MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/30 Sept) – The Rehabilitation of the Rio Grande de Mindanao is one of the 10 high priority and high impact proposed projects as presented in the Mindanao River Basin Integrated Management and Development Plan.
In the last chapter of the 16-chapter master plan released in July 2011, the Presidential Task Force on the Mindanao River Basin Rehabilitation and Development outlined the selected priority projects based on a list of programs and interventions “extensively and exhaustively” reviewed by the task force’s technical working group.
Aniceto Rasalan, secretary to the city mayor’s office, said earlier there’s a need to resume dredging operations at the heavily silted Rio Grande de Mindanao.
He said Malacañang has suspended the dredging operations, which if not resumed may further aggravate the flooding if bad weather continues in the area.
“There’s no dredging works now pending results of the investigation on the alleged misuse of funds of the task force,” he said, referring to the Arroyo-created Presidential Task Force on Mindanao River Basin Rehabilitation and Development (PTFMRBRD).
The “high priority, high impact” projects were selected from the 95 potential projects and programs reviewed by the technical working group to address the problem areas identified in the Mindanao River Basin, which is composed of 21 sub-river basins.
According to the master plan, the criteria for the selection of the projects include urgency or immediacy of the need, magnitude/range and recurrence of effects, feasibility or doability of the project, project impact to the community, and acceptability of the project.
The Mindanao River Basin covers 21,503 square kilometers in 10 provinces and four regions of central and southern Mindanao.
In the plan, the integrated flood control, river bank protection, and rehabilitation project for Rio Grande de Mindanao River System is listed among the six of the 10 priority projects subject for pre-feasibility study. The other projects in the sub-list includes pre-feasibility study for the development of early warning and flood forecasting system project for the Mindanao and Malungon-Buayan river basins; integrated flood control, river bank protection and rehabilitation projects for Ala River System, Pulangi River System, and the Malungon-Buayan River System; and the pre-feasibility study of the Dendro Thermal Power.
In the plan, the siltation control and management project for Rio Grande de Mindanao River System was also included in the four, as of then, “high impact priority projects” for the preparation of feasibility studies. The other three are the integrated flood control, river bank protection and rehabilitation of Ambal-Simuay river system; the silation control and management of Ala river System; and the Buayan-Malungon river system.
According to the master plan, the strategy of reducing the flood inflow to Rio Grande de Mindanao is to construct a check structure in the upper reaches of the river and a cut-off channel in the boundary of Cotabato City and the municipality of Kabuntalan, Maguindanao. The scheme, according to the plan, will divert excess flood waters from Rio Grande de Mindanao to Tamontaka River. It said that the system will “limit the maximum flood inflow” to Rio Grande de Mindanao by 800 cubic meters.
Bukidnon’s Pulangi River is one of the biggest tributaries to the Rio Grande de Mindanao River System. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)