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Dikes eyed in Bulacan and Laguna Lake to ease floods – Aquino
As the floods in many areas of Metro Manila started to recede Thursday, President Benigno Aquino III said the government is planning to build dikes along the Meycauayan River and around Laguna Lake to prevent the inundation of populated areas from heavy rains in the future.
PNoy provides comfort to Marikina flood victims . President Benigno Aquino (2nd left) helps distribute food packs to flood victims in Marikina City on Thursday. There are many other communities crying for any kind of attention from the government. Gil Nartea
During his visits to evacuation centers in five areas that were devastated by torrential monsoon rains since the start of the week, Aquino said the dike projects would take between two to three years to complete and are expected to ease the floods arising from storms that hit the country several times a year.
In Marikina’s Nangka Elementary School, the biggest among the evacuation centers he visited Thursday, Aquino said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) plans to build a dike that would ease flooding from the Meycauayan River.
“Damay-damay ho kasi, ano, Malabon, syempre Navotas, Obando, Meycuayan, parang kone-connected ‘yung problema,” Aquino said.
“So ‘yung isang magiging solusyon po ditong tinitingnan e dike na nakapalibot sa Meycauayan River, haharangin natin at saka parang pumping station para ‘pag ‘yung dumating ‘yung ulan...mababa ho kasi tayo sa level ng dagat e,” he continued.
Aquino said the project may take two to three years to complete, and promised that he would make sure the P2.2 billion project gets finished before his term ends in 2016.
In heavily-flooded Malabon, Aquino mentioned the construction of a ring dike for Laguna Lake that would be financed through public-private partnerships.
”It will mitigate the flood situation,” Aquino told the evacuees at a sports center that served as temporary shelter.
“It will take about two years or so to put it in place... but, first, we had to rehash, well, redo the plans and make them real plans that will address all of these situations throughout the country.”
PNoy assures evacuees
Aquino helped distribute relief goods to 2,615 families from morning until afternoon in the two cities as well as those housed in a covered court in Quezon City, and schools in Caloocan and Valenzuela.
The evacuees received packages containing noodles, canned goods, rice, clothing and blankets. Most of them were sleeping on the floor in the hastily converted shelters.
”Nandito ako, dumadalaw sa inyo para malaman ang kondisyon niyo, kamustahin kayo,” Aquino told evacuees at a school in Marikina, which temporarily housed 1,229 families.
”Handang-handa ang gobyerno niyo dito sa pangyayaring ito,” he added. “Marami pa ho tayong pagkukunan para tulungan kayo at hindi tayo matitigil sa relief, syempre ’yung rehabilitation,” he assured the displaced families.
In Valenzuela, he teased the evacuees, “Hindi ko matantiya ho sa mga mukha niyo kung talagang malungkot o medyo palaban pa tayo e.”
Aquino exhorted them, “Huwag kayong susuko. Handa ho ang gobyerno niyong tumulong dahil ‘yon naman kaya tinatag ang gobyerno e — [para] asikasuhin kayo.”
Among the government officials who accompanied Aquino were Communications Secretary Ramon Carandang, Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, and Assistant Health Secretary Eric Tayag.
On Friday, Aquino is planning to visit Central Luzon, where many towns are still under water from the incessant rains.
”Baka naman mag-tampo ‘yung ating mga kababayan sa Tarlac, mga kaibigan natin sa Pampanga at sa Bulacan; sila naman ho ang aasikasuhin natin,” he said. – BM/YA, GMA News
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