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Cagayan River dredging to start late Jan. or early Feb.

THE dredging of the Cagayan River will soon start by late January or early February with the removal of sandbars along its constricted section called “Magapit Narrows.

This was disclosed by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu, saying that the move is part of the short-term solution to prevent the flooding in Cayagan Valley.

Cimatu, who is also the Task Force Build Back Better (TFBBB) co-chairperson, disclosed that the medium- and long-term solutions for the flooding in Cagayan Valley are still underway. Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar also co-chairs the TFBBB

The three sandbars are located in Magapit Narrows, which is being described by the DPWH as the “constriction point” in the mid-stream portion of the 500-kilometer Cagayan River.

The DPWH reported that the three sandbars have a total estimated volume of seven million cubic meters, covering 235 hectares of sandbars.

These are located at Barangay Bangag in Lal-lo town covering 11.4 hectares with 334,305 cubic meters of sand; Casicallan Norte, Gattaran that covers 89 hectares with 2.7 million cubic meters of sand; and Dummun, Gattaran covering 174.70 hectares with 4.04 million cubic meters of sand.

Of the 19 priority sandbars, Cimatu explained that the DPWH has recommended the immediate dredging of the three sandbars in the Magapit Narrows as these significantly hinder the flow of flood water to the Aparri Delta and finally to the Babuyan Channel.

The DENR chief said the TFBBB is tapping the resources of other national agencies to fast track the removal of the three sandbars, which the DPWH estimates to be completed after a year.

Six units of dredging equipment, which are modular type for ease of transport and assembly in the dredging sites, will be deployed by the DPWH in Magapit Narrows.

The removal of sandbars will be done in 250-meter segments or blocks, while the use of geotubes is proposed for the management of dredged materials.

This is another showcase of whole-of-government approach,” Cimatu said, stressing that the strategy “will drastically reduce the flooding problem in Cagayan Valley.

Twenty-four dump trucks, five bulldozers, five scoop loaders, four prime movers with long bed, and two backhoe loaders from the Armed Forces of the Philippines are on stand-by for deployment to augment the equipment of the DPWH.

Cimatu also ordered DENR-Cagayan Valley Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan to coordinate with her local counterparts at the Department of Labor and Employment and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to ask for assistance from the beneficiaries of Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/ Displaced Workers program as well as TESDA-trained heavy equipment operators and mechanics in the dredging activities.

Villar, meanwhile,,welcomed Cimatu’s move to beef up DPWH’s manpower needs with the project operating in two three-hour shifts.

Publication Source :    People's Tonight