DPWH awaits bulk of flood control fundsBy Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Nearly a year after the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) came out with a P351.72-billion flood control master plan for Metro Manila and outlying provinces up to the year 2035, the government has released just P3.94 billion for the ambitious project.
In its midterm accomplishment report, a copy of which was given to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the DPWH said at least P5 billion was needed for “several high-impact flood control projects, considering the need for immediate intervention to ease the flooding problems in the region.”
In the National Capital Region, flood control funds went to the following projects: Valenzuela-Obando-Meycauayan River improvement, P820 million; Phase 1 of Caloocan-Malabon-Navotas River improvement, P380 million; Upper Marikina River improvement, P222.5 million; Manila Bay seawall rehabilitation, P211.05 million; East Manggahan Floodway dredging, P190 million; Mangahan Floodway dredging, P100 million; and Marikina River dredging, P50 million, among others.
Early this year, the Department of Budget and Management authorized the release of P1.6 billion to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority for the rehabilitation of 12 pumping stations in the metropolis.
In January, the DPWH disclosed that an initial P15.8 billion was allocated for the flood control master plan.
The amount represented 10.9 percent of the department’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 P100 billion-plus infrastructure budget will go to the repair and maintenance of national roads and bridges nationwide, according to the DPWH.
The master plan, which also aims to “develop a safe society that is resilient to floods,” was given the go-ahead on July 31 by the National Economic and Development Authority’s Sub-Committee on Water Resources.
After getting Malacañang’s approval, the DPWH started processing requests for funding and preparatory talks for the design of the priority projects.
Under the master plan, the DPWH shortlisted 11 structural flood mitigation measures (with their respective budget requirements): Pasig-Marikina River improvement and dam construction, P198.43 billion; Manila drainage improvement, P27.5 billion; Cainta-Taytay River improvement, P25.9 billion; West Laguna lakeshore land raising, P25.2 billion; Malabon-Tullahan River improvement, P21.6 billion; South Parañaque-Las Piñas River improvement, P17.3 billion; Meycauayan River improvement, P14.04 billion; Valenzuela-Obando-Meycauayan River improvement, P8.61 billion; land raising for small Laguna lakeshore towns, P7.15 billion; West Manggahan drainage improvement, P5.52 billion; and improvement of inflow rivers to Laguna lake, P637 million.
“Each of these projects is independent but they form integral measures for mitigating floods in Metro Manila and surrounding areas,” the DPWH noted.