Delta, mayors aim to save P536M in ‘desilting’

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CITY OF SAN FERNANDO–The desilting of a 3.5-kilometer portion of Sapang Labuan will eliminate the constant flooding that wreaks havoc in this city and four other towns during rainy season.

But since the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) does not have the funds to conduct desilting projects, it was suggested that private haulers be allowed to desilt Sapang Labuan and resell the materials to existing government and civic projects.

Under the plan, the hauled materials would be given free as filling materials or “panambak” to existing government and civic projects in the city and four towns.

Sapang Labuan encompasses this city and the town of Sto. Tomas, Minalin, Guagua and Sasmuan.
At least P536 million is needed to remove some 960,000 cubic meters of lahar equivalent to 16,000 truckloads, according to the DPWH.

At an average of 1,000 truckloads per day, the desilting and clearing could take 18 months.

One of the suggestions is to exempt participating private haulers from paying P430 per truckload, which the provincial government collects for administrative fee (P250), sand tax (P150) and weighing fee (P30).

Acting Gov. Dennis “Delta” Pineda has already initiated talks with the mayors of affected towns and the DPWH on his proposal to desilt and clear the waterways of Sapang Labuan through non-commercial quarrying.

Sapang Labuan is fed by the Pasig-Potrero River through Gugu River and by rivers from San Fernando and Sto. Tomas. All these water drain toward the San Fernando-Sto. Tomas-Minalin Tail Dike before heading to Sapang Labuan. This runs through the towns of Guagua and Sasmuan before finally exiting to Pasac River and Manila Bay.

“The province cannot do it alone. We could save money and time if we work together to desilt Sapang Labuan, ” Pineda told City of San Fernando Mayor Edwin Santiago, Minalin Mayor Edgar Flores, Guagua Mayor Dante Torres and Sasmuan Mayor Nardo Velasco.

“We share the same objective to save our people from the risks of flooding.”