ARAYAT -- To further protect residents near the Guemasan Dike here, this town's Mayor Benigno Espino said the municipal government will implement appropriate engineering interventions to strengthen and reinforce portions of the dike.

This project is in close coordination with third district Congressman Aurelio "Dong" Gonzales Jr.

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Espino said that as part of the preparation for the coming rainy season, there is an urgent need to repair the breached portions of the dike to ensure that it will not collapse again.

"Mayroon ng pondong inilaan si Congessman Dong Gonzales para ayusin at mapatibay pang lalo ang Guemasan Dike. Kung magkano ang pondo para dyan si Congressman ang higit na makakasagot dyan," Espino added.

The protective slopes of the dike were almost entirely destroyed last year due to the unusual volume of flood water from the upland province of Nueva Ecija.

Guemasan Dike protects the towns of Sta. Ana, Arayat, Mexico and the City of San Fernando from water coming from the Pampanga River.

Last year, it was learned that former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo earmarked some P27 million for the reinforcement of the said dike.

Also, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) officials previously claimed that they still maintain the Guemasan Dike.

DPWH strengthened and widened it to prevent further scouring and to protect thousands of villagers in Arayat and other neighboring towns from the strong current of water from Pampanga River during typhoons.

With this, Espino assured the residents that his administration is doing all available remedies to rehabilitate the dike at the earliest time possible.