‘Simple’ solution to flooding is to dredge rivers, says Pacquiao
MANILA, Philippines — Following the havoc caused by recent calamities that hit the country, Senator Manny Pacquiao on Tuesday called for a massive dredging on all rivers and other water tributaries in flood-prone areas.
Pacquiao, chair of the Senate committee on public works, said that the “simple” solution to the flooding, instead of “fighting mother nature,” is to dredge the rivers and tributaries by at least 10 meters deep.
“It’s a no brainer. Kapag malalim ang ating mga ilog at mga estero, mas maiiwasan ng posibilidad na umagos ang tubig-baha papunta sa ating mga kabahayan,” he said in a statement.
“Dapat diyan natin ibuhos ang ating flood control program at hindi kung saan-saan na mga proyekto na paulit-ulit lang. What we need is a long-term and sustain flood control program,” the senator added.
Pacquiao said the severe flooding in Marikina and some areas in Rizal province would not have happened if the entire stretch of the Marikina River ad the Pasig Rivers and other secondary tributaries has an additional depth of at least 10 meters from their current state.
Marikina and Rizal were among the areas hardest hit by Typhoon Ulysses.
The senator also believes that if the 25-kilometer Pasig River and the 78-kilometer Marikina River have an added depth of at least 10 meters, they would be sufficient to accommodate huge volumes of floodwater even during extended rainfall events.
The same, he said, could be done with the 505-kilometer Cagayan river, the 270-kilometer Pampanga river and the 233-kilometer Chico River which would suppress any flooding in the Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon, respectively.
The said areas were also hit by the typhoon which caused massive loss of lives and properties.
Pacquiao also proposed the dredging of the 900-square-kilometer Laguna Lake to help prevent the flooding in nearby areas.
He said a bill may be filed in Congress to ensure that local government units would maintain the proposed 10-meter depth of the tributaries in their respective areas.
Aside from the massive river-dredging project in flood-prone areas, Pacquiao also prodded concerned government agencies to conduct a study on how to create rain catchment and water impounding facilities especially in the National Capital Region which can be processed by water concessionaires.
“This way, the government will be able to reduce flooding as floodwaters are diverted into these impounding facilities while ensuring that the people will have an abundant and cheap supply of potable water and the farmers will have a year-round supply of water to irrigate their farms,” he said.
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