RDC-6 Chair Sees Hope For Flood-Prone Capiz
The Panay River Basin Flood Control Project will be funded through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), said Capiz Gov. Victor Tanco Sr., chair of the Regional Development Council 6.
Now the council is waiting for the JICA to make the funds available, Tanco said during the Collaboration Workshop for the Major River Basins in Western Visayas here yesterday.
The workshop was among the activities in line with the “Tapatan on Disaster Preparedness” of the Department of Interior and Local Government.
“Tapatan” is a series of summits focused on disaster preparedness of local government units. It sets measures of compliance that must showcase exemplary environmental governance.
“[The] JICA has been our target financier,” Tanco told reporters. “It assured us of support since we proposed the project.”
But the agency backed out last year because of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan, severely affecting some of its prefectures along the coastlines and leading the country into a nuclear dilemma.
Once the flood control project is materialized, Capiz province — particularly the towns along the 98-kilometer Panay River — will no longer experience extreme flooding during heavy rains and typhoons, Tanco said.
Flashfloods caused by torrential rains have been affecting the economy of the province, claiming hundreds of lives and damaging millions of pesos worth of properties, the Capiz governor lamented.
The worst flashflood that Capiz experienced was brought by Typhoon “Openg” on November 1973.
Some P341 million worth of properties were destroyed.
Majority of the towns in Capiz were rendered underwater when Typhoon “Undang” hit the province 11 years later.
On August 1983, the Department of Public Works and Highways conducted a feasibility study on the proposed flood control project. It completed the study on October 1985.
Two years later, in 1987, the JICA conducted another feasibility study on the project.
The studies aim to formulate an integrated water resource development plan for the Panay River Basin.
The river basin covers 12 of the 16 municipalities in northeastern Capiz.
Due to insufficient funds, the project was not materialized.
It was only this year that the National Economic Development Authority revived the project.