Firm not liable for Marikina flood — lawmaker
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - November 22, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Marikina Rep. Bayani Fernando yesterday denied an allegation by Mayor Marcelino Teodoro that a reclamation project of his private company is to blame for the massive flooding in the city during the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses last week.

Fernando belied Teodoro’s claims that the project of his BF Corp. along the Marikina River was among the causes of the massive flooding in the city and that it has no environmental compliance certificate (ECC).

Fernando explained the project mentioned by Teodoro is being implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and has an ECC.

“BF Corp. has nothing to do with the existing Provident Village flood control dike. As congressman, I am the sponsor of another project to raise that dike which is ready for construction, already funded and has been bidded out, and is now just waiting for approval of the mayor,” the former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman told The STAR.

Fernando believed that the mayor was pertaining to the DPWH project found “on the other side of the river and part of Barangay Calumpang where they saw trucks dumping soil by the river.”

“The truck is owned by the contractor of DPWH for that ongoing work. This is part of the road as planned on each side of the river running the whole length of the river system,” he explained.

Fernando added that he just personally assisted the DPWH in the engineering design of the project, having a good knowlege of this place as its former mayor and MMDA chairman.

“I have assisted the DPWH and JICA, the project funder, in drawing up the completed flood control plans for the barangays of Dela Peña, Tañong, Barangka, Industrial Valley, Calumpang and Malanday, all in my congressional district here in Marikina. I have also sourced initial funds to start implementation of these works,” he said.

Fernando stressed that he has been helping in finding solution to perennial flooding in the city.

“I have filed a resolution in Congress since August last year for an enquiry on this Marikina River flood control program, which has been going on for 50 years now and about P50 billion spent and here we are still wallowing in mud,” he said.

Raps set to be filed

Meanwhile, the city government is set to file an administrative complaint against BF Corp. next week, Teodoro said yesterday.

He said they have drafted a complaint that they will submit to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

“Our prayer is for the natural river course to be restored because alteration has been done,” he said in Filipino in a phone interview.

Teodoro and DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu inspected the reclamation project located on the side of Providence Village in Barangay Tañong.

He earlier said the project has reduced the 100-meter-wide river by about 20 meters, which caused a bottleneck that slowed down the flow of water.

Teodoro said BF Corp. violated provisions of Presidential Decree 1586 or the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System when it did not secure an ECC from the DENR. – Emmanuel Tupas

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