GMA ORDERS  RELEASE  OF  P35 MILLION  FOR EMERGENCY REHAB  IN CENTRAL LUZON

MALACANANG,  October 15, 2004
(Office of the Press Secretary)
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has directed the release of P35 million for the emergency rehabilitation of damaged dikes in flood-ravaged Central Luzon.

The President ordered the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) to facilitate the release of P15 million for the repair of the Colibangbang Dike in Paniqui, Tarlac, and P20 million for the rehabilitation of Arnedo Dike in Pampanga.

The Presidentís instruction was also relayed to the Office of the Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and DPWH Secretary Florante Soriquez.

Earlier, the Chief Executive convened the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Cabinet Group at the Clark Special Economic Zone in Angeles City to discuss various issues, including the damaged flood-prevention structures in Central Luzon.

The DPWH is part of NEDA Cabinet Group, one of the three Cabinet Groups constituted by the President to enable the government to address major concerns in the implementation of the administrationís 10-point legacy agenda.

During the meeting, priority development projects were identified to address the flooding problem in Central Luzon. The President and the Cabinet noted the urgent need to augment local funding for priority flood control projects lined up by the DPWH in Region 3.

Soriquez had directed DPWH-Region 3 Director Ramon Aquino to prepare the budget for the proposed repair/rehabilitation of the Arnedo Dike and other damaged flood control structures.

The Arnedo Dike in Barangay Mandasig, Candaba, Pampanga which is under the supervision of the Pampanga River Control System (PRCS), could have collapsed if not for the timely sandbagging activities undertaken by the DPWH and the local residents at the height of typhoon "Marce" in August.

On the other hand, rampaging floodwaters at the height of the recent typhoon breached a portion of the Colibangbang Dike in Paniqui, Tarlac, affecting hundreds of families living within its vicinity.

Although under the territorial jurisdiction of DPWH Region 3, the Colibangbang Dike is under the supervision of Region 1ís Agno River Flood Control System (ARFCS), being a part of the Agno River Over-All Improvement Plan (AROIP).


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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