Writing about the improved drainage systems along Marcos Highway and A. Tuazon in the cities of Marikina, Antipol and Pasig and the Municipality of Cainta, I was hopeful (along with a lot of other people living in these areas) that the completed projects would be able to handle heavy rains such as those experienced during the onslaught of Typhoon Ondoy (International name: Ketsana) in 2009. It turns out a lot of people’s hopes sank in the floods that have ravaged the areas again and many other parts of Metro Manila and the surrounding provinces this last several days.
Is there a solution to the problem? I would like to think that there is an engineering solution. I cite as an example Malaysia’s experience, particularly in Kuala Lumpur that has also experienced a lot of flooding in the past. To address severe flooding brought about by , they constructed the Storm Management and Road Tunnel or SMART Tunnel . Details for this infrastructure are posted in their website and it does not take a genius to understand what it would take for the Philippines to solve similar problems in its national capital region. [Of course, it helped that the tunnel is also used for traffic!] Too much investment is already established in these cities and it is not an easier task to move people from the affected areas compared with what it would take to build something like the SMART. Sige nga, kaya bang palipatin ang lahat ng tao sa Marikina, QC, Pasig, lower Antipolo and Cainta sa ibang lugar?
Singapore also did major drainage works in that city state along with its subway development. They recognized early on that they had a serious problem and it required sacrifices that are now paying off in terms of them also experiencing heavy rains from the monsoon and yet have minimal or no severe flooding problems like what we have. Such projects are long overdue here and should be the flagship project of any administration who would want to come up with something that they will be remembered for by generations to come – and with smiles on their faces.