Province awaits budget for floodway project


ROXAS City — The provincial government is waiting for the release of the budget for the Panay River Basin Flood Control Project amounting to about P4.9 billion.

The Panay River Basin is seen to solve the flooding problem in Capiz, one of the flood-prone provinces in Western Visayas.

Gov. Victor Tanco Sr. said the project, which will start once the budget is available, is part of the government’s rehabilitation program after typhoon Frank hit Panay Island in 2008.

The Panay River Basin project was proposed way back in 1982. It is similar to the floodway project in Jaro, Iloilo City.

Tanco said the project is among his priority projects for this year. He said he is confident that the project will push through, with him being the chair of the Regional Development Council (RDC) in Western Visayas.

RDC, Tanco said, is a powerful policy-making body that approves all proposed projects, including those that are foreign-funded.

He said the RDC will hold its inaugural session on January 28 at the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) office in Iloilo City.

Last year, the Investment Coordinating Committee of the NEDA Board approved the inclusion of the Panay River Basin Flood Control Project in the 28th Japan International Cooperation Agency Yen Loan Package.

The project has three components which are:

* dredging and improvement of the Panay River Basin
* construction of the Cogon Jamulauon Floodway, and
* flood forecasting and warning system.

The government, through the Department of Finance and the Department of Foreign Affairs, will send the approved project to the government of Japan for the downloading of funds.

The project is expected to be completed by 2015.

According to Tanco, his administration’s other priorities are having stable and affordable power supply, adopting environmental projects and improving tourism opportunities./PN