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Jeepney drives through flood waters in Manila City / Herbert Navasca / World Bank

Isko seeks US help to solve Manila’s flood problem

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Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said he asked the help of the Embassies of the United States and Singapore for a “thorough and scientific” study on Manila’s drainage system.

The Manila mayor said that he believes that this study will help the city government formulate more realistic solutions to the “perennial” problem of flooding in the city.

“Kung pu-pwede, once and for all, once and for study the city’s entire drainage system. Ibig sabihin thorough scientific study. Yun ang hiningi kong tulong sa kanila (If it’s possible…Meaning, a thorough scientific study. That was what I asked from them),” he said.

He explained that he has grown sick and tired of only having bandaid solutions to the problem of flooding in the city.

The Manila local chief executive said that on an almost yearly basis, the city has been conducting repair work on drainages, as well as declogging operations which were actually not long-term solutions.

He said that he has been befuddled that despite the fact that Manila was surrounded by natural catch basins like creeks and rivers, and that the city has a working drainage system, flooding still persisted.

He then came to the conclusion that maybe the city’s drainages were not interconnected, and that floods were not being funneled out towards waterways.

If this is true, he said that a thorough study was indeed needed to address the problem properly.

“Maigi ng gawin ng may direksyon kaysa naman sa manghula tayo (It’s better to do it with a clear path to take rather than fumble blindly),” he said.

The Manila mayor said he did not mind if the study takes awhile. He said that he was willing to wait, and act accordingly based on the recommendations of the study.

“Gawin natin ‘to ng may kahihinatnan (Let’s do this with a clear goal in mind),” he said.

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