Dagupan exec calls for scientific study to solve flooding

DAGUPAN CITY — Dagupan City Vice Mayor Brian Lim has urged private businessmen to help the city come up with a scientific study to identify the causes of and solutions to the flooding here.

Lim said he has already spoken to a number of private businessmen and proposed to them that instead of holding a Flood Summit, where he said the city government would be spending resources, a scientific study must be done and it should be privately-initiated and funded for it to be apolitical.

“That way, we will gather scientists and experts who will conduct the study on the causes and solutions to the flooding. That study will be adopted by the city as a blueprint or encyclopedia, which will be used in resolving the flooding situation in Dagupan,” he said in an interview on Thursday.

“We do not deny that flooding is normal in Dagupan. But the observation where it takes long for the floodwater to subside, we have to know the causes and solution,” Lim said.

“Businesses are suffering, the perception (of Dagupan) is suffering, investments we are losing. We have to do something. No mantetetelan labat, no mandederalan, anggapoy nagawa natan (If we keep on putting the blame on others, on demolishing other people, we will accomplish nothing),” he added.

Lim attributed the flooding in the city to natural causes, such as subsidence and man-made causes, such as canal or drainages that are not connected, the elevation of streets or roads which he said had become artificial dikes, and the backfilling of fishponds.

He said flooding in the city affects three issues — the people’s health, business/investments, and education.

“Not to mention the senior citizens, transport issue, infrastructure issues,” he added.

Last July 21, at the request of Mayor Belen Fernandez, the Sangguniang Panlungsod (Provincial Board) declared the city under a state of calamity because of flooding due to the southwest monsoon that was intensified by Typhoon Inday.

Almost the entire city was inundated for about two weeks. After more than a week, the city was again flooded for almost a week, aggravated by the daily high tide.

“Natural causes? Idasal tayod Diyos ya Katawan (For natural causes? Let us pray to God). Man-made causes, we can do something about it. If our businessmen will not invest on the conduct of a scientific study, the more losses they will incur due to flooding,” Lim added.

In 1990, Dagupan City was greatly affected by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which led to the creation of the Metro Dagupan City Civilian Reconstruction Fund Foundation.

This time, the vice mayor is again banking on the assistance from the business sector.

“The problem will not be solved in a day or even in a year. But one step at a time, this problem will be resolved,” he stated.

He also asked Dagupeños to stop finger-pointing and instead come up with an honest-to-goodness study on the causes and solutions to the flooding in the city.

“We have to start getting our acts together,” Lim told his city mates, especially the private businessmen.

“How do we now remarket Dagupan City to investors and businessmen? We cannot tell every investor to come to Dagupan because it is flood-free because that is not true. But what we can say is, look, we are committed to solve the problem, and investors should not shy away from the city of Dagupan,” he said. PNA-northboundasia.com