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Second phase of Marikina River dredging starts – DENR

Elizabeth Marcelo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Task Force Build Back Better has commenced the second phase of the dredging of Marikina River to mitigate floods in Metro Manila.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, who chairs the task force, said the completion of the second phase of the dredging project would improve Marikina River’s water flow and lessen the risk of floods during typhoons.

“With the dredging operations, we can expect the water to subside faster during flooding. The continuous dredging and widening of the river will help minimize flashfloods,” Cimatu said during the launching ceremony on July 21.

The second phase of the project covers a portion of Marikina River that passes through Barangay Santolan in Pasig.

Cimatu assured Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto that no household would be affected by the dredging.

“During our meeting with Mayor Sotto, it was made clear that other than the multi-purpose building under the Ortigas bridge, no houses will be affected by the project,” Cimatu said.

The Task Force had completed the dredging of the Barangay Olandes portion of the river.

Cimatu said the first phase of the project gained positive feedback, especially from Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro.

“The velocity of water in the river is faster now than before, which means floods will subside quickly,” Cimatu quoted Teodoro as saying.

Cimatu said once phase 2 of the dredging project is completed, waterways would be restored to their original width and legal easements would be recovered, resulting in safer communities that are more resilient to climate change.

The Department of Enviroment and Natural Resources (DENR) has said that the narrowing of the width and depth of Marikina River was among the factors that contributed to massive flooding in Metro Manila last year.

Land surveys conducted by the DENR early this year showed that 25 lot parcels with a total area of 27 hectares were illegally reclaimed, either partially or completely encroaching into the Marikina River.

Cimatu said the Task Force would meet with the local officials of Quezon City to discuss resettlement plans for informal settler families who will be affected by the dredging operations.

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