Pavia Mayor Arcadio Gorriceta looks to Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) to help repair the embankment of Mali-ao creek in Barangay Mali-ao that had been eroded due to the recent monsoon rains.
With the embankment washed out, the mayor said that it could risk the lives of at least 27 families living along the Mali-ao creek due to soil erosion.
Three houses were already damaged due to the softening of the soil caused by the strong southwest monsoon brought about by typhoon “Gener”.
Engr. Edgar Mana-ay, a hydrologist and consultant for the municipal government of Pavia, said the cause of the erosion is the strong gush of water in Mali-ao creek, which is a tributary of the Aganan river in Pavia.
Mana-ay said the soil erosion is due to a phenomenon called “siphon effect” caused by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Iloilo Floodway Project. The larger “river”, the floodway project is said to hasten the flow of water to the sea, which caused the stronger current of water in Mali-ao creek and then soften the embankment of the river, eventually eroding the soil.
The floodway project is supposedly intended to prevent flooding in the nearby Iloilo city.
Mana-ay further said that before, the Mali-ao creek was only about five meters in width but because of the soil erosion it has widened to about 30 meters.
He said that the problem on soil erosion could not only be solved through the putting up of gabion along the embankment describing this as only a “band aid” solution.