Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Metro Manila has had no anti-flood plan since 1952

Joel E. Zurbano in the Manila Standard:  Aside from a burgeoning population, improper garbage disposal and climate change, the heavy flooding that have occurred in recent years can also be blamed on the fact that the Philippines has not had a comprehensive flood-control masterplan for since 1952, according to Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson.

Singson said the 60-year-old masterplan no longer addresses current realities and involves sewerage and drainage systems that are 70 percent clogged with heavy silt and are only working at 30 percent capacity.

In 1990, the department undertook three important flood-control projects – the West Manggahan Floodway project in Pasig; first phase of the flood-control project in Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela and the second phase of the Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement project.

But there were separate projects and not designed under a comprehensive masterplan similar to what the department is now undertaking with the assistance of the World Bank, Singson said. After Tropical Depression Ondoy in September 2009, a number of the infrastructure projects were also undertaken, but they were mostly rehabilitational.

Nonetheless, Singson said the department has completed over P3 billion worth of projects in at least five regions. “[For Metro Manila,] we are doing Pasig-Marikina flood control and river wall improvement. We have been doing drainage improvement in several flooded areas,” Singson said. “We are also identifying projects to be prioritized like [the repair of] dikes on major rivers and the clearing of waterways,” he added.

Singson explained that a new masterplan was developed with a grant from the World Bank and the Australian Aid for International Development....

Night scene at Adriatico corner Remedios in Malate, Manila taken by Dean M. Bernardo on 18 October 2006 for public domain use on Wikipedia

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