downpour this month which led to the extreme inundation here.

“The intensity of the rainfall during those three days since Saturday is equivalent to one month. Iyong normal rainfall sa isang buwan na 212 millimeters, ay inabot tayo ng 215 mm. Malakas yung naibagsak na ulan sa Pangasinan. Yung sa July naman (Typhoons Inday and Josie), nakaabot tayo ng 1,169mm –  iyong equivalent sa tatlong buwan ay naibagsak sa ilang araw lang” he added.

The three typhoons and their corresponding torrential rains mentioned did not only wreak havoc here and in Pangasinan Province but even scourged more Metro Manila, Region 3 and the Visayas that saw horrifying flood that submerged public and private places there.

Mayor Fernandez instead trained her guns to her critics who resorted to the blaming games.

“Paninira lang ang pagtabon ng lupa. Ang malaking tabon Eternal Garden ay approved ng SP (City Legislature).

Sidney Lomboy, the owner of Sidneys vehemently denied that he filled up with materials his fishpond.

 Lomboy instead blamed the stagnant water for several days in Barangays Tapuac, where he is a resident, and Lucao to a small 18 inches in diameter culvert at the Cuison Road in Tapuac that becomes the only exit of the flood.

“It’s very small. The water then runs to the fishpond of a private property then to the nearby creek and ingress at the culvert at the back of CSI (mall) in Lucao and egress at the Calmay River,” Lomboy explained in Tagalog on his video posted at Facebook.

Both Dion and Celeste said that to divert the recurring and worsening flood problem here brought by climate change another river system is needed to be constructed at the Calasiao town where the water egress to the mouth of Barangay Lucao here.

Entry filed under: News.

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