Metro Manila flood control masterplan needs P351B

by Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 08 2014 08:45 PM | Updated as of May 09 2014 10:34 AM

MANILA - More than P351 billion is needed to finance the flood management master plan for Metro Manila, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson, during the "flood summit" on Thursday called for by the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, identified a major structural mitigation management master plan for Metro Manila and its surrounding areas.

The master plan will cover 4,354 square kilometers, 17.1 million people, 16 cities in the metropolis, 8 towns in Bulacan, and 63 towns and cities in the Calabarzon area.

The measures include construction of dams, basin and river improvements, rehabilitation of pumping stations and additional drainage mains/box culverts, construction of road dikes, and dredging work.

These would effectively address flooding caused by huge volume of water coming from Sierra Madre that flow Metro Manila and low-lying communities around Manila Bay and Laguna Lake, Singson said.

The biggest project is the improvement of the Pasig-Marikina River and dam construction.

Such a project would cost over P198 billion. So far, P5 billion worth of priority high-impact flood control projects are in construction. The projects include upgrade of pumping stations, dredging of rivers, and the construction of additional drainage culverts.

Singson warned that 50% of the country's output would be significantly affected if a Yolanda-like typhoon hits the Metro Manila and its surrounding areas.

He said this is the reason why a permanent solution to the flooding problem in the metropolis is needed.

He also cited the need to relocate informal settlers to improve and recover the carrying capacities of waterways.

There are 8 priority waterways in Metro Manila -- Estero de Maypajo, Estero de Sunog Apog, pasig River, Estero Tropa de Gallina, Tullahan River, San Juan River, Manggahan Floodat and Maricaban Creek -- where around 104,000 families are residing.

According to Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, 10% of these families have already been relocated. He expects the figure to double by the end of the year.