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NR # 3138
Heavy downpour and flashfloods, not PAGASA’s fault – lawmakers
Lawmakers today blamed Metro Manila’s dysfunctional flood control system for the flashfloods that recently paralyzed much of the metropolis following heavy monsoon rains. Rep. Marcelino Teodoro (1st District, Marikina City) said the recent floods in some parts of metropolis brought about by monsoon rains were due to clogged drains especially in Manila. “The paralyzation of Metro Manila cannot be solely blamed on the advise of PAGASA. However, PAGASA should fully utilize the Doppler’s, thus, efficiently providing weather information for early detection and warning to avoid stranded commuters especially in flood prone areas,” Teodoro said. The weather forecasters of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said they have taken Twitter and Facebook to issue rain alerts. The flashflood that happened in most parts of Metro Manila left hundreds of students stranded. Teodoro underscored that drains and streets that require declogging and repair must be strictly done before the rainy season to resolve the flooding in Metro Manila. Rep. Winston Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City) said the floods were the result of a dysfunctional flood control system. “Government has to intensify its flood control programs by dredging the heavy silted waterways. It has to put in place disaster and risk reduction programs,” Castelo said. It can be recalled that PAGASA used to complain about the lack of Doppler radar facilities for accurate rainfall measurement. Now, it has 15 Doppler radar stations, with the 16th set to be installed next year in Zamboanga City and yet floods the other day showed a national capital unprepared for disaster. When asked why waterways were being dredged only at this time, Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson explained that the waterways first had to be cleared of informal settlers, which was the job of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and there should be funding appropriated for the task. But the DILG reportedly explained that the settlements could not be removed until appropriate relocation sites were available. (30) lvc