BAGUIO is asking the national government’s help in dredging the Balili River and other waterways to prevent perennial flooding in low-lying areas of the mountain city.  

In a statement released by the information office on Thursday, City Administrator Bonifacio I. dela Peña said “appropriate measures must already be undertaken to ensure its dredging to allow the river system to accommodate the huge volume of water flowing into it during the height of the rainy season.”   

Balili, one of the major river systems in Baguio and neighboring province Benguet, is the main discharge area of various tributaries from elevated areas in the city, he said.   

Citing data from state weather agency PAGASA, he said Baguio “always receives the highest rainfall annually.”  

The city reported flooding and landslides last week as severe tropical storm Maring (international name: Kompasu) dumped heavy rain across northern Luzon areas.  

Mr. Dela Peña also said the city government is undertaking clearing of waterways as well as addressing the problem of illegal structures that block flow and have violated the three-meter easement rule.   

He admitted, however, that “the clearing of the waterways and easements might take some time” as due process will have to be given to the structures’ owners.  

The City Buildings and Architecture Office is currently conducting ocular inspection on waterways and identifying easement violations.   

It has so far found about 1,000 illegal structures. — MSJ 

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