DPWH: All out in battling floods

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DPWH20151011THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has allotted P46 billion for its flood control projects that seek to mitigate the perennial flooding problem in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson, in a budget report submitted early this year, said that of the amount, P8.48 billion was allocated to 360 flood mitigating projects in Metro Manila. Quezon City got the biggest slice at P1.47 billion for 96 projects, followed by Manila with P1.21 billion for 62 projects.

Third on the list was Marikina City with P696.2 million; Muntinlupa City, P499.95 million; Makati City P480 million; Caloocan City, P471.24 million; San Juan City, P427.25 million; Pasay City, P401.36 million; Valenzuela City, P363.86 million; Pasig City, P340.74 million; Las Piñas, P318.05 million; Taguig City, P289.88 million; Malabon City, P246.66 million; Navotas City, P213.18 million; Parañaque City, P74.75 million, and Mandaluyong City, P5.5 million.

The DPWH-NCR office separately got P971 million for 17 projects, 16 of them for the Camanava Flood Control Project, which was started in 2003 with a P5.02 billion fund.

The Camanava project aims to address flooding in the Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela areas caused by the overflowing of the Malabon-Tullahan river.


The DPWH is also implementing 11-multi-year or long-term structural mitigation measures worth some P351 billion under its Flood Management Master Plan.

Singson said that nine projects are ongoing, including the San Juan River improvement and the Pasig-Marikina River Improvement Project Phase III.

The other major projects underway include the 3.3-kilometer Blumentritt box culvert which is expected to be completed on the first quarter of 2016 and the Maysilo box culvert which will be finished on the second quarter of 2016.

The DPWH has completed 96 high-impact flood control projects in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces amounting to P4.9 billion, all part of the P5-billion Priority High-Impact Flood Control Projects for Metro Manila and neighboring regions under its Flood Management Master Plan.

Singson said the structural and non-structural projects will ease flooding in low-lying and flood-prone areas in the National Capital Region and Regions 3 and 4A.

Among the 96 completed projects are the 46 contracts for Valenzuela-Obando-Meycauayan (VOM) composed of construction and improvement of flood control and river walls, desilting, and installation of pumping stations.

It also includes the 16 projects completed for Caloocan-Malabon-Navotas Area Project Phase 1 composed of the rehabilitation of Catmon Creek, riverwall along Malabon-Tullahan River and construction of stations and flood gates.

Two contracts involving the strengthening and restoration of the seawall of Roxas Blvd. were also completed under the Manila Bay Seawall Project while six concrete slope protection, parapet and gravity wall projects along Nangka River were finished under the department’s Upper Marikina River Improvement Project.

Construction of 11 new slope protection, spillway, and river control structures were likewise completed under East Side of Manggahan Floodway Project, mitigation measures for breaches in the San Fernando-Sto. Tomas-Minalin Tail dike, and DPWH-Laguna Lakeshore Development Authority Flood Control and River Protection Project.

In addition, four rehabilitation and restoration projects were finished for San Fernando-Sto. Tomas-Minalin Tail Dike and Del Carmen-Balimbing creek in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Several dredging activities that are part of the flood control plan were also completed covering the Marikina River and Manggahan Floodway in NCR, the Labangan Channel in Hagonoy, Bulacan and Orani Channel in Region 3.

The DPWH however admitted that despite the billions of pesos poured for hundreds of flood control projects, floodings in Metro Manila will continue but the water will recede faster because of these mitigation measures.

The DPWH Maintenance Division chief Rey Rosario explained that even if all 360 flood-control projects in Metro Manila are completed, the problem of floods will remain.

“Even with all the projects we have, we cannot totally eliminate flooding but only reduce it to a minimum degree because Metro Manila is below sea level,” he told The Manila Times.

He added that the lack of discipline among Metro residents, particularly in the disposal of their garbage is another contributory factor to the perennial flooding problem.

Rosario stressed that there should be a “holistic” approach to the problem, which should involve the participation of all residents and the local government units concerned in coordination with the DPWH and other government agencies.

DPWH records also showed that in 2013, the percentage of flood-protected areas increased to 14.5 percent out of the 416,327 hectares to be protected within the 56 priority river basins nationwide. It corresponds to an additional 7,104 hectares to the 53,263 hectares of protected areas as of 2011.

For 2014, the department increased its target to 16.10 percent (67,028 hectares) and 19.70 percent (82,016 hectares) in 2016.

The extent of flood prone areas and target flood protected areas are mainly based on completed major flood control studies (for the 37 major flood control projects) and the results of the JICA-assisted Nationwide Flood Risk Assessment Study (NaFra) completed in 2008 for the 56 priority river basins.

Singson also said the DPWH plans to improve allocations in this important sector considering the present challenges of climate change adaptation (CCA), disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) and the La Niña phenomenon.

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