BACOLOD CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has completed the construction of the PHP65.71-million flood mitigation project in the Ilog-Hilabangan River in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.
In a report released on Wednesday, the DPWH-Western Visayas said that the project, which was undertaken by the Negros Occidental 3rd District Engineering Office (DEO), aims to mitigate flood damage and protect various barangays along the river downstream.
District Engineer Rodney Gustilo said the structure has been added to the revetment wall previously constructed along the areas of Barangays 6, 7, 8, 9, and Talubangi.
“Being the catch basin located in the urban area of the city, the entire city proper of Kabankalan is a considered a flood-prone area (and) has been compromised during the sudden occurrence of heavy rains and tropical storms,” he added.
Gustilo said in the past, such situations would usually pose threats and damage to properties due to riverbank collapse and overflow of water.
“After the completion of the flood mitigation project, a sense of relief was provided to them as their properties and lives will be protected against natural calamities,” he added.
The structure consists of a 336.7-lineal meter revetment wall with a combination of rubble concrete and reinforced concrete revetment wall on a steel sheet piles foundation.
Its construction was funded under the General Appropriation Act (GAA) for the fiscal year 2020.
The Ilog-Hilabangan River serves as the catch basin of waters coming from the mountain ranges of Candoni town connecting through Tabla River in Barangay Magballo, and of waters from some portions of Negros Oriental merging through Hilabangan River in Barangay Orong.
DPWH-Western Visayas Regional Director Lea Delfinado said on Thursday the flood control project plays a big part in the flood mitigation response of Kabankalan City to mainly protect its urban areas.
The lives and properties of about 2,630 households of four barangays situated near the river will be protected, she added.
“Its completion is very timely considering that rainy season is just around the corner. Riverbanks will not be eroded and water overflow will be prevented,” Delfinado said.
Meanwhile, an amount of PHP100 million under the GAA for the fiscal year 2021 has also been allocated for the additional 498.50 lineal meter revetment wall, stretching to the riverbank of Ilog-Hilabangan River at Barangay 6, leading towards Barangay Talubangi.
The project, which is under construction, is a commitment of the DPWH in building disaster-resilient structures against major floods and calamities. (PNA)