THE CONSTRUCTION of dikes on both sides of the Pantal River and rehabilitation of rivers, creeks and estuaries are among the items in the long list of recommendations made by the Dagupan City Flood Mitigation Commission (FMC). In its 142-page report submitted to Mayor Brian C. Lim on Nov. 27, the FMC pointed out that the longstanding flooding problem in the low-lying coastal city is not just because of its natural topography and rising sea levels, but also largely due to the perils of urbanization. “(T)he perennial flooding in the city was also caused by improper disposal of garbage, conversion of fish ponds and other catch basins into residential and commercial subdivisions, and illegal structures erected by residents and some business establishments along the creeks,” the city government said in a statement, citing the FMC report.

Other recommendations include the dredging of the “city’s heavily-silted rivers,” installation of watergates to control flow during the summer and typhoon seasons, construction of higher creek walls, and installation of seven pumping stations. “The dikes will also serve as wall to separate sewage water from river water. Water flow shall be controlled by pumping stations and flood gates,” the FMC said. The commission, composed of public and private sector engineers and other representatives, also noted the absence of a topographic map of the city “that could have helped engineers determine the elevation of the city’s streets and flow of rain water.” Dagupan, an independent city, is the commercial and educational center of Pangasinan. It is also known as the Bangus Capital of the country.