Decentralize developments from cities, improve drainage systems
MANILA, Philippines – It is time to decentralize developments in the country to provinces and study and improve the drainage systems in the country, following the recent catastrophe which has killed and displaced many.
This was what World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines CEO and vice chair Lorenzo “Lory” Tan said on Monday when he told Radyo Inquirer 990AM that widespread urbanization and rash decisions in creating cities has led us to the dangers of climate change.
He said that it was the lack of research and planning that led the country to the poor state it is in. Cases in point are subdivisions building drainage systems from irrigation canals.
Tan said that some drainage canals being used now were constructed in places where irrigation canals put up by Spaniards used to be back in the 17th century. “Hindi natin inilipat, ngayon ang mga kanal na pang-irrigation, yun na din ang pangdrainage. Huwag na tayong magtaka sa pagbaha dahil ang akalang drainage canal ay sa katunayan ay irrigation canal pala.”
He said that catastrophes being faced by the country did not develop in a short period of time but snowballed from developments which lacked planning. The people’s fascination with living in the metropolis led to overpopulation, the development of more cities and infrastructure—coating most of Metro Manila in concrete and leading to the ill effects of climate change.
“Nakakumot na tayo sa semento at aspalto. Lumalala ang water cycle sanhi ng init: kapag nasa lalawigan ka, kahit mainit ay iba ang simoy ng hangin pero dito sa Manila kapag alas dose ng tanghali, naku, lumalakas ang evaporation, dumadami ang ulap at lumalakas ang ulan,” said Tan.
Decentralizing investments on businesses from the cities will also ensure that the trend of Filipinos in provinces migrating will go down. “Ilagay natin ang puhunan sa development sa iba’t ibang parte ng Pilipinas. Importante ito dahil maibabaliktad nito ang trend na lahat ay pupunta sa Maynila.”
Also, thorough planning for transportation that will not be vulnerable to flooding like the Metro Rail Transit and the Light Rail Transit systems should have been done earlier and an arterial road which will not be affected by floods should have been developed instead of creating ones which only bring more problems to motorists whenever there are weather disturbances.
He urged the government to study drainage systems in other countries that created new ones for its cities instead of building from what has been there for many years. He cited as an example the drainage tunnel in Kuala Lumpur which during the dry season is being used for land transport and is closed off to motorists during the rainy season to serve as a drainage tunnel.
These steps will no doubt be expensive but at the rate the country’s expenses shoot up whenever there are calamities, Tan said that these will be worth it.
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