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Metro

Roxas: Gov’t on track in squatter relocation

Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration is on track in relocating all 60,000 informal settler families (ISFs) from various waterways in Metro Manila by 2016, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas said yesterday.

“We are on track but we cannot just relocate some of the families if they are going to be transferred off-site. They don’t really want that because it’s going to be far from their source of livelihood,” he told reporters during a break at the flood summit at the House of Representatives.

“So, we’re looking for nearby sites where we are putting up buildings where they’re close to work, school, friends and their social network because land is expensive,” he said.

He said 19,400 of the 60,000 ISFs living in eight waterways are to be prioritized for relocation owing to the danger flooding poses to them as well as the obstructions they cause to the channels.

The eight waterways identified during the summit are San Juan River, Pasig River, Tullahan River, Maricaban Creek, Manggahan Floodway, Estero Tripa de Gallina, Estero de Maypajo and Estero de Sunog Apog.

Roxas said some 4,400 ISFs have already been relocated this year.

Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo – whose committee on Metro Manila development organized the summit – said the summit aims to come up with a master plan for flood control before the onset of the typhoon season.

Meanwhile, Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson presented during the summit his department’s flood control plan, which covers Metro Manila, Rizal, Laguna and parts of Bulacan.

The flood management plan aims to address the main causes of flooding including the waters flowing from the Sierra Madre mountains to the rivers, the poor drainage system in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

Singson also said government is studying the feasibility of constructing detention basins and drainage bins in flood-prone areas and a dike running from Taguig City to Calamba, Laguna.

Tolentino meanwhile reported that modern pumping systems are scheduled to be installed in several cities in Metro Manila to reduce flooding during the rainy season as some of the pumping stations in the capital are more than 40 years old.

ESTERO TRIPA

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

MANGGAHAN FLOODWAY

MARICABAN CREEK

MAYPAJO AND ESTERO

METRO MANILA

PASIG RIVER

PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS SECRETARY ROGELIO SINGSON

QUEZON CITY REP

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