• Palace rolls out flood control master plan

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    ON Thursday’s heavy downpour and the floods that ensued may just be a taste of what’s to come in the days, weeks and months ahead.

    In fact, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astro­nomical Services Administration (Pagasa) announced on Friday that cloudy and rainy wea­ther may continue to prevail in many parts of the country this weekend.

    Because of this, Malacañang announced on Friday that its flood control master plan that would address the worsening problem of flooding throughout much of the country is underway.

    In a press conference, Strategic Communications Secretary Ramon Carandang asked the public to be patient as the government implementing its flood control program.

    ”The masterplan on flood control is underway. But you have to understand it’s going to take several years to implement and it’s an inter-agency thing,” he said, noting that this plan was implemented already by the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Interior and Local Government, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and other agencies.

    Habagat
    Pagasa weather forecaster Samuel Duran also on Friday said the low pressure area (LPA) near the western side of northern Luzon is expected to affect and enhance the southwest monsoon or Hanging Habagat until Sunday.

    However, he said the weather disturbance is not expected to enter the country as it veered toward Southern China.

    With the LPA-enhanced southwest monsoon, Duran said the western sections of Visayas and Luzon including Metro Manila will continue to have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with light to moderate rains.

    The rest of the country, he noted will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rains mostly in the afternoon or evening due to localized thunderstorms.

    At the same time, Duran said that the cloud formation over the eastern section of Mindanao remains outside the Philippine territory but once it enters the PAR and becomes an LPA by wee­kend, most parts of Min­danao will also experience light to moderate rains until Sunday.

    Pagasa said the next weather disturbance that will evolve into a tropical depression would be named Emong—the fifth tro­pical cyclone to enter the country this year.

    This month, the state weather bureau expects two or three storms to develop.

    Doing their part
    Meanwhile, Carandang said the flood control plans includes clearing of clogged waterways, upgrading of pumping stations, creation of containment basins, and repair of breached dikes.

    “They’re all doing their part. Remember that the DPWH is just one agency. All of them have responsibilities under the plan and all of them are working on their end of the plan,” he added.

    ”Even while that’s happening, the plans of the DPWH to create containment basins, they’re all being done. But I have to let the public be aware that this is not going to happen overnight,” he added.

    Carandang said work related to the flood measure “may take a few years to complete” but “vast improvement” is expected in a few years.”

    Carandang said that the flooding in Metro Manila “might have been worse had not been for some of these government’s flood control program.”

    ”But, certainly, we would admit that it’s not finished yet and we still have a lot of work to do. So you’ll just have to bear with us while we’re implementing the plan,” he said.

    Public support, patience
    As the government does its part, Carandang also asked the public to be responsible citizens.

    “The litter that comes out, that people tend to throw, also contributes to the flooding. So, if we all do our part, I think we can get this done faster,” he warned.

    ”But, again, I appeal for patience. As we said when we announced it last year, this is not gonna be finished in one year or two years,” he emphasized.

    Last year, the President announced that his government would undertake a P351.72 billion ($8.39 billion) flood control plan.

    The plan was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority’s subcommittee on water resources on July 31 last year.

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