Local officials in the City of San Fernando hope to solve perennial flooding issues experienced by the city as it finished dredging some 500 meter portion of the third river (Pau River) in Sto. Tomas town.
Vice Mayor Jimmy Lazatin, OIC City Engineer Anele David, volunteer flood czar Engr. Marni Castro, Sto. Tomas Mayor Johnny Sambo and DPWH-3 Assistant Regional Director Laureta Malaluan spearheaded on July 27 the opening of spillway in the said river to allow the water from San Fernando flow through the newly dredged portion down to Minalin and Sasmuan that leads to Manila Bay.
Lazatin said the city government borrowed an amphibious excavator from the DPWH to facilitate dredging and desilting in the river which started May 25 this year.
“Ito po ay parte na ng Sto. Tomas pero nakipagtulungan tayo sa kanila dahil dito bumabagsak ang tubig na nanggagaling sa kabayanan at sa San Fernando river. Umaasa tayo na masosolusyunan nito ang problema natin sa baha,” Lazatin added.
For his part, Castro said “Dati mukha lang itong rice field pero sa loob ng dalawang buwan nakapaghukay kami ng 6-8 meters para may mapuntahan yung tubig mula sa San Fernando at maging sa Mexico at Angeles.”
The latter assured that there is no threat of flooding to the downstream towns as the DPWH developed a comprehensive waterway system that can accommodate the heavy flow of water from upstream.
In an interview, Mayor Edwin “EdSa” Santiago lauded the collaborated efforts of the CSF and Sto. Tomas LGU, provincial government, DPWH, Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and private sectors for the realization of the flood mitigation project.
He added that the city will continue to initiate dredging, desilting and even declogging projects in various waterways in the city to prevent severe flooding.