Parañaque City, which suffered heavy flooding during last year’s “Habagat”, has put in motion a comprehensive flood control program that includes the construction of a major diversion creek and the clearing of creeks and canals as well as the relocation of informal settler families living along critical waterways.
Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez today expressed optimism that come rainy season, the measures he initiated will cause floodwaters to subside faster and thus minimize damage to lives and properties of city residents.
“We have put in place major programs to mitigate flooding, but the city government cannot do it alone,” the first term mayor said. “All our residents and stakeholders must do our share to help keep our rivers and waterways clean and free from obstructions so that floodwaters can flow freely out to Manila Bay.”
Mayor Olivarez first spelled out the city’s various flood control measures during the launching of the Parañaque Waterways Rehabilitation Program early this month. The program aims to clear all the city’s creeks, canals and the main Parañaque River.
The program was launched with the clearing up of the Sapang Buwaya (Crocodile Creek) at the boundary of Barangay San Isidro and Barangay BF Homes near Lopez Village last May 3. San Isidro lies in the city’s first district while BF Homes is in the second district.
The mayor said the waterways clearing program complements the construction of a 300-meter diversion creek further downstream between Barangays San Dionisio and Moonwalk which is designed to speed up the flow of rainwater to Manila Bay through the Parañaque River.
He explained that an area where a big mall now stands in Barangay San Dionisio, which is now perennially flooded, is a natural catch basin and the narrow waterways have caused floodwaters to flow back during heavy rains, in the process inundating most of the city’s 16 barangays.
The diversion creek is a straight concrete structure that cuts through a zigzagging portion of Sapang Buwaya where water flow has been severely constricted. Presently, the creek measures only 6 to 8 meters wide and could not accommodate the volume of floodwater that empties into the Parañaque Channel towards Manila Bay.
Upon the project’s completion later this May, the diversion creek should be 24 meters wide and 300 meters long, with an average depth of 25 to 30 feet. The project is being undertaken mainly by the Department of Public Works and Highways and the city government.
Just last Monday, May 5, the mayor also formally received from the winning supplier several brand new heavy equipments, including an amphibious dredging machine and a backhoe, that will be deployed to hasten the city’s waterways clearing operations.
Mayor Olivarez said the city has likewise acquired a two-hectare property which will be used as a relocation site for some 700 families living along the Parañaque River in Barangay La Huerta.
“We will not stop in finding ways to solve our flooding problem. We shall be vigilant to keep our waterways free from obstructions, and we will employ all the resources at our disposal to help our people live better lives,” he added.