CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The City Government of San Fernando with its business and private sector partners have started major moves avert flooding in the city's major thoroughfares as the rainy season comes.

Mayor Oscar Rodriguez and Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (Pamcham) chairman emeritus and founder Levy P. Laus, together with Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)'s Assistant Director for Planning Ethel Manalo and flood czar Engineer Marni Castro, inspected ongoing works in drainage systems along Jose Abad Santos Avenue (Jasa) and the adjoining Del Carmen creek.

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Canals along the city's "Ayala Avenue" and the creek have been discovered strewn with tons of garbage and heavily silted, causing floods during heavy downpours. Jasa is the province's gateway to Central Luzon.

Rodriguez said the campaign is part of the moves of Task Force Illegal Structure, which seeks to remove all structures near waterways and clean up canals and drainage systems.

"We are starting here at Jasa… we have to fix the drainage system here so we can control flooding," he said, adding that it would avert long days of flooding in the area.

Rodriguez added that the particular spot along the creek up to Barangay San Jose is ready for rehabilitation and for further development, where a u-turn slot will be created toward the east and west directions.

Laus, chairman and chief executive officer of the Laus Group of Companies, said it was the conglomerate's way of participating in public service, as he himself is with the Save San Fernando Movement.

"That is why Mayor Rodriguez acted on this concern immediately. Governor Lilia Pineda is concerned too, as she told me during our Pamcham General Assembly that the Provincial Government is ready to help anytime. This collaboration of the government and private sectors is a model in moving and addressing concerns like this," Laus said.

Manalo meanwhile said the environmental compliance certificate of nearby establishments should also be checked with the onset of the rainy season, so garbage disposal in the area would be controlled.

She said the DPWH would work hand-in-hand with the local government unit and the private sector to ensure the success of flood mitigation in the Jasa area. (Jovi T. De Leon)