Bicol officials received strong backing from President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for the revival of the Bicol River Basin Development Authority that will carry out an ambitious project aimed at controlling floods in the region.
The Bicol River Basin Development Authority, organized by former Camarines Sur governor Luis Villafuerte, hasn’t fully materialized because of lack of funding, Presidential Adviser on Bicol Affairs Marvel Clavecilla said.
President Duterte was in Pili, Camarines Sur Sunday to oversee government response to Typhoon Ulysses, which brought massive flooding in Bicol Region.
Under Bicol’s flood control plan, Clavecilla said three barangays in Baao, Camarines Sur would be developed as impounding area for flood water. It will be called Phantom Baao Lake.
“During heavy flooding, the water will be impounded in that area. And during dry season, we can plant other crops there. But it will take — it will have a social impact on some three barangays in Baao,” Clavecilla told the President.
President Duterte said that if Bicol officials are really determined to build a catch basin in Camarines Sur, they must come up with a comprehensive plan in relocating the affected population, as he noted the project’s social impact.
To realize the project, Clavecilla said they will coordinate with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the provincial government of Camarines Sur, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
“We need all their cooperation, their support para po maging feasible ang pag-rehab ng Bicol River Basin Development Authority.”
Camarines Sur suffers from yearly flooding during typhoon season as flood waters coming from Camarines Norte and Albay overflow the province’s tributaries, inundating low-lying areas.
With the construction of an impounding area, Bicol officials hope they can control floods that disrupt people’s lives and affect their livelihood.
Clavecilla also extended his gratitude to the President for the government’s response to Typhoons Rolly, Quinta, and Ulysses.
“Ang DSWD po ang nangunguna tumulong sa amin dito sa Camarines Sur at saka sa the whole of Bicol Region,” he told the President.
Vehicles from the DPWH were of great help in distributing relief materials and food packs, he added. PND