GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/28 September) — The Regional Development Council (RDC) of Region 12 or the Soccsksargen Region urged the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to fast track the formulation of the flood control and drainage master plan for nearby Koronadal City in a bid to effectively resolve the area’s flooding problems.
City Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio, RDC-12 chair, said the council considers the master plan as the “ultimate solution” to the perennial flooding in Koronadal City, particularly in portions of the national highway in barangays Saravia and Carpenter Hill where the regional government center site is located.
“The RDC XII believes that the expansion of Koronadal City’s development could not be realized if flooding persists in the said area,” she said in a statement.
In support of the move, Custodio said the council passed a resolution reiterating its request to the DPWH central office for the release of the necessary funds for the preparation of the master plan.
The RDC also passed a separate resolution requesting DPWH to allocate supplemental funds for the immediate widening of the bend of the affected area’s newly-constructed lined canal and the repair of its damaged parts to prevent overflowing of floodwaters along the national highway, she said.
In June last year, the RDC 12 also endorsed to the DPWH central office a proposed P300- million flood control and drainage project for the area.
RDC Resolution No. 88 sought for the immediate funding of the proposed necessary flood control and drainage structures to address the worsening flooding problems in the city.
It cited the September 2010 floods in several villages in the city that damaged various infrastructure facilities and left five people dead.
The RDC noted that “the flooding in Barangay Carpenter Hill, where the regional government center is located, often occur during heavy downpour resulting to traffic congestion and cut- off of vehicles plying the Koronadal-General Santos City national highway.”
In another resolution approved in December 2011, the RDC-12 sought for the allocation of P15 million from the DPWH central office to fund the formulation of Koronadal City’s flood control and drainage master plan.
Two weeks ago, South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Pingoy Jr. asked the RDC to help assess and formulate immediate and long-term solutions to the Koronadal City’s problem, which has already hampered the movement of travelers and products to this city and the neighboring localities.
The governor specifically requested the council to look into the P50 million lined canal project implemented by DPWH South Cotabato that recently suffered some breaches, worsening the accumulation of floodwaters along the national highway.
The project involved the construction of line canals beside the flood-prone portions of the national highway in Barangays Saravia and Carpenter Hill as well as a drainage structure that would connect and redirect the floodwaters to the Marbel River.
But Pingoy said the 1.8-meter lined canals constructed by a contractor commissioned by DPWH have so far failed to endure the volume of floodwaters passing by the area, and have caused severe flooding in the last several weeks along the national highway, the nearby regional center site and local communities. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)