GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/24 March) — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has allotted around P96 million for the expansion this year of the city’s drainage system.
Engr. Pio Lumungsod, chief of the DPWH’s city engineering district office, said Tuesday the allocation will fund the construction of additional drainage canals as well as the rehabilitation and upgrading of existing structures.
He said around P46 million was set aside for the extension of the drainage canal that was built last year in Barangao Lagao, at the vicinity of the National Food Authority provincial office.
The drainage canals will be extended to the coastal village of Barangay Bula by way of Leon Llido Street, he said.
The official said another P50 million was allotted for the extension of the drainage along a stretch of the national highway from the vicinity of the Notre Dame of Dadiangas University to the corner of Santiango Boulevard in the city proper.
The drainage canal will be stretched all the way to the city’s coasts by way of Santiago Boulevard, he said.
“We will be installing bigger box culverts and expand the existing drainage canals to 2×2 meters,” Lumongsod said.
He said they decided to increase the size of the drainage canals in preparation for the upcoming rainy season.
The areas covered by the project easily get flooded during and after heavy rains and the enlarged canals would help ensure the smooth flow of floodwaters, he said.
The city government had lobbied for funding from the DPWH for the expansion of the city drainage system to address the flooding problems during the rainy season.
City Mayor Ronnel Rivera also ordered a review of the city’s drainage master plan to make it more responsive in terms of addressing the perennial flooding in several low-lying portions of the city as well as complement with the area’s continuing development expansions.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Region 12 earlier identified barangays Baluan, Buayan, Bula, Calumpang, Siguel, Lagao and Sinawal as high-risk to flooding.
The seven villages were among 340 communities in Region 12 found to be highly vulnerable and will likely become “uninhabitable” during floods.
MGB said most of these areas are part of a flood plain and are vulnerable to heavy flooding after just two to three hours of rains due to lack of substantial storm drainage. (MindaNews)