Could the Php 1.9 bn in flood control projects axed by Noynoy Aquino have saved Metro Manila from destruction?

The latest deluge to hit Metro Manila once again demonstrates the sorry state of preparedness of state emergency services in the Philippines and the woefully insufficient flood control infrastructure of the country’s premier metropolis. Flooding brought about by days of southwest monsoon rains pounding the northern Philippine island of Luzon have once again paralysed vast swaths of Metro Manila, displaced thousands of residents, and caused yet untold damage to property.

The first great flooding that temporarily aroused a bit of reflection among Manila’s residents on the precariousness of their existence as a modern megalopolis was 2009’s Typhoon Ondoy. Suffice to say, in its aftermath was a palpable resolve to set a bar of preparedness commensurate to the on-going risk that Manila will surely continue to face in the future of unpredictable change in climate. Sure enough, in 2011, another powerful typhoon Pedring hit Luzon and caused even more damage than its predecessor. The estimated Php 11 billion caused by Ondoy was eclipsed by Pedring‘s estimated Php 12.25 billion.

How much will 2012’s nameless disaster cost the nation? It is too early to tell owing to forecasts that point to continued rains over a foreseeable number of days.


[Photo courtesy Cool and Smooth Rhythm.]

Typhoon Pedring, which hit just one year after the ascent to power of Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III, highlighted the fate of a number of public works initiated under former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) at the hands of what was then the newly-sworn-in president. In the aftermath of Pedring in late 2011, Representative Danilo Suarez of Quezon filed a House Resolution calling for an investigation into the effect of President BS Aquino’s cancellation of these projects.

Citing a Department of Public Works and Highways press release dated July 28, 2010, Suarez said DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson cancelled 19 approved negotiated projects worth P934.1 million under the POPSTRIP. The 19 are part of the 139 projects or 42 contract packages funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency loan for the urgent rehabilitation of flood control facilities worth P1.9 billion.

Suarez noted that the cancelled projects are located in areas recently flooded by recent typhoons. These are in Cordillera Administrative Region P53 million; Ilocos Norte, P35 million; Asingan, Pangasinan P91.4 million; San Manuel, Pangasinan P228 million; Cagayan P25.8 million; Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya P68.6 million; Kayapa and Dupax Nueva Vizcaya P27.4 million; Paombong and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan P9 million; Bulacan province P41 million; San Felipe and Iba, Zambales, P42.5 million; San Marcelino, Zambales, P19 million; Arayat, Pampanga, P77 million; Candaba, Pampanga, P78 million; Floridablanca, Pampanga P27 million; Guagua and Lubao, Pampanga, P16 million; Moncada and Bamban Tarclac P32 million; Aliaga, Nueva Ecija P18 million; Bungabon and San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija P19 million; and Balayan and Lemery, Batangas P22 million.

Suarez’s reflection on this unfortunate move by the Second Aquino Administration was damning: “One cannot help but think that if these projects were not capriciously cancelled on the sole fact that they were initiated by the previous administration, then the recent floodings could have been prevented or mitigated.”

Notably, in stark contrast to the cold specificity with which Aquino’s Malacañang axed these projects, the President’s 2011 State of the Nation Address (SONA) was glaringly vague — almost mysterious — when it came to communicating the overall public works investment strategy of his administration.

Despite being four times as long as the actual speech, the [2011] Technical Report contains even less than the speech’s proportion of proposed measures. Written almost entirely in the past tense, the Report contains voluminous (23,392 words’ worth of voluminous, to be exact) details on things that have already happened and very little of what is planned. And even the few forward-looking statements that can be found tend to be vague, such as: “For 2011, P16.20 billion or 24.3% of the total DPWH Capital Outlay has been allocated for infrastructure development in Mindanao. This will help facilitate economic growth in the region” and “”¦the Labor and Employment Plan 2011-2016 promotes putting the human resource base at the core of all policy reform initiatives to achieve inclusive growth that massively creates jobs and continuously reduces poverty.”

Those are not plans, those are aspirations. And aspirations are fine, as expressions of a desired end state, but the job the President’s bosses hired him for is to fill in the blanks between now and that desired end state; having aspirations is something anyone can do.

Indeed, in his 2010 SONA, President BS Aquino, in his usual vague form alluded to what in his mind was the questionable manner with which the previous administration under GMA initiated so many projects. In a move that was later proven to be disastrous to the economy, President BS Aquino severely cut government spending on the basis of a flawed understanding of the manner with which the former administration managed the budget

[Aquino] described as “revolting” the manner the Arroyo administration did business.

