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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Ex-Candaba mayor supports floodwater diversion plan to curb inundation problem

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A FORMER three-term mayor of Candaba, Pampanga, on Wednesday expressed support for the administration’s plan to divert flood waters from the province and Bulacan to an impounding area in a portion of the town’s 2,000-hectare swamp.

Ex-Candaba Mayor Jerry Limjoco Pelayo in a statement said the water impounding area will be a long-term solution to the perennial flooding that besets his town as well as several other localities in Pampanga and neighboring Bulacan province.

“When I was a mayor, I already suggested in a regional development council meeting that a ring dike is needed to collect the rainwater. I’m with
the President on this matter. This could also be beneficial for aquaculture, irrigation for farmers, and tourism as well,” he said.

Jerry Pelayo

Pelayo, known for his hands-on leadership during his tenure as Candaba mayor, firmly believes that the proposed water impounding project will
not only alleviate the perennial flooding issue, but also provide a boost to local industries and tourism.

He expressed disappointment over Pampanga Rep. Ana York Bondoc’s reaction to the proposed solution. In a meeting of Pampanga officials with the President recently, York expressed strong opposition to the construction of the water impounding area, saying that it will result in loss of livelihood for residents who plant cash crops in the swamp, when it dries up during the dry season.

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A Cabinet member present at the meeting however said only 200 hectares of the 2,000-hectare swamp will be affected.

Bondoc even reminded the President that Candaba was the cradle of the communist Huk rebellion in the late 1940s to the 70s.

“I am embarrassed about Congresswoman Bondoc’s agitated behavior and she obviously did not understand the national government’s suggestion.

Dredging, as the congresswoman suggested, is just a temporary solution and very costly,” Pelayo said. “Her behavior was inciting and very
unbecoming of a true Capampangan.”

Pelayo urged stakeholders to consider the long-term benefits of the impounding water project over temporary and costly measures.

He also called for unity and cooperation among local leaders to closely monitor each local government’s solid waste management in order to
avoid dumping garbage along waterways, and effectively address the recurrent flooding issue in the region.

The former mayor’s endorsement of President Marcos Jr.’s plan underscores his commitment to practical and sustainable solutions to
local problems, and his belief in the potential of Candaba and the larger Pampanga region.

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