The online news portal of TV5
MANILA - Throwing money at the problem is a solution to the expected flooding that the metropolis will be subjected to, but Sen. Loren Legarda says that people changing their lifestyle and simply enforcing rules are key to coping with climate change.
In the long-term, about a fourth of the national budget, P352 billion, will be spent on flood control infrastructure.
Money does not seem to be a problem, as the Department of Budget and Management said it has allegedly already released over P3 billion.
Legarda said it might be a case of sufficient laws, but insufficient implementation. “I don’t think funding is a problem because the DBM secretary and Senate finance committee chair both say there’s money,” she said in a radio interview on Sunday.
“The important thing is all concerned know how best to use the money. It becomes a problem if it’s misused,” she added.
Is there a need for a law to stop reclamation projects?” All reclamations require hearings and Environmental Compliance Certificate, so there’s no need for a new law. All reclamation projects should be subjected to the existing regulations and requirements, she said.
Legarda, who chairs the Senate committee on climate change, said finger-pointing is not helpful these days, particularly as people have been killed and properties have been damaged.
Here, her five solutions to the flooding:
1. Implement 2001 Solid Waste Management Law.
Segregate bottles, plastics, tins, paper. Recycle
In the Payatas dumpsite, some people have salvaged garbage and used them for making baskets, etc. Food waste can be converted into organic compost that can be used to grow veggies.
Government, executor of the law, must acknowledge that segregation also hinges on a good dumpsite system, not open dump site which is already outlawed.
2. Clean/dredge esteros, canals.
People in Barangays Tumana (Marikina), and Tanong and Potrero (Malabon), and other downstream areas are flooded through no fault of theirs. People and their governments upstream must take the effort to do this.
During the summer/hot season, drainage must be kept clean. Don’t transform waterways into waste bins.
3. Build flood control infrastructure like dikes, pumping systems, etc.
No matter what people do, if dikes aren’t built where they’re supposed to be built, they’d still get flooded.
4. Disseminate the Geo-hazard Map already finished by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Information contained in the map must be disseminated down to the barangay levels -- so people would know if they’re at risk from landslide, soil erosion, or waterways breaching banks, or poor flood control.
The poorest communities are often the victims of climate injustice.
“Even without a storm, let’s constantly give tips from our disaster manual,” Legarda said.
5. Shift policy paradigm from disaster response to disaster prevention and risk mitigation.
All measures to respond to emergencies only constitute 1 percent of disaster readiness, the rest should hinge on prevention in the first place -- on zoning and land use, on fight against illegal logging and deforestation, among others.