• Marcos vows to scrutinize disaster management fund


    SENATOR Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has vowed to scrutinize budget items on the proposed 2016 national budget that have something to do with disaster risk management to determine if the allotments will lessen the impact of calamities on the people.

    Marcos, chairman of the Senate committee on public works, noted that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on its briefer on the 2016 national budget included disaster risk management among the priority areas.

    The senator also emphasized the need for the government to prioritize projects that mitigate the effects of climate change, particularly in its 2016 infrastructure budget in order to lessen damage to lives and property during calamities.

    He added that the government must provide funding for flood-control structures as well as disaster-resistant classrooms and multi-purpose buildings that could serve as evacuation centers during typhoons or floods.

    Citing data from the Office of Civil Defense in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Marcos said 19,032 families or 95,160 individuals were affected by the floods that struck 81 barangays of the towns of Ampatuan, Datu Salibo, Sultan Sa Barongis, Rajah Buayan, Datu Abdullah Sangki, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Buluan, Mangudadatu, Pandag, Mamasapano, Paglat, Northern Kabuntalan and Datu Paglas.

    The lawmaker noted that while the government cannot build structures that can totally withstand nature’s fury, it could do something to lessen its impact.

    The government, he said, should learn from the typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) experience and build structures that could withstand strong winds and provide a safe haven for evacuees when floods occur.

    The senator noted that many of those killed by Super Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban City perished in classrooms and other buildings that either collapsed or were submerged during a storm surge.

    Meanwhile, Senator Francis Escudero expressed hope that the bill seeking to modernize the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) will be signed into law this year.

    Escudero was referring to Senate Bill 2834 which is set to go through the bicameral conference committee.

    “I’m hoping that President Aquino will be able to sign the PAGASA Modernization Bill into law within the year to give long-overdue upgrades to the weather bureau’s equipment, staff pay, research capabilities and communication reach,” said Escudero, one of the principal authors of the bill.

    The measure seeks to extend the three-year modernization program for PAGASA to boost the weather bureau’s capabilities in providing timely, accurate and reliable weather, flood, climate monitoring, forecasting and warning services.

    “The bill also aims to arrest the brain-drain problem in the agency by increasing the basic pay, allowances and other benefits of its workers,” Escudero added.

    It also seeks to enhance regional weather service centers, and develop a “technology-based” and financially self-sufficient” data center as well as improve research and development, promote human resource, and develop ways to integrate disaster management with socioeconomic development planning and water resource management.


    Please follow our commenting guidelines.


    1. The key in formulating solutions (both hard & soft solutions) to water-related issues is to understand the synergistic relationship between hydrologic processes and man-made activities.

      Take the flood problem, as an example. Flood phenomenon can be described by the following hydrologic process:

      1.) Precipitation (rainfall intensity) exceeds the rate of absorption of natural ground and the vegetation cover (infriltration) and the environments’ capacity to evaporate (evapo-transpiration) its ambient water/moisture thus producing excess rainwater in the surface (surface run-off)

      2.) Due to natural terrain (topography), surface run-off and infiltrating water (groundwater) will flow to the lowest portion either to the sea/ocean or basins (lakes/ponds/). The transportation mechanism will be the following:
      2a.) For surface run-off, by drainage (gravity flow) through natural conduits and waterways (i.e. rivers and its tributaries)
      2b.) For groundwater, by percolation to the aquifer/aquitard/aquifuge.

      3.) Flood occurs when either or in any combination of the following conditions are satisfied:
      3a.) The intensity of rainfall exceeds the capacity of natural or catchment basins (eg.lakes, flood plain, dams / reservoirs) to contain the volume thus the overflow of surface run-off.
      3b.) The intensity of rainfall exceeds the rate of infiltration/percolation to the ground, and it also exceeds the capacity of the aquifer/aquitard/aquifuge to store water, thus surface run-off.
      3c.) The rate of flow of surface run-off to natural conduits exceeds the capacity of the waterways to discharge/drain to the basins/lakes or open sea/oceans.
      3d.) Extreme change in weather patterns such as strong storm surges, and increasing mean sea level.

      The parameters therefore for flood to occur are:

      A.) Capacity to contain surface run-off
      -Insufficient reservoirs
      -Lack of retention ponds/lakes

      B.) Capacity to store surface run-off
      -Insufficient water sheds and vegetative cover (deforestation, indiscriminate land conversion, etc.)
      -Surface run-off not percolating to the ground aquifer/aquitard/aquifuge
      -Ingress of saline water to the groundwater aquifer/aquitard/aquifuge due to grounwater drawdown or pumping from development areas (eg. residential subdivision using groundwater pumps)

      C.) Capacity to discharge surface run-off
      -Inefficient sewer/stormwater network and system
      -Diminishing natural waterways due to economic development (eg. riverside development, informal settlers)
      -Clogged waterways either by garbage or siltation

      D.) Climate Change
      – Change in weather patterns (extended and/or wetter rainy season, extended and/or drier/hotter summers)
      – Rising sea levels
      – etc.

      Having defined the parameters for flood to occur, the structural solution therefore should address each or in any combination of the following the parameters.

      A.) Capacity to contain Surface Run-off
      – Typical solutions are as follows:
      a.1) Provision for dams and reservoirs
      a.2) Provision for retention ponds & lakes

      B.) Capacity to store
      -Typical solutions are as follows:
      b.1) Watersheds and vegetative cover
      b.2) Artificial Recharging wells
      b.3) Swales

      C.) Capacity to discharge
      -Typical solutions are as follows:
      c.1) separate network for each of the stormwater, residential sewer and industrial sewer lines.
      c.2) increasing waterways capacity either, or in any combination of the following: dredging the river bed, widening the waterways, raising the embankment by providing dikes or levees.
      c.3) reduce the potential of siltation and scouring either or in any combination of the following: bioswales along embankment, baffle chutes to reduce velocity,riprap/gabions/rock armours along embankment,etc.
      c.4) diversion for other purposes such as irrigation, power generation, water supply, transportation, etc.

      D.) Climate Change
      – Typical solutions include:
      d.1) Scenario Planning
      d.2) Improved forecasting techniques
      d.3) Infrastructure adaptation

      For the ‘soft’ solutions, what we need is a comprehensive water management framework (similar to Water Act in the UK) that addresses water-related issues (such as water supply, flood, drainage, sewerage, wastewater, water shed management, etc.) in a regional or national scale and should be incorporated in the land use zonation planning, natural hazard & disaster risk mitigation plan, infrastructure development plan, and economic development plan of the region concerned.

    2. go go go go BBM. Start now to Scrutinize the funds where it goes from DMF??
      These government were really lazy and stupid. They dont have any ideas or plan , projects especially for this natural disaster. In Japan they have built like a mountain with stairway, people can go up in highlands (built by Japanese govt for the people) , incase there is tsunami just like what happned few years ago.. This is the government..
      not like our government stupid , idiot and lazy people. , only BBM had the idea for the benefit of the people.,. Si BBM lang ang may malasakit sa mamayang Pilipino at higit sa bansa… God bless BBM. He should be the next President of the Philippines, otherwise Philippines will be in disaster. Dont Elect IDIOT and Stupid people like celebrities..media esp. LP.. etc..