Neda approves upgrade of flood control infraBy TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Water pumping stations designed to prevent floods in the metropolis are getting a much-needed upgrade after their age and state of disrepair were brought to light by last month’s calamity.
President Benigno Aquino and Cabinet officials have approved an additional P1.6 billion to fund the upgrade of pumps operated by the Metro Manila Development Authority, officials disclosed on Wednesday.
The National Economic Development Authority (Neda) Board also approved a P270-million fund for the dredging of water systems maintained by the Department of Public Works and Highways.
“Our pumping stations have been so many years old,” Secretary Edwin Lacierda, presidential spokesperson, said in a Malacañang briefing. “I think that’s important for us when it comes to flooding in the Metro Manila area where we need the pumping stations to work, and certainly this is a necessary step in ensuring that we address the flood situation in Metro Manila.”
Floods triggered by nonstop monsoon rains on August 7 left wide swaths of destruction in the capital and in central and southern Luzon.
The floods were also blamed on the low water discharge by the aging pumping stations, clogged waterways and the denudation of the Sierra Madre mountain range.
In the aftermath of the deluge, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano took MMDA officials to task for their supposed failure to approve requests to procure fuel for three pumps in Taguig City, where several barangays were quickly flooded when the pumps went idle.
The MMDA operates a total of 49 pumping stations of varying capacities, some of which are almost four decades old.
The pump upgrade and dredging were on top of the approved P5-billion initial allocation for the P351-billion master plan for flood control management in the capital, one of the nine key infrastructure projects approved by the Neda Board.
In a statement, the Neda said the P5 billion will finance high-impact flood control interventions, including the construction and rehabilitation of dikes, strengthening of sea walls, river dredging and construction of river control works.
Based on the shortlist submitted by the DPWH to Neda, the projects are broken down as follows:
- Valenzuela-Obando Meycauayan Project: P830 million
- Kamanava Project, Phase I (Caloocan-Malabon-Navotas Area): P800 million
- Manila Bay Seawall and Floodgates: P765million
- Upper Marikina Improvement Project: P370 million
- West Side of Mangahan Floodway Project: P262.40
- East Side of Mangahan Floodway Project: P193.37 million
- Declogging of Drainage Main: P43.33 million
- Mandaluyong and San Juan River: P62.50 million
- Region 3 (San Fernando-Sto. Tomas-Minalin Tail): P272.19 milliom
- Region 3 (Pampanga Sub): P64 million
- Region 3 (Tarlac I) P71 million
- Region 3 (Zambales I) P36 million
- Region IV-A: P205 million
Proposed lake improvements at inflow rivers to Laguna Lake: P750 million.