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PIA Press Release
Sunday, January 22, 2012


Stakeholders unite to dredge Chico River

by Peter A. Balocnit

TABUK CITY, Kalinga, Jan.22 (PIA) -- Stakeholders from the government and the private sectors are unifying their efforts to dredge the Chico River to abate flooding of low lying areas.

Dr. Jaime Almora, Director of the Almora General Hospital and rice grower, expressed optimism that possible solutions are now being carried out.

He said key officials, all of whom are engineers, namely Congressman Manuel Agyao, Mayor Ferdinand Tubban and District Engineer Alexander Castañeda approve of the dredging approach.

Castañeda said the best solution is rechanneling so that the discharge area will be distinct to prevent the river from meandering. He said Chico River does not only require dredging but the construction of structures to fix the flow of the water, hence it requires a comprehensive design and funding.

Castañeda had recommended to the Regional Development Council the creation of the Lower Chico Flood Control Office under the umbrella of the DPWH. It was his response to the proposal of the Kalinga local government unit for the purchase of a dredging machine. He explained that he made a counter proposal instead of supporting the original proposal of dredging equipment, which is only good for soil. The deposits in the Chico River, he said, are boulders and stones.

Patterned after the Lower Agno Flood Control Office in Pangasinan, “the office will make a comprehensive study of the problem integrating all the concerns of line agencies like the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) relative to flooding and soil erosion caused by the Chico River,” Castaneda said.

The idea of Tubban to create a task force composed of the DA, NIA, DPWH, LGU and the stakeholders to come up with measures to mitigate the damage on the farmlands of Tabuk at the banks of the Chico River also runs along the same line of unifying efforts and pooling of available resources to combat the inroads of the Chico River into the Tabuk Valley.

Almora's group had earlier moved the dredging of the Chico River as a solution to the perennial flooding in low lying areas in the city. (JDP/PAB-PIA CAR,Kalinga)

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