By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – The mayor confirmed that the local government unit’s (LGU) legal office here studies if it will file a case against the Department of Public Works and Highway after she learned that the culverts that aggravate the flood here were inserted under the highway by the DPWH.
|Flood in Central Pangasinan Province. Photo Credit: Cesar Ramirez|
“ Iyan ang pag aaralan nila. In fact noong ni report ko po iyan kay Speaker Joe de Venecia sinabi niya sa akin ang dati po ay walang nilagay na culvert diyan,” Mayor Belen T. Fernandez said in a phone patched radio interview at Pulso ng Masa Program in DZRD here when she was in the United States recently.
She cited that the three culverts were surreptitiously constructed by the DPWH without consultation with the officials of the LGU here.
The entrance and exit of the culverts are located at Barangay Banaoang, Calasiao, according to District Engineer Rodolfo Dion of the 2nd Engineering District of Pangasinan.
“The problem was the water that passes through the culverts goes to the villages in the city,” Dion stressed.
The eight villages that became a catch basin for the flood that came from the culvert were Lasip Chico, Lasip Grande, Malued, Lucao, Tapuac, and others.
Experts said that the DPWH should have channeled the flood that cascaded from the mountain areas of Benguet Province to the Sinocalan River and not to the culverts.
The complained DPWH is the 4th Engineering District of Pangasinan based in Santa Barbara, Pangasinan.
It is under the watched of District Engineer (DE) Marietta B. Mendoza.
According to Dion, whose office is based in Lingayen, each of the three of the 1.5 meters in diameter sized culverts were constructed two years ago when the 4th Engineering District was elevating the concrete pavement of the old De Venecia Highway.
“In fact itong mga kababayan natin ay kawawa dito. Walong barangay ho umabot (ang baha) hanggang sa binte sa Green Field sa Tapuac. So ginawa namin naghanap kami ng paraan kahit temporary lang ho para mabawasan man lang ang tubig,” Mayor Fernandez explained.
She said that after the day Super Typhoon Lawin scourged this city, City Engineer Chief Virginia Rosario called in her telephone DE Mendoza to borrow equipment to clean debris as a result of the typhoon but to no avail.
“Pero hinde siya sinasagot hihiram sana kami ng equipment kahit man lang e ayaw namang sumagot. Iyan ang mahirap kay..dapat tinutulungan..,” she cited.
Rosario instead asked the help of 2nd DE Dion who immediately acquiesced.
Dion earlier told Northern Watch that the three box culverts that worsen the flooding here have been referred by Mayor Fernandez to her legal office for action.
“It was already referred by the mayor to the legal office for any appropriate action,” Dion said.
Flashflood caused by the culverts caused the mayor here to suspend intermittently for two weeks the classes up to the tertiary level during the “Habagat” or south west monsoon in August this year.