Pampanga gov wants long-term solution to floods

by Jon Carlos Rodriguez, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Aug 10 2012 08:23 PM | Updated as of Aug 11 2012 07:18 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda on Friday called on the national government to develop a long-term solution to address the worsening flooding situation in the province.

Despite the improvement of weather conditions, several towns and municipalities in Pampanga remain submerged in floodwaters, particularly the town of San Simon.

Pineda said a dike at the Pampanga River has been breached, triggering massive flooding.

Thousands are now staying at evacuation centers as 354 barangays in Pampanga remain submerged in floodwater.

But apart from relief efforts, Pineda said what the province needs at this point is a permanent solution to the flooding problem.

“Wala kaming ibang hihilingin, hindi kami hihingi ng relief, ang talagang hinihiling namin ngayon ay ang pang-malawakang pag-aaral sa mga proyekto,” she told dzMM on Friday.

Pineda explained that because Pampanga serves as a catch basin of nearby Zambales and Nueva Ecija, a more comprehensive solution is needed rather than simply repairing or improving infrastructure.

“Sana pag-aralan muna ng mabuti, kasi iba ang noon kaysa ngayon. ‘Yung volume ng tubig ngayon mas malaki. Kung may gagawing dike, hindi naman kami nagmamadali pero sana ibahin ‘yung design. ‘Yung kaya niyang proteksyunan ‘yung malaking volume na tubig na dumarating galing sa taas,” she said.

“Hindi masyado malakas ‘yung ulan sa amin, ‘yun pala malakas ang ulan sa bundok, galing Zambales, Nueva Ecija, kaya nu’ng bumaba sa amin parang flash flood,” she added.

Pineda earlier said a number of residents have been rescued and were already transferred to barangays on higher ground.

However, thousands remain stranded due to impassable roads.