Villafuerte asks BBM to revive BRBDP
By Seth Cabanban
Revive the Bicol River Basin Development Program Office (BRBDPO), Camarines Sur 2nd district Rep. Luis “LRay” Villafuerte has asked of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
On Monday, Nov. 7, Villafuerte appealed with the incumbent administration “to climate-proof the Bicol River Basin (BRB) watershed in order to mitigate the impact of future natural disasters on this flood-susceptible region in the Philippines, which is considered the world’s most disaster-prone country and one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change”.
His call comes after Paeng devastated large swaths of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
He also appealed with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to conduct dredging operations within the BRB–something that could alleviate the chronic flooding in the region.
In Villafuerte’s words, the BRB is “a watershed that is integral to the region’s economic development, because more than 240,000 ha or two-thirds of its basin area are croplands, and its rivers and lakes are fishing grounds that also provide irrigation water to farmers while its forestlands yield raw materials for handicraft makers.”
“About 70 percent of the BRB is in Camarines Sur, which is flood-prone Bicol’s lowest-lying province, making it a catch basin for floodwaters from the other provinces whenever tropical storms pummel our region…We are thus appealing to Malacañang to do something about our chronic flooding problem,” he said.
According to the solon, the BRB’s area of coverage includes 963 barangays and 50 cities and municipalities across Camarines Sur, Albay, and Camarines Norte.
In his statement, Villafuerte cited an Office of Civil Defense Report which said that Paeng caused 139 floodings, eight rain-induced landslides, and affected three national roads in the area.
The late President Marcos Sr.’s administration began the BRB in 1973. The project was scrapped way back in 1989.