The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the local government of Sarangani have kicked off a 11-month feasibility study on watershed rehabilitation and anti-flood project in the Buayan – Malungon River Basin in the province. This is one of the three priority projects of the national government under the USD 400 million Integrated Flood Risk Management Sector Program.
The team is composed of district engineers and foreign consultants from Spain, France, and South Korea. On top of the government’s initial funding of USD 31 million, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will also release USD 400 million financial assistance for the project’s implementation through its Ordinary Capital Resources. France’s Agence Française de Développement will also provide funding to the tune of USD 100 million, while Spain will finance the early warning flood system for the project.
The project involves construction of a massive dike and anti-flooding structures that will serve as water reservoir connected to irrigation channels to ensure consistent water supply for agriculture and household use. A wide-scale reforestation program will also be implemented across nearby provinces that are covered by the river basin.
The Buayan-Malungon River Basin is the 18th largest river basin in the country with a catchment area of 1,505.09 square kilometers. However, the area is highly prone to flooding, erosion and siltation.
(Sources: Philippine News Agency, Minda News)