“Money was there only to be wasted. You have heard how the public coffers were squandered,” he said in his speech in Filipino to a packed Batasang Pambansa and a nationwide radio and television audience.


[Photo courtesy Jerry Ocampo.]

It was later found that these assertions about how GMA had plundered the national budget were unfounded and severely compromised the credibility of Aquino’s fiscal management team. Nevertheless, the government did underspend in the following year in 2011 which resulted in a marked drop in economic growth

In 2011, the Philippines’ GDP slowed to 3.9 percent from the 7.6 percent growth in 2010, partly due to government underspending.

The economy could have grown by 0.8 percentage points more last year if the government was able to spend as planned.

Add to that regrettable opportunity cost in 2011 the Php 12.5 billion damage caused by Typhoon Pedring on that year and now the still-to-be-ascertained cost of this year’s nameless flooding disaster — all because key infrastructure projects were summarily killed by President BS Aquino, perhaps simply because they were projects associated with his personal nemesis, the eeevvvvillll regime of GMA.

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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106 Comments on "Could the Php 1.9 bn in flood control projects axed by Noynoy Aquino have saved Metro Manila from destruction?"

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Bil Moko
Guest
I believe that the current administration has very good reasons for not pushing through with the projects. If they were for the rehab of existing flood control facilities in the listed areas, I am wondering how effective were those facilities in preventing or controlling floods over the years when they were operating. Many of the areas listed are natural catch basins for rain water brought by the monsoon and by storms and typhoons. Which means any flood control project would be ineffective and inadequate to reverse nature and it would therefore be pointless in spending money for such projects. Why… Read more »
Bienb
Guest

Pag gusto, may paraan. pag ayaw, madaming dahilan….

fishball
Guest

The president is doing the best he can for the country. He wont neglect the nation unlike what the former small lady did which is to sell our sovereignty and go against rH bill for catholic support and not for the Filipino.

Daido Katsumi
Guest

Still missing the point but why would I believe from a Yellow Zombie like yourself.

Care to elaborate, please.

domo
Guest

ORLY? By how vincensus ignoramus? Your precious pwesident already cancelled 19 flood control projects by GMA only because it’s his nemesis’ project. Now that this far more worse than Ondoy disaster happened, what did your precious pwesident done? NOTHING! Nothing but noynoying once again. Now get lost palamunin.

Amir Al Bahr
Guest

Your Tito Noy is doing WHAT exactly, birdbrain? He cancelled projects done by his predecessor WITHOUT having an immediate replacement in mind?

itchyBB
Guest

“The president is doing the best he can for the country.”

His best is not enough.

joeld
Member

This flood control infrastructures were already in place thanks to the “evil dictator” as he knows way back then that these are natural catch basins. But hey, these are 2 decades old and were never upgraded nor maintained properly thanks also to the oh so great, mother of democracy, Paknots mother to be exact, as they are clueless in how to run their dysfunctional family, let alone the Philippines. Evil GMA in her right mind had it right, but sad to say, the yellow freedom still reigns!!! Oh what joy!!!

sitting pretty
Guest

Is your belief based on anything but conjecture?

ChinoF
Member

Question is, why cancel them before we could find out if they work or not?

Jabar
Guest

@bil moko: blame this blame that blame gloria.. why not blame yourself for not being educated?

Greg
Guest
If there will be no actions to control flood, then expect the flood to come during storm days..During Marcos regime, population is lesser before than today.The wastage and garbage is evidently increasing.The existing major thoroughfares are still the same dimension whereas the number of vehicles increased more than tripled than before..by right, developments to infrastructure should be studied to ease or lessen the impact of nature…Kasabay ng pag asenso or pagdami ng gumagamit ng nature, kasabay din dapat ang pag-aaral upang mapalawak ang pangangailangan nito..How effective the projects are, Engineers knows about these that’s why there designs and project studies.… Read more »
Doomed Nation
Guest

You are comparing the projects at Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo, both cities, to the numerous project spread out over all of Luzon. They will hardly be comparable nor applicable to our requirements. What makes you think their spending for their flood control programs are not recurring? And what makes you think they aren’t regularly flooded as well? KL saw flash flooding as recent as May 2012.

