P60-M drainage project to curb flooding in strawberry farm

P60-M drainage project to curb flooding in strawberry farm

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The municipal government sees an end to the flooding problem that besets the strawberry farm here, with the completion of a PHP60 million drainage project. 

Mayor Romeo Salda, in a phone interview on Friday, said according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the project would be completed before the end of the second quarter in 2022. 

The project involves the installation of 200 meters of pipes that will drain the water from the strawberry farm, locally known as “swamp”, which has become a persistent problem every rainy season. 

Salda said the project was a result of a feasibility study conducted by Hedcor, Inc., a subsidiary of the Aboitiz Group, which operates several mini- and micro-hydroelectric power plants in Northern Luzon, mostly in the Cordillera region. 

“It was supposed to be Hedcor that will fund the project but when we presented it, the DPWH adopted the project and allotted funds for its implementation,” he said. 

Salda shared that water from the Bolo Creek, which traverses the strawberry farm and drains into the Gayasi Creek, is overpowered by the larger volume of water coming from the Balili River. 

“The water is pushed back to Bolo Creek that causes flood at the strawberry farm,” he said in Ilocano. “The drainage project will address the flooding. It is currently being implemented.” 

The strawberry farm is a wide flat area at the town’s center. Owned by Benguet State University, it has become a popular destination for tourists who could pick the strawberries themselves and pay for them at the end of their visit. (PNA) 

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