Lingayen- - -“The floodwaters due to typhoon Falcon have subsided faster than expected.”
This was observed by Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) spokesperson Avenix Arenas as she said that this is due to the flood mitigation project that was launched by the present administration under its environmental advocacy program, “Ilog Ko, Bilayen Tan Aroen Ko.”
It will be recalled that Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. spearheaded the creation of Task Force Kalikasan as an integral part of the province’s long term initiative to flood mitigation that aimed to conduct massive rivers and waterways clean-up drive to revive and free Agno River and other river tributaries in Pangasinan from illegal fishing structures.
Task Force Kalikasan, as reported by the PDRRMC, has dismantled illegal fishpens in the towns of Lingayen, Binmaley, Bugallon, San Carlos and San Fabian and dredged specific areas in the town of Binmaley like Dupo, Poblacion, Caloocan, Sabangan, Salapingao and Lomboy, and, some areas in Lingayen covering Domalandan West, San Jose River (traversing barangays Poblacion-Baay-Tonton), Banaga (partly covering areas from Lingayen to Bugallon) and Balococ-Bantayan in Lingayen.
Arenas said that although flooded during the height of the continuous heavy rains, floodwaters easily subsided in said areas unlike other towns that were not yet reached by the clearing operations. “Malaking factor talaga ang isinagawang clean-up drive kasi nalinisan ang mga ilog at natanggal ang mga obstruction na maaaring nagpalala pa sana ng baha,” she explained.
“Without the clearing operation conducted by the province, rains brought by “Falcon” may have submerged the affected towns for a longer period,” Arenas said.
Meanwhile, based on status report forwarded to the PDRRMC, some towns in the first congressional district like Mabini, Burgos and Alaminos City, which are normally not flood-prone areas were affected by floodwaters over the weekend due to continuous rainfall brought by “Falcon,” which registered its rainfall peak at 241.2 mm.
“Yon pong dating di binabaha na bayan ay binaha ngayon at ‘yon naman pong dating bahaing lugar ay di na gaanong naapektuhan dahil sa mabilis na nag-subside ang tubig,” Arenas said even as she disclosed that the province is yet to dredge more rivers and waterways as part of the flood mitigating thrust.
The province’s long term flood mitigation project includes massive clean- up and dredging of Pangasinan river and ecosystems, coastal clean- up of the Lingayen Gulf, extensive mangrove tree planting activities along coastal and riverbank areas, massive tree planting activities to reforest denuded mountain areas, heightened environmental awareness campaign to raise level of awareness involving environmental concerns. (PIO/Ruby R. Bernardino)