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Phase I of P2-billion flood-control project in Valenzuela, Obando, Meycauayan starts

Written by  Arlie O. Calalo
Tuesday, 15 January 2013 00:00 [ tribune.net.ph ]
A Valenzuela City lawmaker has revealed that the much-awaited flood-control project that will alleviate massive flooding in two cities and a town will start this year following the availability of the initial funds for the purpose.
In a huddle with the Camanava Press Corps officers who paid a courtesy call at his district office, Rep. Rex Gatchalian (District 1) broke what he described as the good news for the residents of his city and the adjacent Meycauayan City and Obando, both in Bulacan province.
“Finally, we have received assurance from the concerned authorities that the Valenzuela-Obando-Meycauayan (VOM) Flood Control Project will see its implementation early this year and this is really good as we all need this as a long-term solution,” Gatchalian said.
He added: “As what President Aquino is always saying that we do not need a ‘band-aid’ solution to this perennial problem, hence, the VOM project will be the major solution that will surely help alleviate flooding in the affected areas.”
Initially, the Valenzuela lawmaker, who was reportedly replacing his elder brother outgoing Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian after he filed his certificate of candidacy for the mayoral race come May mid-term polls, said some P800 million have been made available to begin with the first phase of the project.
He said some P2-billion had been appropriated for the project that is slated to be completed in two years’ time.
Rep. Gatchalian, likewise, disclosed that Director Patrick Gatan of the Major Flood Control Projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will serve as the agency’s official for VOM project as he apparently belied unconfirmed reports that Engr. Carla Bartolo, the project director of the infamous and “useless” Camanava Flood Control and Drainage Improvement Project, would handle it.
“In fact, she tried to be part of the (VOM) project but I objected because I don’t want a repeat of what had happened to the project which she handled,” said Rep. Gatchalian, who is currently the spokesman of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).
Learning from the mistakes of other flood control projects like the one handled by Bartolo, the solon assured his constituents that he would personally monitor the project, which he described as doable but expensive.
Just the same, the Valenzuela legislator this early dispelled expectations that the VOM project would make flooding in the affected areas a thing of the past.
“Even the strongest and greatest country that is the United States was not spared by disaster like the Hurricane Sandy and global warming is much greater than all of us. What is important is that the VOM project will certainly help alleviate flooding,” he said.
The lawmaker said the main components of VOM project include the construction of steel and concrete walls and pumping stations within the three areas.
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