FLOOD CONTROL

14 August 2012

A MORE comprehensive flood control and protection program will have to be laid down, says President Aquino III.

A necessity - after a tele-dramatic bout with climate change, Ondoy, and Amihan.

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P-Noy admits the solution will cost a lot of money and will take some time to complete.

It's swim or sink. Money should not be a deterrent.

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The President announces that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPHW) has prepared several infrastructure projects to reduce the vulnerability of Metro Manila and other provinces to disasters and flooding worse than typhoon Ondoy in 2009.

Yes to Oplan DPWH: Don't Punish us with High Waters.

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But the massive flood control program will also involve the relocation of families living along creeks, riverbanks, and other danger zones to ensure their safety during heavy rains, P-Noy stresses.

Prod them or force them to leave - for their own sake.

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"We know that 20 to 24 storms hit the country every year so we cannot rely on chance. We need to use science... If the disaster is worse than that of Ondoy, we should be praying hard too," the President adds.

Yes to science and prayers, Mr. President.

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Among the long-term flood control projects are the proposed huge ring-road dike to address the floods in towns surrounding Laguna Lake, 8-kilometer dike and pumping station in Camanava, a dam in Marikina, and a sewerage and septage system in NCR.

Good plans are meant to be... funded.

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The President also stresses the need to speed up the implementation of the national greening program.

Yes to tree-planting. No to logging and laging baha.

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The government and the private sector must now move together to fast-track the construction of medium-rise buildings and new town settlements for 104,000 informal settler families living in danger zones in Metro Manila, Vice President Jejomar C. Binay, concurrent HUDCC, adds.

Yes to vertical housing and strict enforcement of laws and policies on land use.

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The House of Representatives will expedite the passage of key measures seeking better institutional response during calamities after the country experienced massive flooding caused by relentless monsoon rains, assures Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.

Yes to a:system of effective administration of donations and humanitarian assistance to victims of calamities.

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Malacañang thanks mass media, non-governmental organizations, and private citizens who helped mobilize assistance and rescue efforts for the victims of the recent flooding in Metro Manila and nearby areas.

A time for expressing gratitude.

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The Manila Bulletin family prays for the eternal repose of Dr. Enrique C. Yap, member of its Board of Directors and son of MB Chairman Dr. Emilio T. Yap, who likewise ably served other positions, including as President of Euro-Med Laboratories Philippines, Inc.

As the Bible says, there's a time for everything, for praying and for moving on...