Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lim looks at Celeste’s proposal to solve Dagupan's flood

Dagupan City Mayor Benjie S. Lim
NIA's Manager John Celeste

DAGUPAN CITY – The mayor of this city is willing to sit and talk with Area Manager John Celeste of the Project Inspection & Advisory Group (PIAG) of the National Irrigation Administration on the latter proposal to add more dikes on the river banks of the flood prone villages here instead of the more expensive dredging operation.
“I will listen to him what is the best to solve the flood problem (of the city),” said by Mayor Benjie S. Lim.
Celeste earlier told this paper that dredging operation is not the solution for the problem spawned by the perennial floods that overflow at the river banks.
He said the culprit that causes the swelling of the water is the incessant high tide of the sea at the exit of the river.
Manager Celeste, an engineer and resident of Brgy. Pantal, proposed that he will discuss with Mayor Lim or City Administrator Vladimir Mata to build more dikes above the old dikes on the river banks particularly on the areas of Pantal – one of the most vulnerable villages to flood whenever there is high tide.
“And the building of gates for the drainage underneath the old dikes to lock it whenever there is  high tide so the river could not enter into the residential areas,” he stressed.
The other flood prone villages here are Lasip, Caranglaan, Malued, Lucao, Tebeng, Mangin, Salisay and many other areas in southern Dagupan.
Lim liked the proposal of Celeste as he took his telephone number for a probable appointment.

The mayor compared Celeste’s technique to modern European countries like Netherlands today.
“Talagang mas mababa sila, sa ilalim sila ng sea level. Pero napakaganda ng bansa nila. They can afford to put a dike,” Lim said.
Lim however said that it cost millions of pesos to build dikes.
Earlier, 2nd Highway District Engineer Rodolfo Dion of the Department of Public Highways underscored the need to dredge not only of  Pantal but the upper stream Sinocalan River in Sta. Barbara that helps aggravate the recurrent flooding here.
He recalled for one that Pantal River was very deep many years ago that it was able to accommodate the big volume of water being discharged from Sta. Barbara town.
The river is now however very shallow and too narrow because of accretion for it to carry all the water.
The Pantal River in Dagupan is connected to the Sinocalan River to where all the water of the Toboy and Tagamusing Rivers in San Manuel and Binalonan, and the Mitura River in Urdaneta are draining their water.
Just like those European countries mentioned by Lim, this city is one meter below sea level and will continue to shrink as people here get their potable underneath its soil.
Dion said that a dredging machine from DPWH needs 200 liters of diesel fuel per hour, equivalent to one drum or approximately P10, 000 more or less.
But the recovery for one-hour work is high – at least 1,000 cubic meters he noted. He also recommended six-hour a day dredging for at least one year.

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