By Catherine S Valente/Manila Times
President Benigno Aquino yesterday launched the P780mn Laguna Lake flood control and river protection convergence project.
The president was later briefed by Secretary Neric Acosta, the presidential adviser for Environmental Protection and Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) general manager, about the flood control project.
In an interview, the president said that the government is allocating P780mn for the flood control projects in five areas along the Laguna Lake.
He said jobs are being made available for informal settlers who dump wastes into the lake, noting that over a hundred thousand families are being considered informal settlers.
Acosta also said that the government is prioritising the Sta Cruz flood control project following the visit of the president to the area after the onslaught of habagat in Laguna.
Sta Cruz was heavily affected by the flooding and had the largest number of hectares affected as well as families devastated by floodwaters.
The government, he said, is expecting the Sta Cruz flood control project to be completed by November or December this year. The government is also targeting completion of the entire flood control system along the lake by April next year.
He added that four other projects in several other locations along the Laguna Lake rim will also soon start.
The Sta. Cruz flood control project involves the construction of river control structures with reinforced concrete river walls on steel sheet piles.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will also excavate embankments to widen the river and increase its flood conveyance capacity.
It is designed to restore damaged river walls, extend length of slope protection and balance the habitat and recreational function of the area. The project design includes rock grade stabilisation, rock bank protection and the use of bio-engineering techniques. The government is implementing the flood control project based on the memorandum of agreement between the LLDA and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The LLDA and the DPWH have P780mn to complete the project that will rehabilitate and construct river control structures in Sta Cruz, Mabitac, Sta Maria, Binan, and San Pedro.The P780mn fund is part of the P5bn allocation approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) board chaired by the president.
The government allocated P5bn for the Metro Manila Flood Management master plan that establishes the roadmap for a sustainable and effective flood control management.
Benigno Aquino: flood control plan.