Catch basins for floodwaters

Let us now accept the fact that Laguna de Bay will not be dredged of silt and water now or beyond 2016. So let us look into an alternative solution to flooding.

There will be flooding in Metro Manila every time there is heavy rain. Why? Because Laguna de Bay is already full.

Before the “Habagat” flood of August 2012, I already noticed the high water level in Laguna de Bay. During the “Habagat” flood my children left Provident Village on the morning of Aug. 7 when the river water started to “backflow” into the village. I chose to stay behind to monitor the situation. I was trapped inside our house for three days.

Provident Village’s perimeter dike was not breached even when the river water level rose to 20.31 meters. The floodwater rose “lampas tao” inside the living room of our house. The culprits: the diverted drainage pipes (2×48 inches) which allowed floodwater to “backflow” because there were no gates; and the two big flood pumps operated by the government, which were not working.

Contrary to claims that the Manggahan floodgates were opened during the “Habagat” flood, the Marikina River water level—as reported in the website of the city government of Marikina during the flood (Aug. 6-7) and after the flood (Aug. 14-Sept. 25)—showed otherwise. The water levels at Rosario and Angono after the flood were practically the same because the floodgates were opened, while there was an almost 3-meter difference in the water levels in Rosario and Angono during the flood, signifying the floodgates were closed. I cannot fathom why the floodgates were closed contrary to the established purpose of the Manggahan Channel vis-à-vis the Laguna de Bay Flood Control System.

We looked also into the question why there is a backflow of saltwater from Manila Bay during high tides when the water level at the Laguna de Bay drops to lower than 10.0-meter mark, and why the floodwaters at Laguna de Bay and Marikina River were not draining to Manila Bay as fast as we expected, even at the elevation of 13.0-14.0 meters above sea level. We found out that the gradient is only 0.04 percent (10 meters in 25 kilometers or 1 millimeter in 2.5 meters). So the flow rate is barely noticeable.

Dredging Laguna de Bay is now out of the question and we really cannot expect to drain the lake via the Napindan Channel at such a minuscule flow rate, we have to look for an alternative optimal solution that can be done fast. Why not install flood pumps at the Napindan and Manggahan floodgates and control the water level inside Laguna de Bay by pumping out excess water and making room for heavy rainfalls, while maintaining a certain level for use as potable water supply and for sustainable food production?

If we do it now, through emergency purchases, use of calamity funds, realignment of budgets, pulling out idle pumps at the MMDA and DPWH pumping stations and even calling for private initiatives, we can right away alleviate the sufferings of the still flooded lakeshore residents and give hope to a better future to the flood victims.

That’s President Aquino’s call now.



Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Short URL: http://opinion.inquirer.net/?p=38988

Tags: Flooding , laguna de bay flood control system , letters , manggahan floodgates

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Messy warehouse belongs to Unicef, WFP, says Soliman
  • Suspected Abu Sayyaf rebels release hostage
  • New meaning of Easter in Samar
  • Colombia hopes to share Garcia Marquez remains
  • Holy fire ceremony draws thousands in Jerusalem
  • Sports

  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Rain or Shine, Ginebra clash for No. 6 spot
  • Ateneo eyes quarterfinal spot vs Benilde
  • Style contrast marks OneFC ‘Rise of Heroes’
  • Lifestyle

  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • Marketplace