Philippines: Dams to be built around Mt. Mayon

by Ed de Leon

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar 2 (PIA) - The Regional Development Council (RDC) has endorsed last week the budget proposed for funding next year by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) regional office for the construction of additional Sabo structures around critical areas down slopes of Mayon volcano to mitigate the destructive flow of lahar in times of heavy rains.

DPWH regional director Danilo Dequito said during the RDC full council meeting that the proposed Sabo dams will be constructed along the volcano gullies flowing down streams the rivers of Yawa in this city, Basud in Sto. Domingo, and Quirangay in Camalig, all in Albay.

It may be recalled that during typhoons Milenyo and Reming in 2006 wherein more than 2,000 persons perished when they were buried alive due to the destructive lahar flows that cascaded from the crater of Mayon Volcano.

Dequito said that the project will involve the construction of 1,100 linear meters of Sabo Dam structures, 7,000 linear meters of spur dike, and 600 linear meters embankment.

He said that the project will be implemented based on the study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which was completed in 2000.

The project, according to Dequito, will cost P643 million which also includes the Legazpi City Urban Drainage Project that will set up two pumping stations, eight floodgates facilities, channel excavation, embankment, and rip rapping in the low lying areas of this city.

The full council meeting was presided over by Gov. Joey Salceda, RDC chair, and attended by congressmen, Fernando Gonzales of the 3rd district of Albay, Bong Bravo of the 1st district of Masbate, Ding Ramos of the 2nd district of Sorsogon, Rene Sarmiento of Catanduanes, Elmer Panotes and Renato Unico of the 1st and 2nd district of Camarines Norte. (PIA V/Albay/mal)