Date Posted: 2012-04-25
The highly anticipated visit of the DPWH representatives charged by Undersecretary Rafael C. Yabut to inspect the dikes and rivers of the 5th District on April 7, 2012 was a welcomed event judging by the enthusiasm shown by all concerned. The delegation was ushered by the staff of Congresswoman Kimi Cojuangco with cooperation from the mayors of the towns scheduled for inspection.
Dir. Rogelio O. Ang (center - wearing dark glasses), and team inspects google copied maps of the Bued River dike. (L-R) Engr. Michael T. Alpasan, Engr. Onofre Domondon, Mr. Keong Reyes, Dir. Rogelio O. Ang, Engr. Perfecto Zaplan, Jr. and Mr. Brent Berry.
While critical evaluation of the state of the dikes and floodway systems in the 5th District of Pangasinan was expected, everyone looked forward to the positive solutions that the constructive criticism is likely to deliver.
Engr. Edgardo Paragas, Project Manager, Agno Flood Control Office, Tomana, Rosales, Pangasinan has a way to repel the heat of the sun.
Despite the scorching heat of the summer sun and some reluctance and confusion from the local DPWH head who was overheard to remark “Why should I make a survey when there is no fund to do projects? Pero sabi nila magsurvey, eh di magsurvey” (But they said to make a survey, so we do the survey), the group continued with their mission visiting one town after another. As one of the congresswoman’s staff countered to the previous remark, the inspection and survey of the dikes and floodway systems does not need to wait for funding to occur, “The survey could be the means to acquire said funding.”
The DPWH team from Manila was headed by Dir. Rogelio O. Ang, DPWH Flood Control Director (Central Office); Perfecto L. Zaplan, Jr., Chief , Hydraulics Div., Bureau of Design; Michael T.
Alpasan, Engineer IV, PMO-Flood Control and Sibo Engineering Center, and Brent Berry, Consultant (JICA –Flood Control).
Not minding the heat, Ms. Dhang Manaois and Joy Julaton are seen here recommending probable solutions to the eroding portions of the old road in barangay Agat.
With each representative assigned a specific focus, the joint activity proceeded according to its mission to record and assess the condition of the Bued, Aloragat, Tagamusing and Agno rivers which have been known to constantly bring massive destructions to the area during rainy season. The group, during this survey, aimed to develop measures not only to lessen the destructive impact of these tributaries, but perhaps to even come up with a more permanent solution to totally eliminate their damaging nature.
Mayor Art Chan (In white barong) escaped office works to personally guide the team to the most critical areas in his town.
Mr. Keong Reyes was assigned by Congresswoman Cojuangco to take the lead in ushering the DPWH team during the survey by ensuring that all pertinent locations and structures were included in their itinerary. Mayor Mina Joy Pangasinan also entrusted to him and Ms. Joy Julaton all issues concerning the town of Sison, the starting place for inspection as the delegates were billeted at the Cojuangco’s guest house in Labayug.
Mayor Art Chan of Pozorrubio was among the first to clear his schedule, cutting short numerous meetings to be able to show the delegation areas in his town that are critical and require immediate attention.
Mayor Ramon Guico, III of Binalonan giving points to ponder re the status of Sitio Mangcasuy inside his office.
After Pozorrubio, the team went to the Sitio Mangcasuy of Binalonan where they first dropped by the office of Mayor Ramon Guico, III who was already waiting for the team’s arrival. A momentary discussion ensued regarding the status of Sitio Mangcasuy and adjacent areas then all went to the site for ocular inspection. After Binalonan, all rushed to Laoac before the sun sets.
An ocular inspection at Sisito Mangcasuy
A view of the Aloragat River in Laoac. Immense portion of the Sun Fresh District Dairy Farm has already been washed out while a payloader is also shown here seemingly shoring-up but the wrong side.
“I will feed you; I will house you, but… please! I don’t want people to die! I don’t want the farmers to suffer!” Rep. Kimi
After Laoac, the team paused from the day’s work and proceeded to the guest house of the Cojuangcos in Labayug to rejuvenate. They were catered to by Mr. Alex Ilumin, the chef of the Cojuangcos and were welcomed by the rest of the residential staff. The DPWH team was provided with hotel-like accommodation and the opportunity to enjoy that astounding vista of the towns of Sison and Pozorrubio, including a silhouette of the four gargantuan silos in Laoac from their hillside perch.
Mayor Manuel Collado of Alacala showing the vast expanse of the river that constantly threatens his town.
At the height of the discussion, engineer representatives of Mayor Amado Espino, III of Bautista arrived at where the rivers of Alcala and Bautista meet. The team took a long pause in the area to fully document the status of the river that seemed and interminable threat to both towns that if not given outright attention could cause colossal destruction anytime. However, major projects and activities have already been initiated by Mayor Collado to circumvent a much more destructive impact that proved very effective but this did not fully address the overall dilemma; the towns need the intervention of the national government. After a long discussion, the team including Mayor Collado and staff proceeded to Bautista where Pangasinan Board Member Amadeo Espino was already waiting. The board member and engineer representatives showed the structure that residents dubbed as “tunnel” in barangay Diaz. According to the board member and municipal engineers, the structure is not helping but instead, it hampers the rapid flow of water that submerges Sitio Cuarenta and adjacent areas every rainy season.
The structure that residents dubbed as “tunnel”.
BM Amadeo Espino converses with Engr. Zaplan.
BM Deo Espino (ctr – wearing short pant) proposes measures to help ease or eliminate the flooding in Bautista.
The last stop of the excursion was Villasis where Mayor Libradita Abrenica toured the team in her area pointing out exactly where the critical areas were. It was during the meet up that the lady mayor openly blurted that should any project is built; particularly those within her jurisdiction, her office must be informed before it starts so that there could be a joint supervision and maintenance. “Bago sila gumawa ng anumang project, dapat naipapaalam sa opisina ko para magkaroon ng tamang ugnayan lalo na sa pagmamantena!” she said referring to the office of the DPWH Agno Flood Control Office in Rosales. Engr. Onofre Domondon, representing Project Manager Paragas who was absent on the second day inspection heard the remark.
Mayor Libradita Abrenica (left), Ms Dhang Manaois (ctr) and Dir. Ang (right) discussing probable measures to ease flooding of the area where they are currently standing.
After Villasis, the team from Manila satisfied with their tour and armed with enough information regarding the state of dikes, rivers and floodways in the 5th District, directed their final stop to the DPWH office in Tomana, Rosales for a meeting with Engr. Paragas before going straight back to Manila.
The team took a moment to pose with Mayor Abrenica, staff and representatives of Congresswoman Cojuangco after the last stop before they proceeded to the DPWH office in Tomana, Rosales. (L-R) Engr. Onofre Domondon, Engr. Vladimir Torres, Engr. Michael Alpasan, Ms. Dhang Manaois, Dir. Rogelio Ang, Mayor Libradita Abrenica, Engr. Perfecto Zaplan, Jr. and Mr. Keong Reyes.
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