DAGUPAN CITY – Desilting and dredging operations of shallow rivers in Dagupan City has now been stepped up following the arrival of a new dredging machine from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on April 3.
This is the amphibious excavator which has a 0.51 cubic bucket and the latest technology in dredging which was immediately put to work in dredging part of the Calmay River shortly upon its arrival
“This is the same machine currently being used in the rehabilitation of Manila Bay. This excavator was already reserved for Dagupan City before the Manila Bay rehab on account of Mayor Fernandez’s request,” said DPWH Dredgemaster Nestor Cabacungan.
The excavator joined three other dredging machines deployed to Dagupan City earlier by DPWH. These include the Watermaster machine now being used in excavating sediment from upstream; the Visayas I that focuses on removing silt from the mouth of the river; and the 8-2 dredge now also being harnessed in also dredging another part of the Calmay river.
DPWH Area Equipment Engineer Bernie Valencerina underscored the importance of maintenance dredging in the city especially because Dagupan is the catchbasin of water and silt from upstream.
He added that they are targeting to remove an estimated 10 million cubic meters of silt and sediment that accumulated in the bottom of the city’s rivers through regular dredging operations.
A total of 122,000 cubic meters of silt (equivalent to sediment that could fill up almost 50 Olympic-sized swimming pools) has so far been excavated through regular dredging operations since 2013, Valencerina said.
The year 2013 was when Mayor Fernandez began her term as city mayor.
Of the number, more than 7,000 truckloads of dredged sediment were used in backfilling low-lying areas through the city government’s ‘Operation Sitio’ program.
Mayor Fernandez said the arrival of the new machine is timely as the city continues to strengthen its flood mitigation programs in time for the coming rainy season.
“Aside from dredging, we are elevating our roads, building floodgates and establishing dikes. The city government is working continuously with Congressman Christopher de Venecia and national agencies such as DPWH and the Bureau of Equipment for our flood mitigation initiatives,” Mayor Fernandez added.
Another cutter suction dredging machine, also from the DPWH, is also set to arrive in the city sometime this year. (Verdelle De Vera/CIO)