BACOLOD CITY – Major flood control projects are underway in the 3rd district of Negros Occidental where various localities experienced massive floods that displaced thousands in the early days of January this year.
Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez said they requested for a funding of about PHP6.6 billion mainly from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for various projects.
“It’s partly delivered, partly ongoing. We are still waiting for more funding to arrive from (the) central government,” said Benitez, who filed his certificate of candidacy for a second term on Monday.
Massive floods hit the cities of Talisay, Silay and Victorias as well as the town of E.B. Magalona on January 1, which was followed by a second wave of flooding a week later.
Benitez said the construction of flood control structures and implementation of various measures worth PHP1.2 billion have been funded for 2020 and 2021, of which PHP660 million of these projects are “ongoing” while PHP567 million are “partly ongoing”.
“The first one, which is dredging, has started. Even now, when there is flood(ing), it is lesser. The dredging has made a difference. That’s only phase one. We’re gradually working on the medium-term funding” he added.
Benitez said an additional funding for flood control projects of at least PHP600 million is expected to be included in the 2022 national budget.
“We are (also) waiting for further augmentation from the Office of the President,” he said.
Meanwhile, some PHP2.52 billion worth of roads have also been constructed in the 3rd district in the past three years, including PHP1.7-billion national roads, PHP320.5-million tourism roads, PHP309.7-million farm-to-market and mill roads, and PHP191-million local roads.
Other projects include PHP403 million worth of bridges, PHP290.6 million in irrigation facilities, and PHP210.6 million worth of multi-purpose community centers. (PNA)