Doomed Nation
Guest

oops. this was supposed to be a response to Bil Moko

fishball
Guest

problem is gloria stole the funds that slow down the Philippines developing

Daido Katsumi
Guest

And people like you go EMO over PGMA, claiming she stole millions of YOUR money when she also was an efficient leader that kept the Philippines economy afloat, invested on its economic side and did what she could to keep the government from going astray as she wasn’t going to get any legitimacy as the transitional leader after Estrada. So in this system, she had to what she can to gain allies, even if it meant throwing money at them.

Paulit-ulit yet it makes sense. Sa iyo? Well, it’s nonsense. Para kang jejemon. 😛

domo
Guest

And the problem with your precious pwesident is that he’s acting like Admiral General Aladeen from The Dictator while you are like a Wadiyan who always kiss pnoy’s ass.

Jabar
Guest

“problem is gloria stole the funds that slow down the Philippines developing”

opsss.. you’re wrong there my friend, the previous president wasn’t the problem. it’s people like YOU who are the problem for being irrational. why not use that head of yours? mind if you have one that is. have a nice day.. if you can

Abraham Ortiz
Guest

Ha!ha!ha!.You got that shit right!

RF Garcia
Guest

Being a catch basin does not mean flood in the areas benigno cited can not and should not be controlled. The only reason why the flood control projects proposed by GMA were not implemented was precisely that. They were the brainchild of GMA.Don’t give us the crap that the proposed projects are being scrutinized for possible anomalies. For over 2 years? Good grief!

fishball
Guest

And these GMA projects has anomalies of graft and corruption so it must be checked first. Hindi natin alam kung project ba talaga yan o nagnanakaw sa gobyerno.

Gogs
Member

So I see Malacanang is open so you can get to your computer Fishball. Ingat sa pauwi.

domo
Guest

Anomalies or not, they are still vital for preventing Ondoy like foods ever again you wanker. Magkano na ngayon ang binayad sa iyo ng malakanyakanyang? Nung pumupunta ka doon, lumalangoy ka sa baha na puro basura ano. Well good luck na lang sa iyo’t huwag ka sanang dapuan ng leptospirosis.

Abraham Ortiz
Guest

Good so far.Better be check first before giving the go ahead signal.

Hyden Toro
Guest

In the stories of the Old Testament, in the Christian Bible. When the leadership of the Israelites, were too corrupt and too wicked. Their God, Jehovah, send his people reminders in the form of Wrath of Nature.
I”m not insinuating, that our leadership is too wicked and too corrupt. However, the comparison of the Old Testament Bible stories, and our present leadership conditions, have some disturbing similarities…

fishball
Guest

thats gloria your talking about. The president is cleaning the mess she did.

Daido Katsumi
Guest

Wrong. 😛 That is none other than Noynoy that he’s talking about. And what does he do? Of course, sleeping on the job!

Hehe, what a maggot. 😀

Doomed Nation
Guest

Where is our president anyway? Haven’t heard anything from him the past few days. Puro mga spokespeople lang. Ay teka, may lumabas ba na bagong game?

domo
Guest

And God Himself is now saying f**k you for doing the blame game once again. Enjoy your punishment if He does that to you.

Hyden Toro
Guest

It’s Noynoy Aquino’s reign, not Gloria Arroyo. The Jewish God, Jehovah knows what he is doing…he is perfect and does not commit mistake…His wrath is pointing on Noynoy Aquino. Corruption and Wickedness are rampant in his administration and in his reign…

pussyfoot
Guest

Masanay na tayo sa ganyan. When you look at it, there’s nobody else that we can blame from the drastic changes on our climate sytem but ourselves. No matter how prepared we are to face the bad then we should be easy and instead, expect the worst because definitely it is not easy to battle with mother nature. In the end, the most important thing is how have you prepared to cope and breath once again.

fishball
Guest

So let the pigs Arroyo and Corona that could have done something to prevent this tragic disaster go away? I think not. They must be jailed.

Daido Katsumi
Guest

You’re very funny. And now you’re going to blame those people who have done NOTHING to you?

Just accept the fact that you are STUPID. You must be jailed because you’re spouting HEARSAY and CONSPIRACY THEORIES. It’s cool to be IGNORANT, isn’t it? 😛

joeld
Member

@fishball..
you idiot.. did you even read the article? oh yeah, you dont have time to reead it since youre busy typing all you propagandas at other sites too..

domo
Guest

Hanggang dito pa ba naman isama mo pa iyang sisihan mo na wala namang relasyon sa article na ito? Anong klaseng maglang meron ka? Are you and your parents carrying the abnormal gene?

