06 December 2013

Olongapo starts dredging its river to lessen flood

OLONGAPO CITY - The local government of Olongapo will now start its massive dredging campaign after it formally received a backhoe from SM Super Malls worth P2.4 million.

Olongapo City Mayor Rolen Pualino personally tested the backhoe donated by SM Prime Holdings after the hand-over ceremony at Marikit Park last week.

"I have tasked the engineering office to immediately start the dredging of the Kalaklan River, this may not permanently rid out the flood but it will lower it," Paulino said.

Paulino explained that the donation of SM Prime Holdings is of big help to the city's effort to clear the river channels of Olongapo City.

"We have four dump trucks that have been lent to us by private individuals to operate hand in hand with the dredging machine in Banicain river and this backhoe from SM, I am very grateful to this individuals and SM for their help in this operation," Paulino said.

He added that a study is now being conducted by the Planning and Development Office of the city to determine the cause of flooding and find a solution to the problem.

Last August and September, the city suffered its worst flooding in years after the previous administration failed to desilt the long stretch of Kalaklan River that serves as the main water channel going out to Subic Bay. Another desilting effort is being conducted in the Banicain River which started in August.

He also asked residents in Olongapo and nearby areas that if they need sand or filling materials, they could coordinate with the engineering office to get it for free.

City Engineer Ed Santos however said that before they give out filling materials, they will first inspect the area. "It would be no use if we give out sand or filling materials from our desilting operation if it will return back to our rivers, we will first inspect the site to see if it fits our requirements," Santos said.

Zambales 1st district congressman Jeffrey Khonghun meanwhile said that he has already asked the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to conduct a separate dredging program along the upstream of Sta. Rita River and at the mouth of Kalaklan River.

Khonghun's hometown of Subic also suffered massive flooding during the rainy season but he added that Olongapo was hit worst than them. He added that a desilting program is also in the works in the municipality of Subic.
(Olongapo City PAO)  

Olongapo City Mayor Rolen Paulino inspects the ongoing dredging operation at the East Bajac-bajac flood gate which serves as main water outlet of water coming from the inner part of the city.