SAN SIMON -- An official from the local government here Wednesday, July 12, asserted that the ongoing “upgrading” project of an investor where warehouses will be constructed along a portion of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) will “not be a threat” and cut access to the vital road network in case of flooding.
Despite observations of stakeholders which were backed by photographs and an actual inspection recently, San Simon Municipal engineer Benigno Bonus insisted that all waterways and tributaries are functional, including the Cabalantian Creek which is reportedly affected by the upgrading project of a privately-owned company here.
Bonus made the clarification after the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Central Luzon and the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. called the attention of the local government of San Simon to look into the construction activities along NLEx which were observed to have covered essential waterways.
DPWH-Central Luzon director Antonio Molano, Jr., in an earlier interview, echoed the concern of Pampanga Chamber officials that closure of the waterways will cut access to NLEx, paralyze commerce and trade, and cause further flooding to San Simon and other towns in the province, including the City of San Fernando.
He added that if water from the upstream cannot pass by its natural course, it might clog the area until it affects the access road of NLEx which is adjacent to the property.
Bonus clarified that the company, which is building warehouses for business purposes, did not cover the Cabalantian Creek or any waterway in the area in the course of the construction.
The engineer admitted that in the aerial view of the photographs, the waterway seemed to be covered since the contractor implemented an architectural strategy called “box culvert” where the surface is covered but water from underneath is flowing.
He added that the box culvert design is used for many years because of special waterway requirements, unusual load conditions, or designer preference. The structure allows water to flow under a road, railroad, trail, or similar obstructions from one side to the other side, typically embedded so as to be surrounded by soil.
“From an aerial view, covered talaga siya. Engineering design kasi ‘yan para mamaximize nila ‘yung lot area, pero doon sa ilalim, functional ‘yung Cabalantian Creek,” he said.
Bonus disclosed that before the construction of the private company in the 90-hectare lot in Quezon Road, Cabalantian Creek is heavily silted and is in near dysfunctional state.
“Actually hindi nag-cause ng problem ‘yung company. They actually provided a solution kasi ni-rehabalitate nila ‘yung tributary. Dinesilt nila ‘yun at nilinis,” he stressed.
Bonus said that he and the local government are willing to meet with DPWH-Central Luzon and Pampanga Chamber officials to discuss and shed light to the concern.
"Wala naman problema doon. Mas maganda na mas malinawan ang lahat, lalo na safety ang isang concern dito," he noted.