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Metro

Zubiri proposes second look at Marcos-era mega-spillway plan

- Christina Mendez -

MANILA, Philippines - Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri proposed yesterday the construction of a 40-foot mega-floodway in Parañaque to allow floodwaters to drain into the Manila Bay and prevent widespread flooding.

He said Parañaque “is the shortest distance… from Manila Bay to Laguna de Bay. There is a plan designed since the term of (former President Ferdinand) Marcos.”

Zubiri said the plan for a four-story floodway dates back to the Metro Manila Transport Land Use and Development Planning Project (Mmetroplan), which was crafted 32 years ago.

Zubiri said the metropolis needs an integrated flood control plan after the past typhoons showed the insufficiency of the combined Mangahan Floodway, Napindan Hydraulic Control Structures and the Effective Flood Control and Operations System.

“I am proposing that a mega-spillway be constructed as envisioned in the 1977 Mmetroplan. I am urging our leaders, urban planners and environmentalists to look into solutions that will serve us well into the future,” he said. 

Zubiri said he has proposed the review of the Mmetroplan during the recent Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) presided last week by President Arroyo.

“Even as we dredge and desilt the waterways, the increasing density of rainfall with the extreme weather events had just denied us the luxury of time,” he said. “We cannot afford to wait till all waterways are cleared, Laguna de Bay is brought back to its original depth or reforest all denuded Sierra Madre hills in Antipolo and Montalban.”

He noted that the Parañaque spillway was not implemented 30 years ago because of financial constraints, with the construction cost pegged at P20 billion.

“From (tropical storm) ‘Ondoy’ alone, we just lost infrastructure worth P11 billion. Also, it would be more cost-effective if we build this mega-spillway than to relocate whole communities in the lakeshore towns, as others have proposed,” he said.

As this developed, Zubiri said the Senate will push some amendments in the 2010 General Appropriations Act to include the disaster risk reduction and mitigation funds in the GAA to address the rehabilitation and reconstruction of areas damaged by tropical depression Ondoy and typhoon Pepeng.

ANTIPOLO AND MONTALBAN GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT LEGISLATIVE-EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT ADVISORY COUNCIL MANGAHAN FLOODWAY MANILA BAY METRO MANILA TRANSPORT LAND USE AND DEVELOPMENT PLANNING PROJECT MMETROPLAN NAPINDAN HYDRAULIC CONTROL STRUCTURES AND THE EFFECTIVE FLOOD CONTROL AND OPERATIONS SYSTEM ONDOY PRESIDENT ARROYO ZUBIRI
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