A geologist suggested Tuesday to widen the Cagayan River, the longest river in the Philippines, to prevent massive flooding from happening again in the future.
According to Dr. Fernando Siringan, former director of the UP Marine Science Institute, while the Cagayan River is 400 meters wide at its widest, it is only around 180 meters wide in Alcala, Cagayan, since sedimentary rocks brought by reduced its width.
“Para kang nasa EDSA, na may anim na lanes, tapos naging dalawa na lang. Naging embudo. Sa EDSA, nagpa-pile up ang sasakyan. Eh ang sasakyan, hindi gumagalaw. Doon sa Cagayan, nagpa-pile up ang tubig mula Alcala, Cagayan, paakyat ng Tuguegarao,” he said in a Dobol B sa News TV interview.
Cagayan River traverses the provinces of Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and Isabela.
“Kailangan palawakin ang Cagayan River. From 400 meters wide, nagiging 180 meters wide lang siya sa may Alcala. Halos kalahati. Kailangan lumuwag ang ilog bago tayo gumawa ng kahit ano. Kailangan i-prioritize ‘yun,” Siringan added.
Likewise, Siringan also urged residents to plant trees like narra, molave, and fruit-bearing trees, among others, to support the reforestation program of the government.
“Iyang reforestation, may mga nagsasabi [na] bakit parang walang nangyayari? Kasi merong naitatanim pero maling puno. Kaya dapat ine-encourage ang ating mga kababayan na magtanim at alagaan ito,” Siringan said.
“May mga variety ng narra, iyong kulay dilaw, na mabilis tumubo, na iyong girth niya ay 30 centimeters na in ten years. Puwede rin mga fruiting trees [ang itanim],” he added.
Widening of Cagayan River
Meanwhile, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on Sunday also recommended reforestation and the dredging of Cagayan River.
“Nakikita dito ang dalawang pangangailangan. Number one, ‘yung itigil ang pagputol ng puno dito, ‘yung reforestation program kailangan ituloy. Pangalawa, ‘yung tinatawag na dredging sa Cagayan River,” he said during a situation briefing in Tuguegarao City with President Rodrigo Duterte, Cabinet officials, and other government officials.
“Kung hindi magagawa ang dalawang yan, paulit-ulit na mangyayari ang pagbaha dito,” he added.
Mayor Tin Antonio of Alcala said the Cagayan River’s widening from Tupang in Alcala to Magapit in Lal-lo would benefit the whole Cagayan Valley.
“This is not a new idea — this is one of the recommendations of the 1987 JICA Report on flood and the Cagayan River. Sadly, this has not been acted upon,” she said.