DAGUPAN CITY – Another dredging machine has arrived in Dagupan to augment the continuous desilting operations of the city’s river system.

This is the Dredge 14-A  which recently arrived from Vigan City to help fast track the clearing operations of the sandbars that accumulated in the mouth of the river.

This is the second dredging machine that came from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) this year.

With a 14-inch diameter, the new cutter pump machine is also the biggest suction machine among all those currently operating in the city.

It can dredge up to a capacity of 270 cubic meters per hour or at least 1,620 cubic meters every day.

Dredge 14-A will be joining the newly-repaired Dredge Visayas I deployed in Barangay Pugaro to help improve the discharge and flow of water by clearing out the sandbars and silt at the mouth of the Calmay River.

Visayas I, which can dredge up to 240 cubic meters per hour, has so far cleared over 2,500 cubic meters of silt in the area since it began its operations this May.

Meanwhile, the three other machines deployed by DPWH to the city are also working in tandem to desilt different areas in the rivers.

The Watermaster machine continues to excavate sediment from upstream while the 8-2 dredge and the amphibious excavator are also dredging other parts of the river.

In sum, there are now five dredging machines working to desilt the city’s river system.

“We need to dredge the river because of its heavy siltation due to the water and silt coming from upstream areas. DPWH is focusing on Dagupan by giving the city five operating dredging machines that will help extract spoils and ease the flow of water. This, in turn, will help mitigate floods in the city,” said DPWH Dredgemaster Jaime Cilen.

He added that the amphibious excavator, which also arrived in the city earlier this year, has been excavating sediment equivalent to more than 1,000 sacks per day.

The dredged sediment is being used by to backfill low-lying areas, particularly in island barangays, through the city government’s ‘Operation Sitio’ program.

“We are working continuously with Dagupan because of Mayor Belen Fernandez’s initiatives. Tuloy-tuloy ang support ng national government agencies dito sa Dagupan.” added DPWH Engr. Dejosis Domagas.

Meanwhile, Mayor Fernandez thanked the DPWH for the continuous support given to the city.

“We have been continuously reaching out to the national government because resolving the flood problem in the city has always been our priority. Now, we have five dredging machines for desilting operations. We want to thank DPWH for their support dahil hindi nila tayo pinabayaan,” said Fernandez.

Since 2014, a total of 122,000 cubic meters of silt, or equivalent to sediment that could fill up almost 50 Olympic-size swimming pools, has so far been excavated through regular dredging operations. This was done just a year after Mayor Fernandez began her term as city mayor

Fernandez said that the additional boost in maintenance dredging will contribute significantly to the flood mitigation projects in the city such as elevation of roads and upgrading of drainage canals.

With the support of Pangasinan Fourth District Rep. Christopher de Venecia and national agencies such as DPWH, the city has also successfully reinforced dikes and likewise installed floodgates in different parts of the city.

“Madami na tayong pagbabagong ginawa sa ating siyudad. Sana ay tuloy-tuloy ang coordination para tuluyang mabawasan ang pagbaha dito sa Dagupan. As the richest city in the region, Dagupan City now has a budget of one billion pesos. This will help in implementing the projects we already started that will ensure that our city is safe and sound,” added Fernandez. (Verdelle de Vera)