by Oliver T. Baccay
TUGUEGARAO CITY — The provincial government of Cagayan has commissioned the University of the Philippines- Marine Science Institute to conduct a study on dredging the mouth of Cagayan River which covers the municipalities of Lallo, Camalaniugan and Aparri.
The province is the catchment area of waters from the upstream provinces of Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela, Ifugao, Kalinga and Apayao that causes severe flooding during typhoons and rainy seasons.
Governor Alvaro Antonio said the study will determine and plan how to dredge the silted river beds, protect the riverbanks and the residential areas from erosions and further degradation.
Marine geologist Dr. Fernando Siringan, head of the study team said that based on their initial study, Cagayan River covers a huge flooding area and there were already shifts in river paths and the river beds have high sediment loads.
He said the objectives of the study include lessening of the flooding, re-establishment of the Aparri port, reduction of bank erosion along the east side of the river, conduct an image-based analysis of geomorphic changes in the lower 25 kilometers section of the Cagayan River and identify critical sections for widening.
We also need to conduct bathymetric survey including the river mouth area and estimate the volume of material for dredging,” Siringan said.
He further explained that they need to identify possible areas for disposal and uses of dredged materials which will be placed in the area where the port will be re-established.
Siringan admitted that dredging is not the only solution of the flooding problem. He believes that there should be other plans for the long term solution of the problem.#