Message to Manny Pacquiao: Don’t be lured by more dollars, commercials, and contracts for the ‘last fight’

Published August 29, 2021, 3:30 AM

by Deedee Siytangco


THE MAYOR’S BACK Mayor Isko was previously diagnosed with COVID-19 but has recently recovered (PIO)

Welcome back, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno! You have recovered from a COVID infection, which had you hospitalized at the Sta. Ana General Hospital, a city hospital.

You were quarantined for the number of days prescribed, and so now welcome back to the world of public service! Please take care and take health precautions seriously as you always ask us to do! 

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If you live in Quezon City, or have gone there for any reason, most likely you have passed by Commonwealth Avenue, known for being the widest road in the country. It is also notorious for traffic congestion and vehicular accidents.

The 12.4-kilometer highway starts from the Quezon Memorial Circle inside the Elliptical Road, goes through Philcoa, Tandang Sora, Balara, Batasan Hills, and ends at Quirino Highway in Novaliches.

But did you know that while vehicles are busy traversing this infamous road, Manila Water and the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) are busy making history beneath it?

Surprise! The Philippines’ first-ever underground aqueduct under Commonwealth Avenue is already in the completion stage but without causing any disruption above ground.

The aqueduct is designed to continuously transmit 1,000 million liters per day (MLD) of raw water from La Mesa Reservoir to the Balara Treatment Plants 1 and 2 to improve the reliability and security of the raw water transmission system.

WATER WAY The Novaliches-Balara Aqueduct 4 (NBAQ4) project

For the first time in Metro Manila, a tunnel-boring machine (TBM) was utilized for the project. The TBM has laid down the 7.30-kilometer-long and 3.10-meter-wide aqueduct from its entry shaft at Balara through the La Mesa Reservoir without impacting traffic since its launch on Jan. 28, 2020.

With the pipe-laying done, the construction of the intake tower, outlet tower, and downstream network system will begin. It is expected to be completed in June 2022.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.—Mahatma Gandhi

MWSS leads the ₱5.5 billion landmark project called Novaliches-Balara Aqueduct 4 (NBAQ4). It is being undertaken by Manila Water with Arup as project management consultant and NOVABALA joint venture as the project’s design and build contractor. The joint venture is composed of CMC di Ravenna (Italy), First Balfour, Inc. (Philippines), and Chun Wo Engineering (Hong Kong).

The aqueduct is a much-needed addition to the three existing aqueducts, which already passed the service life of 50 years for concrete structures. With the NBAQ4 in place, the other aqueducts may already be subjected to assessment and rehabilitation.

The current system conveys 1,600 MLD of raw water to BTP for the use of more than seven million people in the East Zone of Metro Manila and suburban areas nearby. The project will provide emergency redundancy in the event of a failure of any of the existing aqueducts.

This flagship project is part of the MWSS water security program under the “Build, Build, Build” program of the current administration. With interim and long-term water source projects, MWSS is confident we can have at least 4,000 MLD in the next 10, 25, or even 50 years, with hope.

Wow! Water, water, everywhere in our pipes and every drop is safe to drink! Well after treatment, that is! Thanks MWSS and Manila Water!

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THE OLYMPIAN AND THE PEOPLE’S CHAMP Ugas and Pacquiao in the ring (Patrick Fallon for AFP)

Now, what do I think of the dethroned Manny Paquiao? Of course I am sad for him but now he will realize there is life after the loss. His opponent was much too tall and had longer arms. But he lost with grace. Remember Manny rose from the very bottom of the ladder to the top of the boxing ring of the world!

I met Manny some years ago and I found him personable, humble, but very confident of himself and his abilities in the ring. He has a natural charm and charisma, I must admit. I can understand why we are all in awe of his persona.

Having said that, I, along with millions of his fans, followed his career and cheered him along. Now, I think, as many others also do, is the time you hang up your gloves—permanently. Don’t be lured by more dollars from commercials, contracts for “the last fight,” and more promises.

Tama na. Pahinga na. Public service naman, Senator Manny! Pambansang Kamao ka pa rin! ‘Panahon na!’