Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is fast tracking the completion of projects that will mitigate flooding in the southernmost part of Pampanga.
In a statement, DPWH Secretary Roger Mercado said they have been working to help improve resilience to flood events with extreme weather phenomenon being increasingly felt nowadays due to climate change.
A flagship infrastructure project for disaster resiliency is ongoing to better protect Pampanga’s low-lying communities in the municipalities of Macabebe, Masantol, Minalin, Sto. Tomas, and Apalit from the devastating impacts of flooding.
DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office Operations Emil Sadain inspected the ongoing improvement of the river channel network by dredging at the Sapang Maragul River including portland concrete cement paving of road, 1.2 kilometer-concrete slope protection with PVC sheet pile, and construction of Sapang Maragul Sluice Gate in Masantol town.
The improvement of Sapang Maragul River together with Third River, Eastern Branch River and Caduang Tete River are all included under the project located at the river mouth of the Pampanga River dubbed as the Integrated Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Measures (IDRR-CCA) in Low-Lying Areas of Pampanga.
“While flooding continues to be a threat with devastating effect and disruptive to many people, the drainage improvement of the Pampanga River channel network will prevent severe river water surface flooding,” Sadain explained.
The P6.15 billion project funded by loan agreement between the government of the Philippines and the government of Korea through the Korea Export Import Bank has posted a cumulative accomplishment of 76.95 percent with target full completion date of December 2022.
“It has been a real challenge for DPWH to get this project moving and we thank the communities and local government units for their continued patience and understanding specially the disruption that comes with delivering these critical works to protect homes and businesses from the devastating impacts of flooding,” Sadain added.
Completed under IDRR-CCA are 2,081,521 cubic meters or 85.9% of dredging works, 5.5 kilometers or 50% dike embankment, and 32 of the 47 units of fishpond gates.
Also part of the project awarded to Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Company Limited are the construction of two bridges namely Saplad David and Sapang Maragul.
The construction of sluice gates in eight locations including the Sapang Maragul Sluice Gate is part of the additional flood control measure.