A SUDDEN downpour last Saturday night flooded so many streets in Metro Manila and caused monstrous traffic jams.
We got caught in knee-deep water at the Buendia and South Superhighway Intersection but reports of flooded streets came from everywhere and brought traffic to a standstill. Some areas were waist-deep in floodwaters, making streets impassable to vehicles.
Again, you have to ask, is this where our taxes go? Then it really makes you not want to pay them.
If the widespread flooding last Saturday was a sneak preview of what’s in store for us during the rainy season then God help us. God help the kids who are returning to school this month, starting this week.
Last Saturday’s deluge was what? One or two hours’ worth of rain? I shudder to think about what would happen with more monsoon rains or if a real storm came along and made a direct hit on the metropolis!
I thought the government had been implementing its multibillion flood-control project for several years already?
Do we have to grin and bear it until the project’s completion in 2035 (as Malacañang said before) before we see results?
It couldn’t have helped at all that there are so many road projects and diggings underway all over in Metro Manila, some by the water companies, others by the Department of Public Works and Highways and still others by local governments. (Wasn’t the government reported to be underspending?)
A lot of these projects I am sure are being rushed before the elections but the fact that they seem to be ‘ongoing’ forever speaks of the quality of the contractors hired for these projects. Perhaps a good chunk of their budgets went to pay ‘commissions’ to the powers that be that is why it takes so slow for them to be completed?
I’m sure you have your own horror stories about last Saturday night’s floods.
I know of a family whose short grocery run in Cash and Carry Supermarket in Palanan, Makati coincided with Saturday night’s downpour. By the time they were done with their groceries all the roads leading to their apartment, which was just a couple of blocks away, were already flooded at least knee-deep, some even waist-deep.
There was nowhere to go, and so they sought refuge in the movie theater as the mall was already closing and asking people to leave, many of whom were stranded by the floods. Imagine, being so close to your home and yet so far.
Tip to mall management and shop owners: when the mall is packed with stranded customers, is this not a good opportunity to show some goodwill and even make more money by staying open and accommodating them until the floods subside? Think about it. In fact, perhaps local governments can mandate this through local ordinances because many times the malls offer the only refuge to stranded commuters and motorists.
Indeed, we have never seen such heavy flooding in many parts of the metropolis, and again only because of a relatively short downpour.
Before, only the heaviest rains from strong storms triggered flooding, whereas nowadays even regular monsoons rains and intermittent rains can cause havoc on our roads and streets.
Our floods today are the worst in decades, taking a considerable number of lives and causing extensive damage to our cities and provinces.
We are very much troubled that this flooding could get worse, which is why the government must offer both long-term and short-term solutions, and the people must do their part.
Again, we know there is a massive, multiyear and multi-billion flood-control program that the Aquino administration said would be completed in 2035, but this is too long and we simply can’t ‘grin and bear it’ for a very long meantime!
This is the 21st century! You mean to tell us that even with the current technologies and innovations we can’t fast-track critical infrastructure like flood control?
Passing the buck to successive administrations is unacceptable, especially after revelations that so much had already been lost to corruption and non-existent projects funded by pork barrel (both from the Congress and the executive).
Metro Manila’s flood problem could be solved much sooner. Sure, it is not an overnight solution, but it is not like this problem hasn’t persisted for so long already. It’s not like we don’t already know that our drainage and other waterways are clogged with trash, squatters and subdivisions that should never have been built.
Surely, with political will and a properly allocated and spent budget the government could minimize adverse flooding a lot sooner.
If you are a dutiful taxpayer, it is really frustrating when you get caught in the middle of a flood like last Saturday night’s. Amidst the chaos and the helplessness, you wonder if there is really a government that looks after you or cares about you. You wonder where your taxes really go.