DAGUPAN CITY, Pangasinan: The local government here has invited the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute (UPMSI) to find ways to solve river pollution and siltation and flooding problems of the city.
Mayor Belen Fernandez inspected the rivers affected by the siltation and pollution caused by rampant fishpen operations accompanied by UPMSI researchers led by Prof. Caroline Jaraula last week.
The mayor said she invited Jaraula’s team to conduct a survey of the rivers as part of her continuing efforts to clean up the rivers for the benefit of small fisherfolk here.
The team first inspected the island and coastal villages of Calmay, Pugaro, Salapingao, Lomboy and Lucao, the first priorities for dredging.
Jaraula recommended to Fernandez that dredging should start from the mouth of the river in Barangay Pugaro because of garbage materials that cause siltation and pollution.
Fernandez said funds to be used are available from the 2017 budget that was approved by city council on December 1.
Earlier, Rep. Christopher de Venecia (Fourth District) and Rep. Rosemarie Arenas (Third District) have assured the mayor that they will also appropriate funds for the project.
Fernandez said a new diversion river built by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Calasiao caused waters there to flow in the wrong direction, resulting in flooding of seven villages in the city.
Calasiao is in the Third District while Dagupan is in the Fourth District.
Arenas initially released more than P24 million through the DPWH emergency fund to finance ongoing construction of riverbanks in Calasiao to ease the release of water that has caused flooding in Dagupan City.
JAIME C. AQUINO