ENDORSED. The Western Visayas Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC 6) convenes Wednesday (May 4, 2022) to tackle issues related to the impact of Tropical Depression Agaton. The council re-endorsed the development of the Panay River Basin, one of the major rivers in Capiz. (Photo courtesy of Office of the Civil Defense 6)

ILOILO CITY – The Western Visayas Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC) is pushing for the phase-by-phase implementation of the Panay River Basin Development Project in Capiz as one of the long-term solutions to address the flooding problem of the province.

Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) information officer and spokesperson for the RDRRMC 6 Cindy Ferrer, in an interview Thursday, said the full council meeting on Wednesday has passed Resolution No. 9 re-endorsing Resolution No. 1 passed in 2018 calling for the fast-tracking of the PHP19.78 billion project proposed by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).

The new resolution is addressed to the Office of the President for consideration.

“It can address the perennial flooding in the area through the construction of dam or reservoir, floodway, cut-off channels and improvement of major and secondary drains, which will benefit about 11,460 hectares highly susceptible to flood in the Panay basin,” Ferrer said quoting the resolution.

She added that the flooding experienced by Capiz due to Tropical Depression Agaton in April was the “worst” since several residents had to climb up to their rooftop, which did not happen during Typhoons Ursula, Odette, and Yolanda.

Based on the situation report released by the RDRRMC, 316 barangays in Capiz were flooded during "Agaton".

Even the flooding in some parts of northern Iloilo was partly attributed to the Panay River.

During the meeting, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) raised the need to secure a new Certification Precondition (CP) from the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) since the previous permit has expired.

In addition to the project re-endorsement, the council also passed Resolution No. 10 for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to review if the Omnibus Election Code allows the emergency procurement during the election period.

“Capiz has been placed under a state of calamity but it cannot make an emergency procurement because the Commission on Audit questions if it is allowed due to the Comelec ban,” Ferrer said. (PNA)