By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
FORMER president and now Pampanga representative and House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo visited a portion of the Iloilo Flood Control Project (IFCP) at Brgy. Buhang in Jaro, Iloilo City on February 11, 2019.
The flood control project was one of her pet projects in Iloilo when she was still the President.
During the visit, Arroyo inspected the flood control project and intimated plans for the maintenance of the project together with Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
“That is why titingnan natin, let me see the project and let me have briefing (by DPWH) We can cause the internal process of DPWH to work on the plan for the maintenance of this project,” she said.
Arroyo said that she will discuss the findings of the inspection with the Disaster Oversight Committee when she goes back to Manila.
“I can have an oversight committee hearing on the other food control requirements of Iloilo City and province so that we can persuade the DPWH to start their initial processes to plan the flood control so that they can submit the plan internally. That’s why I need to find out the details today and that will be given to the committee for their oversight,” she added.
The House Speaker cited the significance of her project as the “infrastructure back bone” that made Iloilo what it is today.
“I’m really so happy to see what Iloilo has become and I’m glad that a lot of the possibilities were make open during our time. I am glad that it has so much positive change in Iloilo City and its people,” she said.
The P5.5-billion Iloilo Flood Control project, which was completed in 2011, included the construction of the Jaro Floodway and improvement of the Tigum and Aganan rivers.
The same project also paved the way for the improvement of the Jaro River mouth, the Iloilo River and Upper Ingore Creek.
Iloilo City lone district Rep. Jerry Treñas who accompanied the House Speaker alongside Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. said that the flood control project saved lives and property since it was able to eradicate floods that has caused so much damage in at least 60 percent of Iloilo City.
“Before the floodway and the flood control project of Speaker GMA, we were always flooded whenever there were heavy rains. When this was completed, there was no more flooding and there was massive development in our city. We are very thankful that Speaker GMA fought for this project for us,” Treñas said.