Aquino vows to address flooding problem-A A +A
Thursday, August 9, 2012
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III on Thursday assured victims of recent floods that the government is finding a permanent solution to end Metro Manila's perennial problem on flooding.
The Chief Executive said the proposed permanent solution will be completed by the end of his term in 2016.
Aquino led the distribution of relief goods to families temporarily housed in various evacuation centers in Marikina, Quezon City, Caloocan, Valenzuela and Malabon.
The President's first stop was at Nangka Elementary School in Marikina City where some 1,229 families were staying.
In his short message after leading the distribution of family food packs, Aquino said the government is working toward achieving a permanent solution to the city's continuing problem of flooding, particularly the threat of the Marikina river.
Aquino said he had directed the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and other concerned agencies to come up with a comprehensive plan to end the flooding problem that affected close to 90 percent of Marikina City.
Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, who was with the President, told the residents that a proposed permanent solution is the creation of embankments and catch basins at the upstream portions and tributaries of the Marikina river that will slow down floodwaters that cascade down from the mountains that line the city during inclement weather.
These mountains are located in Antipolo, San Mateo and Rodriguez all located in the province of Rizal.
Singson said by slowing down floodwaters from the mountains, it would allow the drainage systems to work efficiently to drain away rain water into the sea.
Aquino, meanwhile, called on the city residents to join government efforts in addressing the problem of flooding.
He assured flood victims that the government has enough resources to address the aftermath of the deadly flooding brought about by monsoon rains.
The President reiterated his promise of coming up with a long term solution to the problem of flooding when he visited the evacuation center at Bagong Silangan basketball gym in Quezon City.
He told residents of Quezon City that specifics on the permanent flood solution plan will be released by next week in order for concerned agencies to start working.
From Quezon City, the President went to Pag-asa Elementary School in Caloocan and then Gen. T. De Leon Elementary School in Valenzuela where he asked those affected by the flood to leave their homes before floodwater rises.
The President also criticized pharmaceutical companies taking advantage of the bad weather condition, where medicines become a necessity.
He said the government has monitored a 750 percent increase in prices of some commonly used medicines at the height of calamity. He called such practice "anti-Pilipino."
Aquino said he will have the pharmaceutical companies investigated.
In a television interview with Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Secretary Ramon Carandang, he said the President would want to see for himself the situation in the areas affected by floods.
He noted that Aquino wanted to maximize his time thus he chose areas which are near to each other.
He also said the President is "generally" happy with the way the local government units are handling the flooding situation and providing the needs of families in evacuation centers.
Carandang said the government still has enough resources to fund for the needs of the affected areas and there is still no need to seek international assistance.
As of Thursday, the Department of Social Welfare and Development has provided P10.4 million worth of relief assistance to families affected by floods.
Several flood-stricken areas, including the National Capital Region, have been declared under a state of calamity to allow the release of funds set aside for calamities.
In the Metro Manila, areas under state of calamity include: Malabon, Navotas, Manila, Pasay, San Juan, Pateros, Muntinlupa, Marikina, Pasig, and Valenzuela.
Also placed under state of calamity are provinces of Zambales, Bataan, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Rizal, Laguna and Palawan. These are based on the data posted on the official Twitter account of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)