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Piñol pushes revival of river basin dev’t council


By Philippine News Agency

Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has urged all local chief executives along the Davao-Agusan River watershed to revive the Davao-Agusan River Basin Development Council and look for long-term solutions to the perennial problem of flooding in the Davao and Caraga Regions.

(c) Manny Piñol | Manila Bulletin

(c) Manny Piñol | Manila Bulletin

Piñol visited Thursday the Compostela Valley Province and Agusan del Sur to assess the damage to crops caused by typhoon Auring and heavy rains.

Davao Region reported an initial damage of Php64 million and Caraga Region Php125 million from the recent typhoon and heavy rains that inundated farming communities.

“It is not enough that DA will distribute rehab seeds and other inputs every after flooding which is short-term only,” he said. “What we need now is a long-term solution.”

The agriculture chief underscored the need to reconvene the dormant council and he would present the council’s proposal to President Rodrigo Duterte.

“(I will) submit the proposal so I can present it during our cabinet meeting for possible accessing of the climate change fund of the United Nations (UN),” Piñol said.

Meanwhile, Piñol also proposed the planting of rubber in upstream areas, which are tributaries to the Davao-Agusan Rivers.

He said rubber could also be a source of income for farmers.

A Finland-based company recently expressed interest in putting up a tire manufacturing company in Mindanao and could soon produce the first tire brand in the Philippines.

“We have to create a local market for our rubber to stabilize the price which is advantageous for our rubber farmers,” Piñol said.

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  • Agerico

    The basic of the basics is low-lying areas should remain undeveloped. But that is not always possible as the need to develop low-lying areas.
    Thus, the next to the basic is to accordingly develop low-lying areas. Example, in the NLEX we have the Candaba viaduct—instead of filling (tambak) that portion of the NLEX, a long bridge was constructed so that in the yearly flooding of Candaba swamp—floodwaters just passes through without affecting NLEX. Another example is SM Marikina Building—low-lying portions were reserve for parking—usable only when there is no flood.
    Sometimes natures provide solution to floods. In the 2011 floods spawned by Typhoon Sendong, only the Mandulug River caused the severe flooding in Iligan City but not the Agus River, also located in Iligan City. Lake Lanao provides for the storage of the floodwaters emanating from the upper reaches of Agus River and then gradually release, so Agus River caused no flooding. The available storage capacity of Lake Lanao is then the solution.
    Based on the history of Hoover dam it was built due continuing clamor of residents to solve the yearly summer flooding downstream of the dam, in the Colorado River—when the snows melts. The designer of the dam raised the height of the dam such that a 2 years average water inflow from the Colorado River can be stored in the dam reservoir. So occurrence of floods from the Colorado in areas near and downstream side of the dam was effectively solved.
    Thus, the effective solution to deal with flood is to build reservoirs at the upstream portion of the rivers so floodwaters can temporarily be stored. This solution is in accord with the divine mandate given to us in Genesis 1:28 that we should subdue (or govern) the earth.
    Agerico T. Isorena, P.E.E.
    Senior Member, IIEE.
    10 Angat St. NAPOCOR Village
    Pasong Tamo, Quezon City, Philippines