MANILA - Marikina Rep. Bayani Fernando on Monday denied that his firm's reclamation project along Marikina River contributed to the city's massive flooding brought by Typhoon Ulysses.
Mayor Marcelino Teodoro earlier said the project by Fernando's firm BF City in one of the river's floodplains caused the waterway to narrow and seek a lower area to dump excess water.
He said the ideal velocity of the river's water is 4.1 liters per second. It currently averages at 2.7 to 2.8 and slows down to 1.9 liters per second in the reclamation project's area, he added.
Teodoro's statement goes against engineering, according to Fernando, who also served as Marikina mayor and chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.
"Maling mali naman yun. Baligtad yun. Pagka ganyang agos ng ilog pagka mababaw malakas ang velocity...Pag ang tubig ay tahimik yan ay malalim, pag ang tubig ay maingay yan ay mababaw. Mahina ang agos ibig sabihin malapad," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(That's very wrong. It's the opposite. If the water's velocity is fast, the area is shallow. If the water's quiet, it means it's deep and if it's noisy it's shallow. If the flow of water is weak, it means the area is wide.)
Fernando also said the project was built by the Department of Public Works and Highways and funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
"Hindi orihinal ang daan ng tubig. Aking tinatama, dinidiretso ko. Masamang liko-liko yang ilog. Binabalik ko sa dati niyang agos," he said.
(That's not the water's original pathway, I'm just correcting it, straightening it. It's not good for a river to to have curves. I'm just putting back the river to its former flow.)
"Naubos yung dadaanan dun sa parte ng Santolan kaya yun ang aking binubuhay. Ako naman ay nakakakuha ng libreng panambak. Ginagawa ko nang kalye yun sapagkat sa tingin ko aabutin ng 5 hanggang 8 taon bago mabuo ang proyektong yan."
(Its path near Santolan was gone so I'm just reviving it. I got free materials so I made a road there because I think it will take up to 5 to 8 years to finish the project.)
He earlier said that BF City was "government land" that he was leasing from the city.
"It’s not my land. We are actually building the road na as according to plans near the river kasi yung (because the) Marikina River will have roads on each side, all throughout from Pasig to Montalban," he said.
Fernando said he had filed a resolution in August 2019 seeking to investigate Marikina's flood control program."
"Limang taon nang ginagawa yan. P50 bilyon pero wala pang naisalba na komunidad," he said.
(It's been 5 years since it began construction. It's worth P50 billion but has yet to save a community.)
"Kung ako ay may ginagawang masama ba't ko papaimbestigahan yan?"
(If I'm doing something wrong, why would I want it investigated?)