Lasting solution to flooding | Inquirer Opinion

Lasting solution to flooding

/ 10:57 PM June 17, 2013

Now that the rainy season is here, floods are once again a common sight—nay, experience—in many places around Metro Manila and the rest of the country. To solve this perennial problem, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) are doing their best to widen and clean up clogged waterways. However, their efforts are negated by the still large volume of all kinds of trash thrown into the waterways by careless informal settlers or squatters who have built their shanties along their banks.

Year after year, a huge amount of taxpayers’ money is spent for cleaning waterways but get wasted because the same problem keeps on recurring, eluding a permanent solution. Perhaps, it’s about time government forced those responsible for causing floods in their respective communities to get involved by actively participating—under the supervision and control of the DPWH, MMDA and local government units (LGUs)—in clearing waterways and drainage systems of accumulated garbage as penalty, in the form of community service, should they refuse to dismantle and vacate their illegally built structures.

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In other words, they must be required to clean up their own mess and then police their own ranks. After all, government needs manpower to do the job which jobless illegal settlers can amply provide.

More than the DPWH and MMDA, LGUs should be held responsible for the proliferation of squatters in their respective areas. Without the tacit consent of LGU officials, no person can illegally occupy or build any structure in prohibited areas like river banks, waterways and privately owned properties.

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LGU officials who look the other way while illegal settlers occupy prohibited areas in their localities should be sanctioned for negligence.

—MELCHOR AMADO JR.,

[email protected]

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TAGS: Floods, habagat, Metro, Monsoon, news
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