CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Desilting and declogging of major waterways in the city commenced on the first week of January, earlier than the usual waterways cleanup operations previously scheduled every midyear, as ordered by Mayor Edwin Santiago.

“I instructed our Engineering Department to start removing silt and clean the waterways this early,” Santiago said.

The mayor had recently organized barangay brigades and community volunteers who oversee the cleaning up of canals, creeks and tributaries in the city’s 35 villages.

“The preparation for the rainy season and the cleanup of the San Fernando River and its tributaries, as well as canals and waterways should really start early, beginning the month of January so we can avert flashfloods in sudden downpours. This is also in relation to our environment and solid waste management programs, as well as sanitation and health projects,” Santiago told Sun.Star Pampanga.

For her part, Engineer Anele David of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) said: “This is the ideal time that we start desilting our waterways as a preemptive measure especially now that we are experiencing climate change.”

David noted that the City also supports the International Coastal Cleanup Month every September.

Last year, during the onslaught of the Habagat, four barangays in San Fernando were among the 104 barangays in Pampanga that have been submerged in floodwaters, which officials said were caused by silted and clogged waterways. Kristine Venet Q. Andal