STO. TOMAS – In a bid to prevent flooding in Pampanga province, government officials cleared on Thursday the Federosa River which is considered the crossover site of water coming from several waterways in the upstream.
The massive anti-flood drive was participated in by the local government units of San Fernando and Sto. Tomas, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., which represented the private sector.
According to volunteer Engr. Marni Castro, the Federosa River, which is part of the province’s Third River, plays a key role on the descend of waters from the upstream down to the Manila Bay and its functionality is salient to avoid flooding.
He disclosed that before the project commenced on May 25, the Federosa River was as dry as a rice field due to huge siltation and several obstructions around its vicinity.
“Before we started the project, makakatawid ka dyan on bare foot, hindi ka mababasa. That’s how dry it was,” he said.
He disclosed that in about two months, the amphibian excavator has already hauled out around 700 truck loads or some 10,000 cubic meters of soil from the area alone.
He added that as of Thursday, the river is now eight meters deep and already allows water to go down its right course.
In addition, Castro, together with City of San Fernando Vice Mayor Jimmy Lazatin, Sto. Tomas Mayor Johnny Sambo, DPWH-Central Luzon assistant director Laureta Malaluan, also witnessed the removal of a huge siltation at the intersection of the area which slows down the flow of water downstream.
The removal of the said obstruction, which is some half a meter above water level, will hasten the descend of water and avoid clogging resulting to overspilling and flashfloods in major thoroughfares in the San Fernando and nearby towns.
“As you can see, almost three days na tayo nag-uulan. Last year, ganyan ulan lang baha na tayo sa Dolores intersection pero ngayon clear pa lahat ng major thoroughfares natin,” he said.
However, Castro said that the anti-flood drive will not be one hundred percent functional until the Zapata property here, which has long been a problem of the government, will be removed.
Sambo, who is also a prime mover of the project, affirmed the effectiveness of the dredging project, saying there are still no roads, especially in MacArthur Highway that are flooded despite three days of continuous rains.
He stressed that the unity of concerned local and national governments, as well as the private sector, is slowly becoming fruitful as its effects are now felt, especially in the Pampanga’s capital city.
“Kung walang baha, tuloy-tuloy po ang negosyo at ‘yun naman po ang gusto ng bawat munisipyo. Nakita po natin ngayon ‘yung bunga nga masigasig na pagtutulungan ng gobyerno at private sector at sana magtuloy-tuloy ito,” he said.