THE National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Board’s Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-Cabcom) has approved the Ambal-Simuay River and Rio Grande de Mindanao River Flood Control Projects during its meeting on March 8, 2018.

"The Mindanao flood control projects, costing P39.2 billion, would involve the construction of various flood management infrastructure such as dikes and floodgates along the Ambal-Simuay and Rio Grande de Mindanao which are parts of the Mindanao River Basin, the second largest river basin in the country," Neda said in a statement.

According to the data provided by the Mindanao Development Authority (Minda), the project is seen to mitigate flooding in Cotabato City and the municipalities of Sultan Kudarat and Sultan Mastura in Maguindanao.

For the Ambal-Simuay flood control, the project will involve river widening and construction of parallel dikes along the river to the cut-off channel; establishment of a new channel with a dike-to-dike width of 250 meters; dredging and excavation of an estimated 2.87 million cubic meters of materials to achieve the design river width covering a total length of 11.2 kilometers (km); and construction of an 11.6km and a 9.1km dike along the left and right banks.

For the Rio Grande de Mindanao, the project will involve channel dredging and construction of dikes, retaining walls, and flood gates; dredging works covering a total length of 6.1 km and an estimated volume of 7.87 million cubic meters of dredged materials; construction of the dikes and retaining walls with a total length of 25 km; and installation of flood gates at every entrance or exit of the creeks connected to Rio Grande de Mindanao, with 23 flap gates.

The implementation of the project will be within six years and will involve the procurement of consulting services; consulting services for the detailed engineering design and construction supervision; procurement of civil works contractor; and construction works.

Aside from its infrastructure component, the project also aims to strengthen the flood management capabilities of and coordination among concerned government agencies and local government units.

The project is among the three new projects that were approved by the Neda ICC-Cabcom. The other two are the 10 Proposed Priority Bridges Crossing Pasig-Marikina River and Manggahan Floodway of the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Rural Agro-Enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth (Rapid Growth) Project of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Neda said the 10 priority bridges project aims to improve road transport network capacity and efficiency in Metro Manila by adding fix links and alternate routes, was also approved.

The DTI's Rapid Growth project, which has a total cost of P4.78 billion, seeks promote productive rural enterprises and value chain development; increase competitiveness and ease of doing business; invest in human capital and innovative technologies; and match skills development with private sector demand.

These ICC-approved projects will be elevated to the Neda Board, chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte, for confirmation. (RJL with PR)