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Since her family moved to Brgy. Sta. Ana, Taytay, Rizal, in November 2010, college student Rose Dianne Eola has had to wade through a flooded street just so she can get out of their block.
"Ilang buwan na po ang baha dito sa amin. Kahit po walang ulan ay hindi ito humuhupa. Kapag umuulan naman po ay lalong tumataas ang tubig at lumalagpas na sa gutter," she said in an e-mail to InterAksyon.
("Our street has been flooded for months. Even when it doesn't, the water still doesn't subside. When it does rain, the water rises even above the gutter.")
"Kung mataas po ang tubig, kinakailangan ko pa pong lumusong sa baha dahil lagpas na sa gutter ang tubig. May mga tricycle drivers po kasi na hindi nagaakyat sa tuyo at hinahayaang lumusong ang mga pasahero nila. Dahilan po nila ay hindi raw po maiakyat dahil po mataas ang gutter. Kaya po kahit nakasapatos ka, palulusungin ka pa rin po nila. Minsan po ay galit pa sila," she continued.
("When the water is high, I have to wade through the flood because it rises above the gutter. Some tricycle drivers refuse to bring their passengers to the dry pavement, and allow their passengers to wade through the flood. They say it's because they have difficulty maneuvering the tricycle because the gutter is high. Even when you're wearing shoes, they will still force you to wade through the flood. Sometimes they even get angry.")
Eola said moss had started to grow on the cemented pavements, making it slippery to walk on. Some residents have even gotten into accidents because of it. The students in the area, in particular, have a hard time getting to the nearby school.
Some drainages, according to Eola, are hazardously uncovered, the flood making them difficult to spot.
She also noted the dangers to the residents' health, with mosquitoes laying eggs and vermin leaving droppings in the water.
"Perwisyo po talaga ang baha dito sa amin," she said. ("This flood is really a hassle for us.")
Eola lives in Lupang Arenda, a 270-hectare settlement along the shore of the Laguna de Bay.
According to a February press release by the Presidential Communications Operations Office, the strip of public land was appropriated by former President Fidel Ramos for the growing number of informal settlers in Metro Manila.
When Ondoy hit, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered the relocation of residents from the same location.
The Aquino administration has since put a road dike in place to keep inhabitants safe.
In a phone interview with InterAksyon.com, head of the Municipal Engineering Department Engr. Ronald San Juan said the area was below water level, thereby resulting in floods.
"Talagang nasa shoreline ito ng Laguna Lake. Malalim talaga ito. Natatambakan pa ng basura at dumami na ang mga bahay," added San Juan.
("It is really situated on the shoreline of Laguna Lake. It is really deep. It has become a dumping ground for trash. The number of houses has increased, too.")
He said the engineering department has been trying to improve public infrastructure for some time now. Roads, in particular, have already been put into place where there were originally none.
"Paunti-unti, sa abot ng makakaya." ("Bit by bit, as much as we can.")
Unfortunately, the municipality does not have enough to fund as many projects as he would like.
"Minsan nakakakuha sa national government ng kaunting grant para mai-develop. Pero ngayon walang pagkukunan dahil exhausted na ang funds, lalo na't third quarter na," he said.
("Sometimes we are able to get money from the national government from grants. But we no longer have funds today, especially since we're already in the third quarter of the year.")
San Juan promised to send someone to inspect the area Friday to see what can be done.
As of press time, InterAksyon.com has not been able to contact him as they were told he was out in the field.