May 19, 2024 Jester P. Manalastas 140 views

SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin Romualdez made a clear appeal to center on “whole-of-nation” approach the flood mitigation progam.

This was disclosed by 1-RIDER Party-list Rep. Rodge Gutierrez as he cited the proper disposal of wastes and garbage as one of the key solutions discussed during the meeting of Speaker Romualdez with the national government’s line departments to talk about flood mitigation measures.

“Panawagan po sa ating mga kababayan: magpaka-Grade 1 po tayo, wastong pagtapon ng basura po,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez, who was present in the meeting last Tuesday, said Romualdez and officials of the Departments of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Interior and Local

Government (DILG), and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) all agreed on a “whole-of-nation” approach in dealing with the perennial problem of flooding.

“Ang takeaway po talaga sa meeting is that whole-of-nation approach talaga ito. It doesn’t rely only on your national government, it cannot be solely relied on yung mga programs and projects while we are anticipating, of course, the impending crises that come with floods,” Gutierrez said.

“We also have to focus on yung short term na preventive measures and isa po doon and napag-usapan po doon is we need to have an information drive.,” he added.

Proper garbage disposal is one of the key solutions discussed during the meeting as a way to mitigate flooding in the streets.

“It seems to be the primary concern po ng ating MMDA, ang pagtapon ng ating mga basura, malaki po yung epekto nito,” Gutierrez said.

The group meeting also focused on more synergy of government programs, especially that battling the effects of the coming La Niña.

“So, nakipag-ugnayan sila, nakipagtalakayan sa mga measures po for La Niña. Lahat ng mga government projects they want more synergy,” he added.

“Pinag-usapan po dito short, medium and long term (solutions). In the long term, definitely dito po papasok yung mga national government projects. Dito po yung mga big-ticket, for example, na napaka-importante is ‘yung issue of Laguna De Bay.”

For example, he said, there should be greater coordination between the DPWH and MMDA in flood mitigation programs in Metro Manila to avoid cases such as the one that happened in NLEX last year where most parts were flooded due to heavy rains.

“Definitely, they’re going to be coordinating that na dapat one greater plan po yung flood mitigation. And I believe this is very nag-highlight po rin ito last budget hearing, actually napag-usapan po ito and now they’re actually taking steps towards having a greater flood plan,” Gutierrez said.

In the medium term, Gutierrez said there was mention in the meeting about involving the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and its aid program TUPAD.

“Yung ating TUPAD po is a program na isinasagawa na to give employment opportunities po sa mga walang trabaho. They may they hope to leverage it po na maging cleaning and greening program po yung TUPAD,” he said.

“Kasi isa pong nakikita ng MMDA, the reason for flooding, although much-improved na po yung Metro Manila, ang isang problema po dito ay yung ating drainage system palaging naka-clog po ng basura,” Gutierrez added.

Aside from TUPAD, the meeting also focused on other aid programs that can be tapped in flood mitigation projects such as the Out-of-School Youth Serving Towards Economic Resiliency (OYSTER).

“Plus, we also have yung OYSTER po, ‘yung youth empowerment program ng MMDA, which sila po yung usually tasked sa pag-clean up ng ating road systems, maintenance, in the same way sila po ita-tap na rin for drainage. So ito po nakikitang medium-term siguro or pwede mong sabihin na short term,” Gutierrez stated.