June 23, 2024

There is a need to give importance to good drainage systems to avoid a repeat of the flashflood and mudslides that affected several houses and more than 1,500 individuals in Banaue, Ifugao on July 7.

Mines and Geosciences-Cordillera Director Faye Apil said local government units and concerned agencies should consider the importance of drainage systems, especially when road widening projects are implemented.

“There is a need to review the drainage systems, not only in Banaue, but also in the rest of the Cordillera because when road widening projects are implemented, nawawala ang mga drainage systems at gutter na lang ang natitira,” Apil said.

She said road gutters cannot catch runoff water during a heavy downpour so the tendency of water is to look for other ways to pass through. In the case of roads, it usually leaves the road appear like rivers because the water has no passageway.

Apil said the basic agent of flashfloods is water and without a proper drainage system, flashfloods like what happened Banaue will not be the last.

Initial investigations done in Banaue identified constricted canals and waterways as among the factors that contributed to the incident aside from oversaturation of soil.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Executive Director Ralph Pablo shared the view, saying if proper drainage systems are constructed, flash floods, will be minimized or avoided.

He said ideally, floods should not be experienced in the Cordillera because of its sloping terrain that allows water to flow.

“The regions’ slopes allow water to flow easily compared in flat areas, but when the natural passageways of water are constricted, water cannot flow freely. The problem is, in a lot of areas, structures are built even on water passageways,” he said.

He added drainage systems should also be repaired and cleared of debris before the start of the rainy season.

“When the surface areas of drainage systems are wide, there will be no problem even during a heavy water flow,” he said.

Pablo added if possible, road widening projects must be implemented during the dry and not the rainy months. – Jane B. Cadalig