Mayor Josef Cagas on Tuesday asked the assistance of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in rebuilding two suspension bridges that were destroyed by flash floods last June 28.
Cagas, who was among the guests at the Laging Handa briefing hosted by Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar, said the destruction of the suspension bridges in barangays Aplaya and Ruparan has effectively cut off residents from neighboring areas.
“The suspension bridges are considered vital installations in the city as motorcycles and tricycles (use them) to avoid traveling the national highways en route to other villages, where those vehicles are prohibited to use the national roads under existing laws to avoid fatal road accidents,” he explained.
Anna Mae Lamentillo, DPWH spokesperson who was also among the guests in the briefing, assured Cagas that the department would address the problem at “the soonest possible time.”
Meanwhile, Cagas reported that the flash floods destroyed a huge portion of the flood control dike, causing floodwaters to inundate low-lying villages and displacing more than 400 families.
The city’s Rapid Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (RDANA) team estimated the damage to the dike at PHP500 million.
On the other hand, Cagas also acknowledged the swift reaction of the office of Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go who immediately sent personnel of the Office of the President and the DPWH to conduct an ocular inspection of the flooded areas.
He said Go pledged to find funds for the immediate reconstruction of the damaged revetment along the Digos River to protect those residing in the low-lying areas of the city from flooding during heavy rains.
Cagas said the local government could not fund the construction of revetments on its own, as 20 percent of its budget for infrastructure projects has been realigned for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response.
Digos River cuts through the heart of the city from the mountain ranges of Mt. Apo, linked by scores of tributaries and drains on the shorelines of Barangay Aplaya. (PNA)