|Dagupan City Mayor Benjie S. Lim|
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – The mayor of this flood prone city lauded President Benigno Simeon Aquino III for including the P49 million in the General Appropriation Act of 2013 for the elevation of the concrete road in AB Fernandez Avenue here.
According to administrator Vladimir Mata, President Aquino has been impressed by the pro-active role of Mayor Benjie S. Lim on mitigating the adverse effect of climate change. “Because of our elation I even told the prime time news of TV stations GMA-7 and ABS-CBN that the timely intercession of Mayor Lim made the project happened,” Mata, a former city councilor, stressed.
A source who asked anonymity said the upgrading of the thoroughfare will start from the city plaza and ends at the junctions of Rizal Street and Perez Boulevard. The P49 million has been part of the 2012 budget for the expansion of the shoulders of the national highway that stretched from the towns of Mangaldan to San Fabian. “But because it was included in the GAA again for the same expansion of the same shoulders, the DPWH asked its national office to funnel the P49 million for the elevation of the road in the main thoroughfare of Dagupan City instead of being reverted to the national government,” he said.
Recently, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) District Engineer Rodolfo Dion presented the agency’s proposal to Mayor Lim for his nod on the upgrading of national roads which includes one of the major thoroughfares of the city in a meeting at the city mayor’s office. Dion, City Engineer Virginia Rosario and other City Engineering Office staff met with the mayor to discuss the possible raising of the entire stretch of A.B. Fernandez Avenue (ABFA) except both approaches of the Quintos Bridge. “The ABFA– which measures 800 linear meters– will be elevated by 40 centimeters hopefully either on the last week of February or first week of March,” Dion said adding, “As we all know, this road easily becomes flooded during high tide. That is why, we have no other recourse but to upgrade it.”
Meanwhile, Mayor Lim agreed with the observation of Engr. Dion stating, “Dagupan’s streets are obviously lower than sea level.” It has been observed that despite no incidence of rain, ABFA still becomes flooded. He cited reasons for including: First, global warming or rising sea level; Second, subsidence due to too much extraction of water from the soil; Third, liquefaction which is an after effect of the 1990 earthquake; Fourth, obstruction of water flow due to dikes and roads that impede water flow back to the rivers; and fifth, due to siltation of rivers.