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Restoration of Ilocos Norte's longest river launched

by PGIN-CMO

Dec. 16, 2022 ...

In order to avoid future wide-scale flooding in the province and citing the effect of typhoon Ineng in 2019, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) along with four government agencies officially launched Phase 1 of the Padsan River Restoration Project through a ceremonial dredging in Metro Gabu, Laoag City, on December 15.

PGIN, through the Provincial Quarry Office, has been collaborating with the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and DENR's Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), as well as the official contractor, He Sha Prime Sand & Gravel Aggregates Philippines Inc., to conduct vital research, studies, and campaigns for the project.

Present during the ceremonial dredging were Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc, Vice Governor Cecilia Araneta Marcos, regional directors of DENR Atty. Crizaldy M. Barcelo, DPWH Engr. Mathias L. Malenab, MGB Socrates G. Gaerlan, EMB Ma. Dorica N. Hioe, officials of He Sha headed by Mr. Ignacio Richie Balicanta IV, the President, Mayor Michael Marcos Keon, and other officials of the local government of Laoag.

"Ang takeaway po noon ay grabe daw ang baha sa Laoag. Hindi daw ganito dati. Never nag-flood ang Laoag ng ganito. So, we really took it upon ourselves to try to find a solution. Bilang local chief executives, our primary mandate is to ensure the safety, peace, and order, of course, of all of our constituents and our dear kakailian," Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc said during the ceremony.

This project aims to rehabilitate the province's longest river, with a total length of 73.10 kilometers and a river valley of 1,320 square kilometers, which runs through the towns of Dingras, Sarrat, San Nicolas, and Laoag City.

It also intends to prevent siltation, which reduces the river's ability to carry floodwaters and provides more opportunities to local populations through sand extraction.

The dredging contractor is expected to restore the natural flow of the Padsan River in accordance with Joint Memorandum Circular 1, Series of 2019, DENR Administrative Order (DAO) 2020-07, related implementing rules and regulations prescribed by the inter-agency committee, and the Ilocos Norte government's Revised Provincial Revenue Code of 2020.

Following the grant of a three-year River Restoration Permit 2022-RR-01 from December 15, 2022, to December 14, 2025, HE SHA Prime Sand and Gravel Aggregates Philippines Inc. has begun deploying its dredging equipment at the mouth of the Padsan River in Metro Gabu.

Gov. Marcos Manotoc also promised to compensate all residents affected by the river dredging project in 15 barangays as well as ensured that he and the other collaborating agencies fulfill their responsibilities.


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