IBA, Zambales: The local government of Zambales over the weekend said that it would prioritize flood control project to ensure safety for its residents and prevent another disaster like the massive flooding that displaced some 5,000 families in at least two municipalities last year.
Zambales governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. said that the project include a P50 million upgrading of the Barangay Carael highway in Botolan town which was ravaged by flashflood during typhoon Kiko’s visit to the provinceand another P5 million improvement of dike along the Maculcol river in San Narciso town.
“This is a priority for us–their safety and peace of mind,” Ebdane said, noting that in Botolan alone a total of 4,276 families or about 18,400 persons were driven out of their homes by a series flooding during the typhoon season last year.
“We know we cannot immediately reverse the effects of last year’s disaster, as a lot of the flood victims were traumatized by the experience that they fear returning to their barangays. But we hope to ease their minds and hearts, a little at a time, with the projects we are carrying out,” Ebdane added.
The P50-million project for the repair and improvement of the Carael, Botolan portion of the Zambales highway will include elevating the road by 1.5 meters.
“This portion was totally destroyed by flash floods that also inundated several barangays last year,” Engr. Neil Farala, acting provincial engineer explained. “Now, we’re raising the road elevation to put it on the same level as the four new box culverts that we constructed across the four new streams that were created by last year’s flooding.”
Another major project being undertaken in the province is the upgrading of dikes that protect the banks of Maculcol River, which traverses barangay Manglicmot in San Felipe town and barangay Paete in San Narciso.
Falara said that the governor identified this project as “emergency activity” after finding out in one of his community visits that river water had risen to just about one meter of the dike.
Ebdane also announced that the P100-million allotment for the completion of two key road connection projects in Zambales has been restored after he convinced officials at the DPWH national office that these projects were critical to the economic development of the province.
The road projects would connect barangay Guisguis in Sta. Cruz town to Mangatarem in Pangasinan province, and Botolan town to Capas, Tarlac, thereby putting Zambales in the economic mainstream of Central Luzon.