CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Officials of the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (PamCham) expressed optimism on Thursday over the flood mitigation programs of the government here.

During the group's 31st General Membership Meeting held at the showroom of Carworld here, PamCham Chairman and Founder Levy P. Laus said that the eradication and control of flooding in the province would translate to better business and security for investors.

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Updates on the flood mitigation program were presented by Engr. Philip Meñez, Project Director of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

"The recent typhoon [Basyang] is a sample and a wake-up call for us to prepare. Pampanga has always been a challenged province and how we could mitigate our flooding problems, which have been there since time immemorial, is what we would like to convey to the public, especially what the local government is doing and particularly the big project done by former President and now Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo," said Laus.

He said Arroyo's project is nearing completion and ready to confront the flooding problem. "For the business sector, our advocacy has been to prevent and minimize flooding because this is important to business. Here in San Fernando, we're very happy that Mayor Oscar Rodriguez has his Sagip Ilog. And here, for the past two or three years, there has been no flooding."

He said that the inconveniences, rather than the fears brought by flooding has led to adjustments made by the business sector, adding projections work for businessmen especially during the rainy season.

PamCham President Rene Romero, for his part said that the group has always sought partnerships with the local and provincial governments on how to mitigate flooding.

"We could see that our local leaders are happy with what the business sector is doing now. We know that the provincial government initiates moves to address our needs, this flood mitigation as an example. They have the mandate and the business sector is there to assist. If there would be no more or less flooding in the province, investors would come in and employment would be generated. It's really good for business," he disclosed.

Meñez, meanwhile, revealed that the multi-billion peso contract package of the program has gained headway and would meet the target date of completion by 2012. (Jovi T. De Leon)