'PNoy canceled flood control projects before typhoons'

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 06 2011 10:32 AM | Updated as of Oct 06 2011 06:32 PM

MANILA, Philippines - An opposition lawmaker is asking the Lower House to investigate the Aquino administration’s cancellation of Arroyo administration flood control projects in areas in Luzon recently devastated by flooding from typhoons.

The Bills and Index Section of the House today received House Resolution 1793 filed by Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, titled “An urgent resolution calling for an investigation in aid of legislation by the appropriate committee of the House of Representatives regarding the effect of the cancellation of the Post Ondoy and Pepeng short term infrastructure rehabilitation projects (POPSTRIP) on the flood control program of the government.”

The resolution noted that “months before the onset of the rainy season, the rpesent administration cancelled several flood control projects”

Citing a Department of Public Works and Highways press release dated July 28, 2010,  Suarez said DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson cancelled 19 approved negotiated projects worth P934.1 million under the POPSTRIP. The 19 are part of the 139 projects or 42  contract packages funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency loan for the urgent rehabilitation of flood control facilities worth P1.9 billion.

Suarez noted that the cancelled projects are located in areas recently flooded by recent typhoons. These are in Cordillera Administrative Region P53 million; Ilocos Norte, P35 million; Asingan, Pangasinan P91.4 million; San Manuel, Pangasinan P228 million; Cagayan P25.8 million; Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya P68.6 million; Kayapa and Dupax Nueva Vizcaya P27.4 million; Paombong and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan P9 million; Bulacan province P41 million; San Felipe and Iba, Zambales, P42.5 million; San Marcelino, Zambales, P19 million; Arayat, Pampanga, P77 million; Candaba, Pampanga, P78 million; Floridablanca, Pampanga P27 million; Guagua and Lubao, Pampanga, P16 million;  Moncada and Bamban Tarclac P32 million; Aliaga, Nueva Ecija P18 million; Bungabon and San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija P19 million; and Balayan and Lemery, Batangas P22 million.

“One cannot help but think that if these projects were not capriciously cancelled on the sole fact that they were initiated by the previous administration, then the recent floodings could have been prevented or mitigated," Suarez said.