LEGAZPI CITY, June 29 (PNA) -- One of the most-awaited components of the flood control project of the City Government of Legazpi will soon be enjoyed by the Legazpeños because almost 65 percent of the civil works of the three pumping stations have been completed already, Mayor Noel E. Rosal said Monday.
Rosal said the three pieces of pumping equipment have been installed already at the 4,000-square-meter area Tibu River in Barangay San Roque, at the 400-square-meter location in Victory Village and at the 400-square-meter site in Barangay Baybay.
He said he is very optimistic this project will become operational this coming September and the contractor is just finalizing the pumping facilities in Victory Village, whose affected residents will be relocated to pave the way for water to flow out to the Albay Gulf.
In the next three months, the so-called “Jetty” facility will be constructed near the mouth of the Tibu River Channel in Barangay San Roque, which is designed to prevent the entry of sand bar that could cause the clogging of river, Rosal said.
He pointed out that these three pumping stations are the ultimate solution to the flooding problem in this city, which affects almost 80 percent of the total population in the city proper during rainy season and high tide.
“These pumping equipment will give us more business activities that will surely result in the continuous economic growth because Legazpi will be converted into an all-weather city,” the chief executive said.
This anti-flood control facilities will serve as a welcome addition to the many landmarks established by the present city administration, he added.
“It is the best structure that other local government units need to establish, especially those localities that always suffer from flooding problems. This kind of project is also a testament that even if one locality is below sea level, there is a solution to the perennial flooding through a good infrastructure program,” Rosal pointed out.
He said he is very thankful to the administration of President Aquino for giving Legazpi City PHP2.1-billion budget, which is considered one of the biggest funds in an anti-flood control project outside Metro Manila.
The civil works of this project are being supervised by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Bicol Regional Office in cooperation with Legazpi City Engineering Office.
These include the flood control structures along Tibu and Macabalo rivers to serve as the waterways and also the rehabilitation of canals in the main thoroughfare, which removed the old-type culvert canals and replaced these with the new box-type canals.
The project also involves the improvements and construction of flood control dikes, drainage system and sea wall.
Rosal said the operational expenses and other maintenance of these pumping stations will cost at least PHP10 million yearly and it will be shouldered by the city administration.
He said that through this project the flooding problem will be controlled, especially in Barangays Oro Site, Peñaranda, Cabangan, San Roque, Sabang, Lapu-Lapu and other low-lying areas of the city.
The three pumping stations will be closed during continuous rains and high tide and, at the same time, flood waters from the slope of Mount Mayon and other sources of waters from the nearby Municipality of Daraga will be pumped out into the Albay Gulf.
The pumping facilities will be the first flood mitigating structure in the Bicolandia, patterned after the project of the Japan International cooperation Agency (JICA) with a capacity of throwing out three cubic meters of flood waters per second.
Rosal said all the garbage and other waste materials in the rivers will go directly to the trash rake, be filtered by the trash conveyor and go to the trash hopper.
Out of the PHP2.1-billion budget, the national government, under the General Appropriations Act (GAA), has already released already PHP1.39 billion to the DPWH-Bicol for the civil works of the project.
In 2012, the Aquino administration released PHP500 million, followed by PHP300 million in 2013, PHP290 million in 2014 and PHP300 million this year.
The city’s anti-flood control program materialized through the project study prepared by the city administration in 2009.
The study was submitted to Malacañang in 2010.
At the same year, the city administration entered into a contract with Vergel Colsult and Joint Venture (Schema United Technologies Colsult), a private consultancy firm based in Metro Manila which also conducted a study on the Master Flood Control Program of the city. (PNA) FFC/FGS/EPS/CBD/EDS