By PNA and U.S. News Agency / Asian
Governor Lilia Pineda ordered Monday the immediate implementation of the Supreme Court’s ruling that all illegal structures along river systems in the province have to be dismantled.
The governor, in her meeting with local officials, cited the need to immediately push through with the High Court’s decision in ridding out the illegal structures that served as obstacles to the flow of water in the river systems and tributaries.
During the meeting, it was found out that six barangays in Masantol town are still under floodwater. At present, there are 1,055 families that are still temporarily seeking refuge in evacuation centers.
DPWH First Engineering District officer-in-charge Engr. Rico Guilas said the heavy siltation, encroachment of informal settlers and illegal fish ponds within the Pampanga river channel were mainly the reasons behind the prolonged flooding in most parts of the province.
The perennial flooding in the low-lying areas in the province could not be solved unless the SC’s ruling against informal settlers and illegal structures be fully implemented, she said.
“I am asking the local officials and the informal settlers to comply with the Supreme Court’s order as a way to ease flooding in our province,” the governor said.
The High Court ordered the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and other attached agencies to clean up the waterways from Pampanga Bay all the way to the mouth of Manila Bay.
The DPWH has started the initial implementation of the SC ruling in the province wherein a total of 698 shanties, houses, and other illegal structures established along the Pampanga River in the towns of Macabebe and Masantol have yet to be dismantled.