TO PREVENT the occurrence of perennial flooding in low-lying communities during the rainy season, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Cordillera is set to acquire a multi-million dredging machine to dredge major river systems in the different parts of the region.
Engr. Clifton Valencerina, DPWH-Cordillera onstruction division head, said the public bidding for the procurement of the P126-million dredging machine is scheduled next month, for them to start the scheduling of dredging of river systems in the region.
"We had been receiving numerous requests for the provision of funds for the dredging of different major river systems region wide but we opted to purchase the dredging machine for us to save on public funds," Valencerina said.
The use of the dredging machine by the different district offices on major river systems in their areas will be prioritized based on urgency to maximize the use of the machine.
"One of the areas being targeted for immediate dredging is the Bued River, the Abra River, the Chico River in Tabuk City, and rivers on request from and justified by the concerned district offices of the region," he said.
He also pointed out the purchase of the dredging machine will redound to cheaper cost of dredging operations in the long run, compared to providing funds for dredging operations, because the expenses will be limited to fuel, the operator of the machine and the maintenance cost for the purchased machine.
The ongoing operation of quarry sites along portions of the Bued River and other major river systems in the region has helped in the natural dredging of the said rivers, but there is still a need to use the dredging machine to augment the dredging activities being conducted on some rivers.
The Abra River was also previously identified by the agency as a priority area for dredging operations by the machine because of the huge volume of debris from the uplands that are washed down the low-lying portions of the river.
With the upcoming procurement of the dredging machine, the agency will no longer approve future requests from the different district offices for the allocation of funds purposely for the dredging of river systems.
"I urge the different district offices to start providing the regional office with requests and justifications on the utilization of the dredging machine to help the office in prioritizing dredging once the machine is purchased, before the onset of the rainy seasons to prevent flooding in their areas of jurisdiction," Valencerina added.