DENR ramps up flood mobilization measures in Manila

MOTORISTS drive through a flooded portion of Taft Avenue in Manila following a heavy downpour midnight of Aug. 9. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

THE DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said it is ramping up its implementation of immediate flood control strategies and long-term defenses following floodings in the capital Manila last week.  

DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Jonas R. Leones said in a statement that the “holistic design” of the Manila Bay rehabilitation already involves mitigating measures to accommodate heavy rains and prevent flooding.  

The DENR will be working with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the local government for the “reinforcement of collective actions to address the recent flooding experienced in the city of Manila.”  

“A part of the overall rehabilitation plan is to install mitigating strategies and infrastructures that address flooding. These measures, which are managed by the DPWH and MMDA, are necessary as these ultimately affect the Manila Bay waters,” Mr. Leones said.  

Manila Bay Coordinating Office Director Jacob F. Meimban said areas near Taft-United Nations, Padre Faura, and Ermita-Malate will be prioritized as these are low-lying and flood-prone areas.  

He said they are now working on interventions such as de-clogging drainage canals.   

“The de-clogging operations last year have uncovered a significant amount of plastic bottles and grease and oil build-up along drainage canals in Manila. These were observed to come from business establishments and the wanton disposal of garbage in the streets.”  

The DPWH will also work on long-term plans to abate flooding by constructing more box culvert canals and pumping stations along T.M. Kalaw and Taft Avenue so that water could recede immediately. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson