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Manila Bulletin : Bongbong: 'High time' for gov't to strengthen urban planning, spillway system

News & Interviews
29 December 2021

By Joseph Pedrajas | Manila Bulletin

Presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Wednesday, Dec. 29, called on the government to intensify the country’s urban planning and spillway system, like what his father did during his term, as it is already “high time” to do it.

Marcos Jr.’s appeal came as he reacted to the flooding and devastation caused by recent Typhoon “Odette” in the Visayas and Mindanao that left at least 300 people dead.

The presidential aspirant said it is important for the government “to be serious” and to prepare for this type of disasters, not only in preparation for evacuation centers but also to have long-term solutions to prevent widespread flooding.

To wit, several local government units, including Malabon City, already made efforts to build either their own spillway system or pumping stations to mitigate flooding.

Like what his father, former dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., did in the 70s, the 2022 presidential aspirant proposed an immediate solution, which is to intensify urban planning, specifically revisiting government spillway projects.

A spillway or overflow channel is a structure used to provide the controlled release of water from a dam or levee downstream, typically into the rivers. Spillways have floodgates and fuse plugs to regulate water flow and reservoir level, which then enable to regulate downstream flow by releasing water in a controlled manner.

“Agad iniutos ng aking ama, na regular linisin ang mga estero at maglagay ng mga spillway para makontrol kung saan puwedeng lumabas ang tubig sa panahon ng tag-ulan (My father immediately ordered to clean up the waterways and install spillways to control the flooding during rainy season),” he said, referring to his father’s mandate following a strong typhoon in the 70s.

Marcos said the first spillway was completed in 1983, the second in 1984 and the third in 1985.

“Iyong gagawin iyong 1986 ay na-cancel. Kinansel dahil sa kudeta noong ’86 kaya’t tinigil lahat ng project ng father ko kaya hindi na natuloy iyon (His plan for 1986 was cancelled due to coup d’etat),” he said.

“Mayroon ding urban planning na ginawa para hindi masyadong marami ang mga tao sa iisang lugar at maayos ang patakbo ng serbisyo sa bawat lugar (He aso made an urban planning to avoid crowding in one place and to ensure smooth services),” he added.