PH NEEDS NEW MEGA CITIES–ROMUALDEZ
• September 21, 2014
• Written by Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
• Published in Top Stories
LAWMAKERS sought the decongestion of Metro Manila by building new mega cities as they underscored the need for the government to allocate more funds for disaster preparedness after Tropical Storm Mario flooded Metro Manila, practically shutting down schools, shops and government offices and sending tens of thousands to forced evacuation last Friday.
House independent bloc leader and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, whose district in Tacloban City was hardest-hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda last November 8, said decongesting Metro Manila and giving huge funds to finance long-term flood control and environmental projects would help spare the country from flooding.
“Let’s build new mega cities outside Metro Manila. We need also more funding for long-term anti-flood control projects. We have to focus on addressing concerns and issues on the protection and conservation of the environment to build resilient communities and adopting strategic and sustainable mitigating measures against the impact of natural disasters, global climate change and environmental concerns,” Romualdez stressed.
Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe backed Romualdez, saying the government should work to “decongest Metro Manila by creating a sustainable and long-term program to prevent or, at the very least, minimize migration of the people to the metropolis.”
Caloocan City Rep. Egay Erice echoed the same sentiment. “Technological advances in flood control must be studied and implemented on a long-term basis. We also have to decongest Metro Manila by building mega cities outside Metro Manila.”
Quezon City Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo, who chairs the House committee on Metro Manila development, said the government was much prepared last Friday compared to onslaughts of previous typhoons, adding that there are long-term projects that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) have been implementing to address flooding concerns.
“The solution lies in the massive infrastructure projects the DPWH is currently implementing. But we have to wait for a few years for their completion. The rainfall brought by Mario was extraordinarily heavy. But we have learned from the Ondoy experience. We were better prepared for the onslaughts. Our preparation explains the lower rate of death and injury,” said Castelo.
House Deputy Majority Leader and Citizens Battle Against Corruption (Cibac) party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna also agreed with Romualdez that more funds should be appropriated to focus on natural resources management and disaster risk reduction.
“There should be a comprehensive and long-term plan on the typhoon and flooding issue. The national government, all the Metro Manila mayors, governors and international community should allot a big chunk for disaster preparedness and preparation. The typhoons and floods are not only destroying properties, it is also claiming lives. This should be given utmost importance,” said Tugna.
Parañaque City Rep. Gus Tambunting sought a flooding control summit as he lamented that man-made activities contributed to floods and rising sea level.