Govt set to start $500-m Metro Manila flood control project this month

The government plans to start the $500-million Metro Manila Flood Control Management Project this month, following the approval by the boards of the World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank of the loans for the project, according to the Finance Department.

The department said of the total project cost, $207.603 million would come from the World Bank as approved by its board of executive directors on Sept. 28, 2017.

The AIIB will provide another $207.603 million, which was approved by its board of directors on Sept. 27, 2017.  The Philippine government will provide the remaining $84.794 million.

The Finance Department signed the loan agreements with both the World Bank and AIIB on Dec. 19, 2017.

The first phase of the project, which was approved by the Investment Coordination Committee and the National Economic and Development Authority in September last year, includes the rehabilitation of 36 pumping stations in Metro Manila and the construction of 20 new ones in Manila, Pasay, Pasig, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Caloocan, Valenzuela and Quezon City.

Many of Metro Manila’s existing pumping stations were built in the 1970s and have become inefficient and underperforming.

The World Bank said in a statement on Sept. 28 that floods, particularly during the typhoon season from June to October, were a recurring problem in Metro Manila that caused inundation of roads,

exacerbated traffic congestion and destroyed lives, infrastructure and livelihood of people, especially the poor.

Mara Warwick, World Bank country director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand, said recurrent flooding made life more difficult for the poorest populations who lived in low-lying areas, on riverbanks and in other danger zones.

“When floods occur, the capacity of people to earn a living is constrained, and many can fall back into poverty. Investments that improve flood management helps protect vulnerable communities as well as boost resilience against the impact of climate change,” Warwick said in a statement.

Supee Teravaninthorn, director-general for investment operations of AIIB, said the lives of people in Metro Manila – especially the poor, women and children – were severely affected by exposure to frequent cyclones and flooding induced by heavy rain.

“The floods disrupt business and commercial activities, causing unnecessary economic costs. Investing in sustainable infrastructure is a key priority for AIIB and we feel this project is a great fit for our first investment in the Philippines,” Teravaninthorn said.

The Department of Public Works and Highways and the Metro Manila Development Authority will implement the project in close coordination with local governments and key shelter agencies. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2024.

The master plan proposed a set of measures to effectively manage major flood events, which include reducing flooding from river systems that run through the metropolis, by building a dam in the upper Marikina River catchment area in order to reduce peak river flows entering Metro Manila during typhoons and other extreme rainfall events.

Also included are the elimination of long-term flooding in the flood plain of Laguna de Bay, to protect the population living along the shore against high water levels in the lake; improvement of urban drainage, including modernization of Metro Manila’s pumping stations; and improvement of flood forecasting, early warning systems, and community-based flood risk management.

Topics: flood control budget
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