The dredging operations in Marikina River are now in full swing in an effort to increase its capacity for rainwater, thus mitigating floods in nearby areas.
About 50,000 cubic meters of soil, sand, and silt is expected to be dredged from the river, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar said.
The dredging began on February 17 and is expected to continue throughout the summer season.
“Two amphibious excavators are now operating to dredge heavily-silted portions of Marikina River. This operation will significantly help in preventing the events of flooding in Marikina City which is considered a catch basin of rainwater coming from upstream areas of San Mateo and Montalban, Rizal, and the cities of Antipolo and Quezon,” Villar said.
Wheel and crawler-type backhoes and trucks were also deployed to haul and transport the dredged volume to disposal sites.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), through Army Corps of Engineer and Philippine Navy Seabees, sent a contingent of dump trucks and excavators to augment the DPWH fleet.
According to DPWH-Bureau of Equipment Director Toribio Noel L. Ilao, Marikina City has become prone to heavy flooding in the absence of an efficient drainage system. Without flood protection structures to channel rainwater to the sea, lives and properties are at risk of even greater damages.
“Dredging plays a vital role in flood control, and at the same time, the department equally sees these operations as a prelude to an even greater goal of restoring the Marikina River to its pristine and natural state,” Ilao said.
Meanwhile, flood-control structures such as concrete barriers, sewerage, and drainages projects will be undertaken to reinforce the flood control mechanisms that are presently being implemented along Marikina River.
The DPWH, in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), has also recently begun a massive dredging operation along the Cagayan River as a response to recent flooding due to typhoons.