Taguig implements measures to curb floods

MANILA-- Despite persistent heavy rains in recent days, the city government of Taguig has implemented proactive preparations to address problems such as floods and clogging of waterways.

According to Solid Waste Management Office (SWMO) head Eugene Bilaw, the city's barangays now are not as flooded as they were in the past.

The situation is a departure from the scenario in the city before Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano assumed office in 2010, when almost all barangays would become submerged in floods due to heavy rains.

Bilaw attributed the drastic change to the various strategies implemented under the city's flood-control program, which sees the efforts of the SWMO, City Engineering Office, Lake and River Management Office, City Environment & Natural Resources Office and City Health Office directed toward the same goal.

These strategies implemented include the use of heavy equipment for debris clearing operations, and for the desilting and dredging of waterways so that floodwaters may pass through them freely.

According to Bilaw, 200 personnel resumed clearing operations in the city's 28 barangays on June 16. Workers likewise undertook manual clearing operations of drainages and creeks for the purpose of declogging.

As of July 21, city personnel were able to cover 10,780 meters of waterways in District 1 and 7,710 meters of waterways in District 2.

Apart from the maintenance of the streets under the flood-control program, Bilaw said it also helped that the SWMO holds monthly meetings with the Barangay Solid Waste Management Committee. His office also promotes the importance of proper garbage segregation through the Information Education Campaign (IEC) program in various public schools.

SWMO also installed trash traps in different barangays traversed by the Hagonoy, MRB and Magsaysay Creeks to prevent garbage from flowing into the main rivers. Bilaw said these garbage traps help them in maintaining the cleanliness of the creeks and clearing them of trash.

Aside from this, the City Engineering Office has also improved and rehabilitated drainages and continues other infrastructure projects to make these drainages accommodate increased water volume during heavy rains.

"We don't want severe floods to inundate the city that's why we took initiatives to avoid them," Bilaw said.

He also noted that his office plans to conduct manual clearing operations yearly, instead of every two years, and continue with the dissemination of information on best solid waste management practices.

"Our aim is to maintain the cleanliness of the waterways," Bilaw said, noting that with this, they are also helping prevent the spread of diseases such as dengue and leptospirosis.

Cayetano lauded the efforts of the SWMO, Lake and River Management Office, City Environment & Natural Resources Office and City Health Office for the proper preparations and contingency plans during this kind of season.

"I am all-smiles, together with the people at SWMO. The flooding had been a persistent problem, and one that hurt the productivity of TaguigeAos. I thank them for not losing their hope and focus," Cayetano said in a statement.

Source: Philippine News Agency