MANILA— The development of the Wawa Dam in Rodriguez, Rizal is the "long-term and permanent" solution to flooding in Marikina, Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said Thursday, a week since the worst flooding seen in the eastern metro city in years.
Typhoon Ulysses' torrential rains last week had inundated the city, with the Marikina River reaching a water level higher than during the devastation of Tropical Storm Ondoy in 2009.
The facility will serve as a "retention dam" for floods that will go downstream to Marikina, according to Teodoro.
"Ito ang magsisilbing retention dam para sa Marikina, 'yung tubig sa taas di agad bababa rito, kundi regulated release. 'Yung tubig sa Wawa Dam pwede gamitin as water source for drinking ng Metro Manila," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(This will serve as Marikina's retention dam. Water from upstream will not just go down to Marikina, its release will be regulated. Metro Manila's potable water may also be sourced from the dam.)
"Binago daw nila ang design, gusto nila maging for power generation din. Sana 'yun ang matapos agad at magawa. 'Yun ang sa tingin namin ang long-term at permanent solution para dito sa pagbaha sa Marikina."
(They changed its design because they also want to use it for power generation. We hope it will be finished soon. We think this will be the long-term and permanent solution to flooding in Marikina.)
Rehabilitating the Marikina watershed will also help in preventing floods, Teodoro said.
"Ang dredging ng river namin tuloy-tuloy, maayos naman ang drainage system namin kaya 'yung baha di inabot ng gabi," he said.
(Dredging projects in our river are ongoing and our drainage system is good so the floods receded before nightfall.)
"Ang solution talaga sa upstream ng Marikina River. 'Yung Marikina watershed ma-rehabilitate, mataniman ng puno, 'yung quarrying mabawasan, ma-regulate nang mabuti."
(The solution really is upstream of Marikina River. The Marikina watershed should be rehabilitated and planted with trees. Quarrying should be lessened, strictly regulated.)
Some 50,000 houses in the city are submerged in mud while clearing operations in secondary roads continue in the wake of the floods, the mayor said.
He added that he suspended classes from Nov. 16 to Dec. 16 after floodwaters "washed out" residents' properties, including students' learning modules.
"Ang mga bahay nakalubog sa putik, talagang wala 'yung proper environment sa pag-aaral tapos ang hirap pa ng signal ng internet dito sa Marikina, 'yung ibang area nga ngayon lang bumalik 'yung kuryente," he said.
(Houses are submerged in mud, the environment is not proper for studying and internet signal is weak. Power has just been restored in some areas.)
Teodoro urged donors to proceed to Marikina's communities as most residents affected did not leave their homes during the typhoon's onslaught.
"Sa mga gustong tumulong kung puwede po dumiretso na sila sa mga barangay, sa mga komunidad para di nade-delay ang pag-aabot ng tulong," he said.
(To those who want to help, they can go directly to the communities so aid won't be delayed.)
"Decentralized na ho para 'yung mga kababayan nating tinutulungan nakikilala nila sino ang tumutulong sa kanila at nakakausap at alam nakakarating iyong tulong mismo sa mga kababayan natin."
(Relief operations have been decentralized so our constituents know who are helping them and donors know the typhoon victims receive their aid.)