“Flash floods have once again affected the people of Metro Manila and several areas in Luzon, and this perennial problem underlines the urgent need to call for a Flood Summit.”

This according to Quezon City Rep. Winnie Castelo, Chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, during various visits to areas in Quezon City affected by the onslaught of tropical depression “Domeng”.

“The regular flooding is not only an inconvenience to Filipinos but is also a major economic burden which the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said in a study costs the economy P2.4 billion per day of submerged streets”, said Castelo.

The regular flooding is not only an inconvenience to Filipinos but is also a major economic burden.

His proposed summit will bring together members of the Cabinet, local government officials, urban development experts, and economists to draft a comprehensive plan to solve the problem which afflicts Filipinos whenever strong rains occur.

Castelo said, “the summit will seek to synchronize flood-control programs of national agencies and local government units.

The summit will seek to synchronize flood-control programs of national agencies and local government units.

He said key agencies such as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will have a pivotal role in the summit to draft a master plan as torrential rains and bigger floods are expected to hit the country due to the effects of climate change. He added that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Education (DepEd), as well as the National Housing Authority (NHA), shall also be included in the summit.

The JICA study indicated that flood problems in Metro Manila mostly occur along the intersection of creeks and streets located in low areas. Water are also not drained fast enough to the nearest stream channel causing the intersecting road to likewise get flooded.

A major concern for the summit would be the clearing of esteros from garbage and the relocation of informal settlers to clear the waterways.

“A comprehensive plan on informal settlers to prevent their displacement from work should also be part of the focus of the summit since merely relocating them only results to their eventual return”, added Castelo.

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