CAUAYAN CITY, Isabela: In a move to save billions of peso-worth of crops in Cagayan Valley resulting from natural calamities like flooding, a Partylist Representative here has called on government leaders to devise a solution by dredging the heavily silted Cagayan River.
Rep. Silvestre Bello 3rd of Una ang Barangay Ating Paunlarin (1BAP) made the call after Isabela Provincial Agriculture Office reported P1.8 billion losses in agriculture primarily on corn and rice as a result of flooding brought about by heavy downpour during the onslaught of typhoon Nona.
He said that corn plants particularly, still on its vegetative stage on the Cagayan River delta, have been destroyed during the recent flooding which also affected low-lying communities.
“With this magnitude of losses in the agriculture sector, the government should prioritize dredging the Cagayan River to address severe floodings in the region especially in the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela,” Bello said.
These provinces become the catch-basin of rain waters from the upstream provinces of Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya and Ifugao and that dredging activities along some parts of the Cagayan River will be the best measure to contain perennial flooding on crops.
Bello said the swelling of Ibulao River in Ifugao and the Magat River in Nueva Vizcaya during heavy downpour also caused the Magat Dam located at the boundary of Alfonso Lista in Ifugao and Ramon in Isabela to reach critical and spilling level flooding agricultural communities.
Meanwhile, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) conducted a geo-hazard mapping and study which recommended the dredging of the “heavily silted” Cagayan River to avoid further erosions.