HEAVY RAINS in late January 2019 caused flooding in most parts of Davao del Norte, including the capital Tagum City. — TAGUM CIO

DAVAO CITY — A flood control project that will protect Davao del Norte is now under a feasibility study, based on documents from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The project is part of the six-river Infrastructure and Innovation Facility loan from the Asian Development Bank, which was finalized in Oct. 2017 and has a loan period between 2018-2021.

The $100-million loan has a $64.06 million counterpart from the Philippine government.

“One of the things we were looking at initially before was to put up a big dam in the upstream, initially to become the reservoir and with a hydropower plant component,” Davao del Norte Gov. Anthony G. del Rosario told BusinessWorld on the sidelines of a recent press conference.

He noted that eight of the 11 local government units in the province, including the capital Tagum City, are affected by flooding.

The original plan was abandoned after the DPWH determined that the proposed dam location would be above a fault line.

“One of the (alternative) possibilities… is the creation of water collecting basins upstream. That is a proposal that has a merit,” Mr. Del Rosario said, explaining that this would create lakes that will become sources of potable water as well as for irrigation.

The province has two huge bodies of water, the Saug River and the Libuganon River, which flow from the highlands in Compostela Valley and Agusan del Sur.

These two rivers, during heavy rains, become one huge body of water that inundates the province.

The DPWH plan is to develop flood risk management master plans and feasibility studies for the Libuganon River, one of the 18 major river basins in the country.

“The main output of the Flood Risk Management Plan (FRM) Master Plan will be a priority list of proposed (structural and non-structural) to be measured, to be implemented in short-, mid-, and long-term,” according to the DPWH project document.

Heavy rains in late January this year caused flooding in all parts of the agricultural province within the mainland, sparing only the Island Garden City of Samal, according to a report of the Regional Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The regional office of the Department of Agriculture reported that damage to crops was about P195.25 million. — Carmelito Q. Francisco