By Chito Chavez
Millions of motorists and pedestrians have complained of being stranded in many parts of Metro Manila as low-lying and flood-prone areas were flooded with the onset of the rainy season.
Government engineers have traced the Metro Manila flooding problem to several causes like rapid industrialization and unusually heavy rainfall.
DPWH Quezon City Second District Engineer Marlyn Garma-Inguillo said the unabated dumping of garbage and waste in canals, creeks, esteros, ponds, rivers and other major waterways have been another cause of heavy flooding.
She appealed to the public to exercise their sense of patriotism by disposing their garbage properly and strictly following the waste-segregation scheme of the Quezon City government.
DPWH Quezon City First Assistant District Engineer Loida Busa recounted in the past that discarded refrigerators, king-size beds, dining tables, sofas, chest freezers and other home appliances were retrieved by government engineers from the Metro Manila waterways.
With this, Busa said licensed government civil engineers have turned to “glorified garbage’’ collectors noting that there were days when the district offices have retrieved 1,000 fully-laden dump trucks of garbage in a day.
To complement the flood efforts of the national government, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista has ordered the city engineering department to step up the inspection of retaining walls, declogging of waterways and improvement of drainage channels, to minimize flooding, especially during heavy downpour.
“To date, Quezon City is most prepared among local government units in flood control efforts as a result of the completion of 17 city-funded waterways infrastructure projects designed to prevent flashfloods during heavy downpours,’’ said Quezon City Engineer Joselilto Cabungcal.
“With its completion, QC residents can expect minimal flooding in this year’s rainy season,’’ he added.
In his report, Cabungcal said the projects, built at a cost of P179.6 million, consisted of newly constructed retaining and revetment walls, grouted ripraps and concrete canals built along different water channels in Quezon City, including San Francisco River, Kalamiong Creek, Anaran Creek, Pasong Tamo Creek and Roxas district.
The city government has set aside P23.5 million for the construction of the reinforced concrete revetment wall (Phase 2) along San Francisco River – Lorraine Street at Parkway Village in Barangay Apolonio Samson; P15.4 million, for the construction of a concrete retaining wall at 8th Street in Barangay Mariana; P14.7 million, for the reinforced concrete retaining wall at Kalamiong Creek – Spring Valley (Phase 6) in Barangay Bagong Silangan; P14.8 million, for the construction of a concrete canal at Anaran Creek (Phase 6) in Barangay Phil-Am/West Triangle; P13.1 million, for the construction of a concrete retaining wall at a creek leading to Marikina River in Barangay Libis and P12.02 million, for the construction of a retaining wall at a creek along Roxas District.
From 2013 to 2017, Cabungcal said the city government has already constructed some 13,395 linear meters of retaining wall, 7,002 linear meters of grouted riprap, 625 linear meters of concrete canal and 100 linear meters of revetment walls.
Under the report submitted by the city engineering department, the bulk of the city’s drainage improvement projects was constructed in District 4 covering the areas of 6th and 11th Streets in Barangay Mariana; Delgado Street in Barangay Paligsahan/Laging Handa; Sct. Fuentebella Street, also in Laging Handa, and at District 5, in the areas of Dahlia Avenue in Barangay Fairview; Tatlong Hari Street in Barangay Greater Lagro; Burbank Avenue in Barangay North Fairview and at La Naval Street in Barangay Greater Lagro.
The Quezon City Engineering Office is also in the midst of constructing 36 additional drainage improvement projects that would speed up the receding time of flood water.