Megadikes, flood basins to be built
Megadikes, flood basins to be built
Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) - August 23, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The government plans to build megadikes and holding dams to prevent massive flooding during heavy rains.

President Aquino announced the construction of these flood control and drainage improvement projects yesterday as he continued his rounds of areas hit by the southwest monsoon enhanced by Tropical Storm Maring.

The government would construct a 50-hectare retarding basin in Cavite and a ring dike in Laguna, the President said during his visit to Imus, Cavite.

He said negotiations are underway to acquire private land where the retarding basin would be built.

Retarding basins are holding ponds or dams designed to catch rushing water and slow it down, dissipating floods. The basins release water gradually, preventing damage to people and property.

Aquino told affected residents temporarily housed at the Tinabunan Elementary School that the rivers in Bacoor and Imus could no longer hold the floodwaters caused by heavy rains.

“We are having negotiations now and it is expected (to be built) between one year (and) one year and a half. It will really ease flooding here significantly,” he said.


Ring dike


The President said a road ring dike, which has long been in the pipeline, would be built to prevent flooding in Laguna.

“Assuming it will be approved, it can be self-financing,” he said.

During his visit to a relief center in San Pedro, Laguna on Wednesday, Aquino assured residents that a megadike would protect them from rising floodwaters.

“What we will do here in Laguna de Bay, it’s wide-ranging. It cannot be built immediately. We will stop water from rising fast but it will be quite a big dike, not a small one,” he said.

Aquino said former Rizal governor and now Antipolo City Mayor Casimiro Ynares III explained to him that the project would be a combination of a dike and road that would “open up a lot of areas around Laguna, leading to development.”

He said the feasibility study and design were being finalized.

“The water inflow can be controlled once this road ring dike is established and the most beautiful part is that it can be self-financing,” Aquino said.

Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson said the road ring dike would be given priority because it would prevent the water level in Laguna Lake from overflowing to communities around it.

“So you might not need the Pacific Spillway,” Singson, who was with the President during his visit to Cavite, said, referring to the planned spillway that will channel Laguna de Bay’s excess water to Pacific Ocean.

The road ring dike is part of the build-operate-transfer program for the extension of C-6 road to Laguna for approval of the National Economic and Development Authority.

However, the ring dike was not among the projects recommended for implementation in the next 23 years under the government’s Flood Management Master Plan for Metro Manila and Surrounding Areas.

The only major structural project for lake communities that made the shortlist for funding was the P25-billion West Laguna Lakeshore Land Raising.

Flooding in low-lying towns along the lake, including Biñan and San Pedro cities, was blamed on siltation and resulting shallowness of Laguna Lake.

Meanwhile, as he distributed food packs and checked on flood victims during his visit to the Binakayan High School in Kawit, the President assured the public that he wanted to personally ensure that the needs of the affected residents are attended to.

“You know, you are close to our hearts this long and you should not be neglected and I am making sure you are not neglected,” he said.

The President, who had been criticized for not being visible at the height of the typhoon, said this is not the time for talk but action.

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