BAGUIO CITY– The Cordillera office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-CAR) will acquire a multi-million dredging machine to dredge major river systems in the different parts of the region to prevent the occurrence of perennial flooding in low-lying communities during the rainy season.
DPWH-CAR construction division head Engr. Clifton Valencerina said the conduct of public bidding for the procurement of the P126 million dredging machine is scheduled next month so that by next year, the agency can schedule the dredging of river systems with the use of the said machine.
“We had been receiving numerous requests for the provision of funds for the dredging of different major river systems regionwide but we opted to purchase the dredging machine for us to save on public funds,” Engr. Valencerina stressed.
The DPWH-CAR official disclosed the use of the dredging machine by the different district offices on major river systems in their areas of jurisdiction will be prioritized based on urgency to maximize the use of the machine.
According to him, one of the areas being targeted for immediate dredging is the Bued River, the Abra River, the Chico River in Tabuk City, and rivers on request from and justified by the concerned district offices of the region.
Valencerina argued the purchase of the dredging machine will redound to cheaper cost of dredging operations in the long run compared to providing funds for dredging operations because the expenses will be limited to fuel, the operator of the machine and the maintenance cost for the purchased machine.
He explained that the ongoing operation of quarry sites long portions of the Bued River and other major river systems in the region has helped in the natural dredging of the said rivers although there is still a need to use the dredging machine to augment the dredging activities being conducted on some rivers.
The DPWH-CAR division chief stated that the Abra River was also previously identified by the agency as a priority area for dredging operations by the machine because of the huge volume of debris from the uplands that are washed down the low-lying portions of the river.
He emphasized that with the upcoming procurement of the dredging machine, the agency will no longer approve future requests from the different district offices for the allocation of funds purposely for the dredging of river systems.
Valencerina urged the different district offices to start providing the regional office with requests and justifications on the utilization of the dredging machine to help the office in prioritising dredging once the machine is purchased, before the onset of the rainy seasons to prevent flooding in their areas of jurisdiction.