By PNA and U.S. News Agency / Asian
President Benigno S. Aquino III assured that the government will provide housing projects for families residing in the Manggahan floodway to ensure their safety from massive floods triggered by heavy rains.
In his message to the residents of Cainta, Rizal who were temporarily residing in the evacuation centers in the municipality, the Chief Executive announced that there are plans to clear the Manggahan floodway of informal settlers to ensure their safety.
President Aquino visited the displaced residents at the Kabisig Elementary School in Barangay San Andres in Cainta. He also led the distribution of relief goods to the residents who were affected by Habagat 2012.
The residents in Manggahan floodway and other low-lying areas in Barangay San Andres were evacuated to the Kabisig Elementary School and other evacuation centers.
The President said the Manggahan floodway was built to prevent massive flooding in Metro Manila but it was not able to serve its full function as a key drainage infrastructure during the times of storms and heavy rains due to informal settlers.
The Manggahan floodway serves parts of Marikina City, Pasig City and the municipalities of Cainta and Taytay in Rizal.
“Nung patungo ako dito, nakita ko ang Manggahan spillway at may mga bahay sa loob….. Sa spillway po dadaloy ang tubig palabas… at tapos tinitirhan ang daanan ng tubig. Medyo hindi yata tama ang nangyari diyan at makikita po natin pag lumipad sa helicopter na maraming nakatirik na bahay diyan. Pag nagtirik na ng bahay diyan, sigurado masasalanta,” he said.
The President said he discussed with Rizal Gov. Casimiro A. Ynares III that one of the solutions to massive flooding is the construction of a 100-kilometer dike at the Laguna de Bay. The National Greening Program is also part of the flood mitigation program, according to the President.
President Aquino said the residents living in the Manggahan floodway will be transferred to government housing sites in other places. He said he is deeply concerned about the plight of the residents who preferred to stay in the floodway because of the proximity to their workplace.
“Siguro i-subsidize natin ang transportation expenses… pag-aaralan natin ang concerns nila. Kailangang mag-sakripisyo tayo at ito namang sakripisyo natin ay may patutunguhan at safe tayo. Hindi natin magagawa iyan kung walang cooperation,” he said.
The President lauded the local officials of Rizal province led by Gov. Ynares, Rizal 1st District Rep. Joel Duavit and Cainta Mayor Ramon Ylagan for their immediate response to the needs of the affected families.
The total number of families affected in Cainta is
4,679 families or 28,334 residents, according to Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman. The displaced families are temporarily residing in 42 evacuation centers in the municipality.