CAMANAVA flood control project President Arroyo's legacy to Malabon residents, says city exec
Manila (26 February) -- Malabon City Waste Management Committee (MCWMC) chair and anti-flooding advocate Gloria Tamayo said the completion this year of the Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela (CAMANAVA) flood control program would be a major legacy of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to residents of this areas.
The project is being pursued under the Luzon Urban Beltway program that is included in the President's Super Regions scheme.
Tamayo said completion of the CAMANAVA flood control program will give much needed relief to the residents, particularly in Malabon, who are perennially saddled by the almost daily occurrence of flooding in their areas.
Likewise, Tamayo said the immediate completion of the almost P10-billion CAMANAVA flood control project could spark an economic renaissance in the coastal city of Malabon that is home to almost 340,000 people.
She told the Philippines News Agency in a telephone interview that real estate investors and property developers are now starting to train their sights on Malabon after learning that the CAMANAVA flood control project is just months away from completion.
The MCWMC chair noted that a property development corporation is now in the midst of constructing a condominium style dwelling in Malabon's Barangays (villages) Concepcion and Catmon in the Governor Pascual Avenue district.
Tamayo said the realtor decided to go ahead with his development project after learning of the CAMANAVA flood control project's impending completion and anti-flooding programs being undertaken by Malabon Mayor Canuto "Tito" Oreta which includes elevation of city roads prone to flooding, declogging of drainage pipes and canals and continuous modernization of existing anti-flooding infrastructures as well as construction of new facilities to combat flooding in the city's 21 barangays.
"If a realtor would throw in millions of pesos in condominium projects on word that the CAMANAVA flood control project is just months away from completion, just imagine the economic stimulus of fully completed and operational anti-flood project would be," Tamayo said.
She said that investors and businessmen traditionally look on Malabon to set up their investments as the city is near major and commercial centers like Makati and Quezon City and Port Area, Manila but were stymied from setting up their businesses due to the almost daily occurrence of flooding in the area caused by the fact that a major portion of the city is situated almost two meters below sea level and surrounded by tidal bodies of water like the Tullahan, Malabon and Manila Bay.
Tamayo lauded President Arroyo and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the CAMANAVA flood control project that is poised to end the flooding problems which have affected generations of Malabon City residents.
"Completion of this vital anti-flooding program means so much to us Malabon residents who for generations have suffered much from flooding," she further pointed out.
Malabon public information chief Bong Padua concurred with the observation of the MCWMC chair Tamayo.
"If CAMANAVA control project would be completed anytime this year, and flooding equation, totally eliminated, investors from the banking, financial, construction and property development sector would be more than willing to invest and create jobs in Malabon," Padua added.
"We are hoping that the national government and DPWH would soon complete the remaining 12 percent of the project so that Mayor Oreta could finally tell investors that we had the flooding problem licked here," he further said.
Padua made the remark after recalling Oreta's strenuous efforts in trying to convince big businessmen only to be balked by the latter on the flooding problem.
"They (investors) would tell Mayor Oreta to get back to them when he had the flooding problem solved. If the CAMANAVA flood control project would only get on-line or operational anytime this year, we would be more than willing to go back and tell," the Malabon public information chief further said.
He also said that completion of this vital anti-flood infrastructure would also erase the almost traditional television scenes of Malabon residents having to wade through waist-deep flood just to get home to their families in the event of strong typhoons and heavy rains.
"It would be like putting a ghost to rest," Padua remarked.
The CAMANAVA Flood Control and Drainage System Improvement Project is made up of strategically constructed pumping stations, floodgates and dikes to prevent flood waters from entering low lying areas.
The project covers the 18.50 square kilometers of CAMANAVA's flood-prone areas.
The DPWH earlier said that the CAMANAVA Flood Control and Drainage System Improvement Project (CFCDSIP) is already 88 percent complete.
It added that the remaining 12 percent of the project will soon begin operations. The unfinished portion will be funded by "local contractors."
The CFCDSIP was initially funded through a grant from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) Special Yen Loan Package in 2000. (PNA) [top]