Metro Manila flood control plan budget a pittanceBy Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) flood control master plan for Metro Manila and nearby provinces—which has a total proposed budget of P352 billion—has been included in the agency’s budget allocation for 2013.
But in a report furnished to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the DPWH’s public information division said only P15.8 billion had been allocated by the department for the master plan, among other flood control projects of the department, this year.
The amount represents 10.9 percent of the agency’s total infrastructure program funding of P144.3 billion and about five percent of its annual budget of P152.4 billion.
The bulk of the infrastructure funding—P100.9 billion—will go to the repair and maintenance of national roads and bridges all over the country, said the report.
Of the P15.8 billion earmarked for flood control, P12.4 billion will go to locally funded projects, while P3.45 billion is the national government counterpart fund for foreign-assisted projects.
Other flood control-related project budget allocations are for P425.6 million for right-of-way payments; P340 million for feasibility studies and detailed engineering works, and P64.17 million for contractual obligations.
Disaster Quick Response Fund
The DPWH has also set aside P500 million for the construction of septage and sewerage systems in Puerto Princesa and 16 other highly urbanized cities, as well as rain collection systems in a number of local government units nationwide.
Another P600 million was allocated for what the department calls the “Disaster Quick Response Fund,” which is intended for the emergency repair of roads and bridges destroyed during typhoons, flash floods and other natural disasters.
Under the 2013 General Appropriations Act, the following DPWH projects also received budget allocations: Construction of basic education facilities, P14.1 billion; rehabilitation of health facilities, P2.78 billion; various local infrastructures, P1.07 billion, and construction of ramps for disabled persons, P5 million, among others.
Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson said his department had been getting input from both local and foreign experts on flood management and disaster risk reduction as it finalizes the master plan for effective and comprehensive flood control in Metro Manila and nearby provinces like Bulacan, Pampanga, Rizal and Laguna.
Construction of dams
Last July, the National Economic and Development Authority’s subcommittee on water resources approved the master plan, which covers at least 11 infrastructure projects, including the construction of several dams in Marikina City.
This, however, would require the relocation of at least 787,106 people, many of whom are illegal settlers, said the DPWH Project Management Office for Major Flood Control Projects.
The DPWH’s 2012 master plan was based on a study funded by a $1.5 million grant from the World Bank and the Australian Aid for International Development.