BBM: Intensify urban planning, weirs

NOTING the recent flooding across much of the Visayas and Mindanao caused by Typhoon “Odette”, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. said it was high time the government stepped up urban planning and the spillway system in the country.

The Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) standard bearer said the devastation wrought by ‘Odette’ was comparable to the damage caused by Typhoon ‘Ondoy’ in October 2009, when 710 people died while billions of properties were destroyed. destroyed.

In an interview, he said it was painful that these tragic events happened during the holidays, even though people are still recovering from the Covid-19 crisis.

The former senator said it was important to be serious and prepared for these types of disasters, not only in preparation for evacuation centers, but also to have long-term solutions to avoid widespread flooding.

One of its immediate solutions is to intensify urban planning, in particular by revisiting government spillway projects.

Marcos recalled that in the 1970s, a powerful typhoon devastated the Philippines, also causing widespread flooding, not only in Metro Manila, but in almost all parts of the country.

Then, President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr., immediately worked on building four spillway projects in Metro Manila, he recalled.

A weir or overflow channel is a structure used to provide the controlled release of water from a dam or levee downstream, usually into rivers.

Weirs have fusible valves and plugs to regulate water flow and reservoir level.

Such features allow a weir to regulate downstream flow by releasing water in a controlled manner.

His father also ordered the regular cleaning of the esteros as well as the construction of weirs. He said the first spillway was completed in 1983, the second in 1984 and the third in 1985.

A project planned in 1986 was cancelled.

One aspect of urban planning at this time was relocation to suitable housing such as BLISS (Bagong Lipunan Improvement of Sites and Services) and the National Housing Authority (NHA) of the Ministry of Human Settlements.

The current rows of government offices in the Quezon Memorial Circle and Batasan areas were specially designed to distance them from the capital Manila, which was already heavily congested at the time.

Earlier, the famous architect Jun Palafox confirmed in a television interview that there were severe floods during Ondoy because the construction of the Parañaque spillway was not continued.

“Singapore is only 71,000 hectares; during Ondoy, 4,100 cubic meters per second of water fell from the mountains, while the capacity of the Pasig River is only 600 cubic meters lang. So almost 4,000 cubic meters of flooding, it flooded the 80,000 hectares,” Palafox explained.

For Marcos, previous plans on urban planning and spillways should not be ignored because each year the storms caused by climate change are getting stronger.