- Published on Monday, 13 August 2012 00:10
- Written by JOCELYN MONTEMAYOR
By A Web design Company
PRESIDENT Aquino yesterday enjoined residents especially of flood- and landslide-prone areas to be more cooperative -- from clearing spillways and floodways of informal settlers to bringing one’s own bag when shopping -- as government finalizes its flood mitigation program which includes construction of a 100-kilometer dike and improving the sewerage system in Metro Manila.
The President, who has been visiting evacuation centers since Thursday last week, said that during an aerial inspection of the spillways and floodways on his way to Rodriguez in Rizal, he saw several houses which have been put up near rivers and floodways.
These houses, he said, are the first to be hit by floods.
He said the people should not place themselves in danger.
“Pakiusap ko lang ho, may ilog tayo…titirhan mo tabi ng ilog. Ang distansiya mo isang metro doon sa ilog, tapos magtataka ka kapag malakas ang ulan bakit nagbabaha sa inyo?” he told some 6,600 families in Kasiglahan Village in Rodriguez.
He said Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson is set to submit the flood mitigation program to the Cabinet for approval.
He also said he expects Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, who will be among the senatorial candidates of Aquino’s Liberal Party next year, to help the administration in securing Congress’ budget approval for the project.
Aquino said part of the flood-mitigation program is the construction of a nine-kilometer dike in Valenzuela, a 100-kilometer dike to control the flow from the Laguna de Bay, and river embankments which will act as catch basin for river flows from Rizal. He said the sewerage system in Metro Manila also needs to be improved.
He said he inherited from the Arroyo administration a flood mitigation program which includes dredging the Laguna Lake. He said he had to cancel the P18.7-billion project because it would be useless.
He said some 12 million cubic meters of mud had to be dredged. “Tinanong ko ngayon, saan ninyo dadalhin? E kukunin sa isang parte ng Laguna Lake, itatapon din sa loob ng Laguna Lake. Ang gagastusin po natin doon P18.7 billion. Ano hong silbi noon? Wala…Kalokohan iyung P18.7 billion itatapon lang natin para maglaro ng putik,” he said.
He said the money will be better spent building dikes.
Before Rodriguez, Aquino went to the Mabitac National High School. The school houses evacuees who received relief goods from Aquino.
The school, half of which has no roof, was damaged in July 2010 during typhoon “Basyang.”
“Ano ba naman klase kakong evacuation center ang gagamitin na walang bubong?...Mula daw noong bagyong Basyang pa sira iyung eskwelahan na iyon at hindi naaasikaso,” he said.
Aquino also went to Cainta, Rizal where he inspected a flooded riverbank with Rizal Gov. Casimiro Ynares Jr. and checked on the condition of some 28,000 individuals staying at the Kabisig Elementary School.
He discussed with Ynares relief efforts in Rizal as well as the need to relocate some of the residents.
After Cainta, Aquino went to the DSWD Center in Pasay City, and thanked volunteers who have prepared at least 129,000 family packs being given to evacuees.
Aquino in the past days visited evacuation centers in Muntinlupa, Marikina, Caloocan, Quezon City, Valenzuela, Malabon, Tarlac, Bataan, Pampanga and Bulacan.