CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — San Miguel Corporation president Ramon S. Ang has committed to dredge the stretch of the Pampanga River to address severe flooding in the province, Gov. Dennis “Delta” Pineda announced on Thursday.
“In-approve po ni RSA (Ang) ang aking request. Ipapa-dredge po niya mula mouth of the Pampanga River hanggang sa San Simon sa bahagi ng NLEX [North Luzon Expressway]. For free po ito. Dredgers po ng San Miguel Corporation ang gagamitin,” the governor said.
“Ang dredging po ay immediate solution sa flooding habang hinihintay po natin ang tulong ng ating national government,” the governor added.
Governor Pineda obtained the support of the SMC president in a meeting with Roseller Tolentino, director of the Department of Public Works and Highways in Central Luzon. This came after President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. directed Pampanga officials in a briefing last Aug. 7 to recommend short, medium and long term solutions to floodings.
“Sa ngalan po ng mga mahal kong Kapampangan, nagpapasalamat po ako kay RSA dahil bukal po sa puso niya na tumulong sa Pampanga,” the governor said.
Half of the province remained flooded as of Aug. 5, affecting almost 800,000 residents, according to Angelina Blanco, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. These happened as floodwaters slowly receded due to what locals call “backflowing” of water. That meant the waves at the mouth of the Manila Bay are higher and the silt as well as garbage are blocking the draining of the water from downstream of the Pampanga River. Inadequately-sized drainage canals and disccharges from dams in Bulacan were seen to have contributed to the floods.
The 260-kilometer Pampanga River originates from the Caraballo Mountains and drains 30 rivers in Central Luzon to Manila Bay. Bulacan and Pampanga are at the mouth of Manila Bay.