THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has commenced its operations to dredge an estimated 50,000 cubic meters of soil, sand, and silt along Marikina River in an effort to increase its capacity in handling rainwater and prevent overflow.

Citing a report from DPWH Bureau of Equipment (BOE) Director Toribio Noel L. Ilao, Secretary Mark Villar said that the dredging operation is expected to be completed within 2-3 months.

“Two amphibious excavators are now operating to dredge heavily-silted portions of Marikina River. This operation will significantly help in preventing the events of flooding in Marikina City which is considered a catch basin of rainwater coming from upstream areas of San Mateo and Montalban, Rizal and the cities of Antipolo and Quezon,” Villar said.

According to Director Ilao, due to the mountainous areas of the nearby province of Rizal and due to the clogging of esteros, Marikina City has become prone to heavy floodings in the absence of an efficient drainage system. In the absence of flood protection structures to channel rainwater to the sea, lives and properties are at risk of even greater damages.

The DPWH National Capital Region (NCR) headed by Director Eric Ayapana also deployed wheel and crawler-type backhoes, while each of its District Engineering Office provided trucks to haul and transport the large dredged volume to disposal sites.

Exhibiting whole of government approach, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, thru Army Corps of Engineer and Philippine Navy Seabees, sent dump trucks and excavators to augment the DPWH Fleet.

“Dredging plays a vital role in flood control, and at the same time, the Department equally sees these operations as a prelude to an even greater goal of restoring the Marikina River to its pristine and natural state,” Ilao said.

In addition, flood-control structures such as concrete barriers, sewerage and drainages projects will be undertaken to reinforce the flood control mechanisms which are presently being implemented along Marikina River.

Aside from Marikina River, DPWH in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, has also recently began a massive dredging operation along Cagayan River as a response to recent flooding due to typhoon.

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