Aquino soon to approve megadike’s phase 1

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Thursday, July 10, 2014


THE construction of the proposed 12-kilometer megadike that will be soon approved by President Benigno Aquino III is just the first phase of the entire project, National Economic and Development Authority-Northern Mindanao (Neda-10) regional director Leon Dacanay said.

“That is just the phase one of the entire project that will be submitted to the president. There is a long list of the projects that have been approved already at the ICC (Investment Coordination Committee) cabinet committee which awaits the approval of the Neda board,” Dacanay said Tuesday.

In its June 30 meeting, the cabinet committee, composed of the Department of Finance (DOF), Neda, Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Monetary Board, had already given the green light for the megadike project.

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After the approval from the cabinet committee, the Neda Board, headed by Aquino will evaluate and re-assess the project especially on its budget.

“Prior to its approval, DOF will talk on where the budget should be [sourced] from. They will then endorse it to the Neda board,” he furthered.

The megadike construction stretches from the Macajalar Bay to the upstream areas at the Pelaez Bridge. It will affect 15 barangays and hundreds of families living in communities that would be relocated due to the project.

An owner of a major business establishment in the city, whose enterprise will also be affected, however, is not in favor of the project.

“Why are they only consuming 12 kilometers out from the 88 kilometers if they are truly in favor of protecting the whole city?” Raul (not his real name) said.

The Cagayan de Oro river water source comes from the provinces of Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte spanning 88 kilometers.

Dacanay said the reason why the project will only cover 12 kilometers is that the ‘built-zone’ is in the downstream.

“Houses, establishments and the people are here. So basically, the construction will only be up to the urban areas where people greatly dominate it. Sendong might recur in the next 80 years, that is why we are really avoiding that,” he said.

Raul said the megadike project is not consistent in the line of construction.

“I have seen the project map and the first thing I asked them is: why is it crooked? Why does the mega dike project will adjust to what is currently built like the (Saint Augustine Metropolitan) Cathedral and the City Hall?” Raul added.

Raul is not the only Kagay-anon who has expressed his opposition to the planned construction of the megadike.

Recently, when this paper asked some residents in Barangay Bonbon, one of the areas that will be affected by the megadike, the residents are opposing the project fearing displacement.

Dacanay, however, said the technical board, which is the Department of Public Works and Highways, knows the exact details of the project.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 10, 2014.

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