TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The Department of Public Works and Highways–Lower Kalinga District Engineering office (DPWH-LKDEO) announced the funding for the P5.5 billion proposed Chico river mega-dike project was spread out by the agency over a 5-year period from 2017 to 2021 to guarantee the completion of the province’s major flood control project-cum-tourism haven.
DPWH-LKDEO District Engineer Ireneo S. Gallato said that the multi-billion flood control project involves the construction of revetment and embankment dike, channeling and widening along the major portion of the Chico River, the major river system in the Cordillera that strands from its headwaters in Bauko, Mountain Province and connects to the mighty Cagayan River in Cagayan province.
“We remain committed to complete the project within the period stipulated in the multi-year obligation program adopted by the agency to ensure the availability of funds for the long-term project which will benefit the people of Kalinga once it is completed,” Gallato stressed.
In 2017, the district engineer revealed the agency allocated P100 million from the regional infrastructure fund to jumpstart the construction of the flood control with an initial length of 1 kilometer, supplemented by some P157.97 million from the calamity fund for the construction of an additional 650 meters long flood control dike along the river system.
He added for this year’s budget, another P100 million was included in the regional infrastructure budget for the construction of an additional 800 meters of the flood control dike apart from other related works in preparation for the implementation of bigger projects in the coming years.
For 2019 and 2020, Gallato claimed a total of P1 billion or P500 million each year will be included in the agency’s regional infrastructure fund to complete at least 10 kilometers of the mega-dike and contribute to efforts in significantly controlling the flooding in the 16 barangays of lower Tabuk and 5 barangays of Pinukpuk.
According to him, some P4.122 billion will be included in the agency’s regional infrastructure fund for 2021 to complete the construction of the remaining 16-kilometer portion of the flood control project to eventually serve its purpose in mitigating perennial flooding in the lower portions of the province and ensure convenient travel among motorists to and from the city.
The DPWH-LKDEO official added that the agency will present to the provincial and municipal officials the master plan of the Chico River mega-dike project for their information and further action although the provincial government was already provided an advance copy of the plan that serves as the blueprint in the implementation of the projects funded by the agency in the next five years.
Aside from being a flood mitigating structure, the megadike will also serve as a premier tourism hub and business center to help spur increased economic activities in the city.