The Department of Public Works and Highways and the Bacolod City Engineer's Office must integrate their plans to hasten flood mitigation preparations before the heavy rains hit in October, a Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry official urged yesterday.
While the DPWH was allotted P448 million for the construction and maintenance of flood mitigation structures and drainage systems in Bacolod under the 2016 General Appropriations Act, the flood control effort will be addressed sooner if it is coordinated with the City Engineer's Office, Frank Carbon, governor for Western Visayas and the Negros Island Region of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said.
Carbon said action must be taken in response to the flooding in several areas of Bacolod City during the weekend, or businesses will be affected.
“Aside from damage to properties, the value of the frequently-flooded areas will decrease if the problem will not be arrested,” he said.
Businesses will also be disrupted, especially with the upcoming MassKara Festival in October, he added.
In 2014, when Negros Occidental was included in the Regional Development Council-6, the business sector asked for a budget of P12 million for Bacolod and P18 million for Iloilo from DPWH to conduct a drainage plan study for both cities, he said.
The request was approved and the DPWH conducted a study in 2015 and Bacolod was granted P448 million in the General Appropriations Act of 2016, Carbon said.
The allotment was for the dredging of Mandalagan, Lupit and Magsungay rivers, he said.
The DPWH has already started the projects, along with the repair of drainage systems under its control, but it will be even faster if the system managed by the city government will be linked and monitored by both offices, he added.*KBC
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