Aklan vice guv says immediate action needed to dredge Aklan River
by Venus G. Villanueva
Kalibo, Aklan (14 August) -- Aklan Vice Governor Gabrielle Calizo recently called for immediate action on the recommendation that the Aklan River needs to be dredged to prevent another flood from occurring in Aklan especially in the towns of Kalibo and Numancia during heavy rains.
Vice Governor Calizo voiced this opinion during the joint environment and committee hearing held recently at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall to find out the cause of the record-high flood ever experienced in the province in the wake of Typhoon Frank that struck Aklan June 21 of this year.
"If there is an obstruction in the Aklan River, it should be removed immediately to allow the free flow of water," Vice Governor Calizo told those present in the meeting.
Vice Governor Calizo stressed that the province should not wait for the availability of a big budget to start dredging the Aklan River. According to her, something must be done to remove the obstruction using any available resources.
"We're all scared for the mudflow to happen again and increase the height of the river bed. The people must have peace of mind. All of us are aware that something must be done now," Governor Calizo said.
Based on the rehabilitation plan consolidated by the province after Typhoon Frank, dredging of the Aklan River alone will entail a cost of P675 million, to be implemented by the Provincial Engineer's Office, the Department of Public Works and Highways and national government agencies. The time frame of the project is set from August 2008 to June 2010.
The committee meeting was attended SP members Plaridel Morania, Rodson Mayor, Nemesio Neron, Jose Yap, former Congressman Allen S. Quimpo who is currently the Action Officer of Aklan Rehabilitation Task Force and at the same time the Executive Director of the Aklan Rivers Development Council who was the resource person; Atty. Florencio Gonzales, CENRO Baltazar Gerardo of DENR, Provincial Engineer Victory Fernandez, Engr. Raquel Reontoy of the National Irrigation Administration, Estelita LaO of the Department of Public Works and Highways, and Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator Roger M. Esto
The holding of the committee meeting was in response to a privilege speech of Hon. Rodson Mayor seeking for answers on the cause of flood in Kalibo based on the many observations that came out from different personalities and sectors.
The meeting was also held to hear recommendations from the various sectors and personalities and for the SP to extend possible support and assistance to the recommendations. (PIA) [top]