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Aquino vows permanent solution to floods

Residents wade in a floodwaters in Valenzuela city, north of Manila August 8, 2012. Deadly torrential rains submerged much of the Philippine capital and surrounding areas on Tuesday, forcing nearly 270,000 people to flee their homes with more flooding expected in the north of the country as a tropical storm passes through the region, officials said. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Aug 9 (Mabuhay) – After addressing Marikina City residents’ concerns, President Benigno S. Aquino III reiterated on Thursday before the people of Quezon City that his administration is working towards formulating a permanent solution to the perennial problem of flooding after a heavy downpour.

Speaking to flood-affected residents who are temporarily relocated at the Bagong Silangan basketball gym in Quezon City, the President said that he had directed the Department of Public Works and Highways and all concerned agencies to formulate a sure fire solution that will address the flooding problem in the city.

Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, who was with the President, said a proposed permanent solution is the creation of embankments and catch basins at the upstream portions and tributaries of the Marikina river that will slow down floodwaters that cascade down from the mountains that line the city during inclement weather.

He explained that by slowing down floodwaters from the mountains located in Antipolo, San Mateo and Rodriguez in Rizal province would allow the drainage systems to work efficiently to drain away rain water into the sea.

“So ang maaring gawin ay imbakin ang tubig upstream para hindi sabay-sabay ang taas ng tubig dito sa downstream,” Singson said.

The President said that by next week, specifics on the permanent flood solution plan will be released in order for concerned agencies to begin working towards achieving it.

The President also cited the important roles of local government units in helping the national government address the problems caused by natural calamities saying, they are the first line of defense in helping the people out of predicaments such as flooding.

“Alam niyo po napakalaking bagay kapag merong ganitong mga trahedya, malaking bagay ang local government units,” the President said.

“Siyempre sila ang unang nasa lugar, sila ang unang reresponde,” he added.

The President lauded Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte and Representative Winston Castelo for acting fast and decisively in aiding their constituents who were greatly affected by the floods.

“May kapanatagan ang loob namin na inaasikaso nila ang ating mga kababayan,” the President said.

After addressing the people, the President led the distribution of family food packs to the displaced residents.  (MNS)

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