Solon urges gov’t to convene ‘flood summit’

Published November 28, 2020, 8:28 PM

by Ben Rosario

An administration lawmaker on Saturday urged government to call a “flood summit” that would once and for all put concerned government and private organizations together to address the worsening flooding problem in the country.

Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo

Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo underscored the urgency of convening the flood summit as she stressed the need to address the problem before it builds up into crisis proportion.

“We have not learned our lesson from Ondoy and past destructive typhoons that visited the country. There must be a comprehensive, holistic, and well coordinated effort to avert flooding,” said Castelo, vice chairperson of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development.

She said the extensive damage and flooding caused by Ondoy was repeated on the same communities by Ulysses like Marikina and low-lying parts of Quezon City’s second district, which she represents.

“Eleven years after, we faced the same problem. Many of those flooded by Ondoy swear that Ulysses was even worse. What have we done during those 11 years? What measures have we taken to prevent similar flooding?” Castelo asked.

She said the damage to lives, property, and the economy in general caused by recent typhoons “is catastrophic, especially considering that these monsters struck us at a time when we are struggling to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“We cannot afford disasters like that. The economy and our people will suffer further, “ she stressed.

Early this year, the country conducted the third Phiiippine Environment Summit in Cagayan de Oro City that discussed climate change and other environmental concerns.

In her proposal, Castelo called on various government agencies to put their heads together to discuss solutions that would address the flooding problem that has turned for the worse each year.

“Local government officials should be involved in a comprehensive flooding and disaster response program because they are the implementers and foot soldiers on the ground,” Castelo said.

She noted the national government can pattern its flood prevention measures after the programs of some European countries that have successfully contained flooding.