TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Rep. Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang said that there might be a slight delay in the completion of the proposed P5.5 billion Chico River mega dike project because of the ongoing crisis situation triggered by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that had caused the delay in the release of the earlier funds already provided for the project this year.
However, Mangaoang claimed that despite the classification of some of the funds for the project for later release, the budget that had been appropriated for the project this year had been reportedly restored that will ensure the continuation of the programmed projects.
He disclosed the multi-year obligation of funds for the project will be supposedly completed by 2022 but it seems there might be slight delays in the prosecution of the projects, thus, the implementation of the remaining projects could extend up to 2024 but what is important is the solution that will be provided by the project to the perennial flooding in the low-lying barangays of the city and nearby Pinukpuk town.
The Kalinga lawmaker stated he is closely monitoring the developments in the ongoing deliberations for the proposed P4.5 trillion national budget so that the committed funds for the multi-billion project that will be undertaken through the multi-year provision of funds will be included in the government’s national expenditure program next year and the following years to ensure the immediate completion of the aforesaid project.
According to him, the implementation of the Chico River mega dike project is part of the government’s efforts in providing a permanent solution to the perennial flooding in lower Tabuk City and the nearby town of Pinukpuk to improve the productivity of the farmers who are usually impacted by flooding in the area.
Congressman Mangaoang said that the 18-kilometer long and 30-meter wide flood control project will also serve as an alternate road in going in and out of the city aside from serving as a tourist destination and business center that will help in sustaining the growth and development of the component city into one of the well-developed cities in the country because of the presence of vast tracks of lands that could be developed into productive areas for different business endeavors.
He underscored that the possible delays in the construction of the flood control project is understandable at this point because of the current health pandemic that caused the virtual stoppage of small and large economic activities in the different parts of the world but it is important that the committed funds are guaranteed and the project shall be completed in a number of years.
The Chico River is the longest and largest river system in the Cordillera that traces its headwaters from the Mount Data National Park in Bauko, Mountain Province and connects to the Cagayan River, the largest river system in Luzon, before spilling over in the Pacific Ocean.
Mangaoang stipulated that he will continue to lobby with the public works department to ensure that the programmed funds for the project will not be scrapped from the national expenditure program because the completion of the project is be pivotal in spurring the growth and development of the city and the province. By HENT