Anonymous
Guest

@fishball

You must be some kind of dumbass if you think we would ignore your stupid president’s screw-ups and failures. Think again.

itchyBB
Guest

Oh my God! Yes, you got it sooo right Fishball. You’re brain is as big as the bird grain!
Now that GMA is no longer the president and Corona has been ousted it is still their fault.
Goodness, never knew I’d be soo enlightened in sucha idiotic, morornic way.
Thank you!

Anonymous
Guest

@Fishball

Just accept the fact that you are beaten. We have already bashed your stupid conspiracy theories too many times.

And before you retort that we are “bayaran ni gloria/corona”, we have already heard you a thousand times…it still WON’T WORK against us.

Just give up, we can read you like an open book.

crackinthewall
Guest

@fishball:
READ THE ARTICLE. It’s no longer about Gloria. Do we need to wait for Noynoy to finish his term before we become critical of his intentions, and projects or lack thereof?
It’s been two years. Na-e-EDSA ka pa din. Move on.

pussyfoot
Guest

You didn’t get my point. Oh yeah, I must be talking to a maggot.

jim esposito
Guest
Please provide workable/pratical solutions that would successfully address our plumbing problems/issue! A good plumber/workman would first find the cause of the leaks–i.e., more upstream dams, (more electric generation as good thing), pipes/pumps and infastructure for catchment, retention and reserviors for fresh-water recycle. Then take the rocks/dirt from the creation of deeper flood control ditches to prepare 5-10 meter high dikes/burms/leives along new improved river channels. Then create a set of new fresh water retentionlakes where they dump out into the ocean/bay (for pump back to freshwater man-made lakes, Lastly to build a Manila Bay Bridge/sea-wall/gate and expressway system from Bataan… Read more »
Juan Crisostomo Ibarra
Guest
Juan Crisostomo Ibarra

Ok. I think the story is biased against the president.

There are some questions left unanswered. Would it help Manila in today’s flooding if projects weren’t cancelled? Why was the projects cancelled?

joeld
Member

Biased?..Why would you say biased, nasa kanya na nga yung bola, nag fumble pa.

Of course it would have helped…this is JICA youre talking about.

Why was it cancelled? You tell us. Maybe you can come up with the reason that your president has. Because as far as I can understand with the article, the author does not have any of that “reasons” available to him. Nor did Malacaang issue statements as to why they did not push trough with it. Trust me the same reason that her mother came up with for not pushing through with the BNPP is similar.

crackinthewall
Guest

Biased? Siya na ang presidente ngayon. If he cancelled those projects, shouldn’t he create new ones? It’s a recurring problem and he should have done something to prevent those same disasters from happening again. Taon-taon na lang tayong binabagyo, taon-taon din tayong binabaha.

Juan Crisostomo Ibarra
Guest
Juan Crisostomo Ibarra

What could PHP 1.9 bn could have prevented? Is that enough?

MidwayHaven
Guest

Singapore’s Marina Bay Barrage (the anti-flooding program of that city) cost SG$226M; our flood control program would have cost SG$57M, which is actually not a bad cost considering that there already are certain flood control measures in Manila.

trackback

[…] the Aquino Administration after just a little over one year in power was said to have summarily cancelled projects that aimed to construct flood-control infrastructure initiated by former President Gloria […]

K3
Guest

We can argue about the possibilities all day but the bottom line is it’s there and what can we do if those at the top can’t/aren’t doing anything.

francis f
Guest

Bashing and putting blame on our country’s leaders/government officials doesn’t really do anything to help the situation. Talking about these things is pointless. Run for public office and do something if u think u can do better than them. Or better yet, help those who are affected by the flood

Daido Katsumi
Guest

So looking on problems and finding solutions is pointless? Tell that to Noynoy because he keeps on blaming the past administration for these kind of problems. Yet he hasn’t taken action yet.

TBH, you’re very IGNORANT. Plain and simple. 😛

francis f
Guest

Okay, if u think I’m ignorant and simple then answer these. When u do find a solution, if ever that will happen here, how would you apply that in the current situation or prevent such thing from happening? So helping people affected by the flood is ignorant?
If you do give satisying answers then I’d admit that I’m ignorant.
Think beyond urself and actually do something to help, if that is really your intention here.

Daido Katsumi
Guest
Well, I’m actually helping out. GRP exists to help people… to open their minds thru these kinds of articles. I’m not saying that helping people affected is ignorant. Help is essential but we need drastic measures to respond such calamities like this. Heck, even the past administration had a better course on these kind of situations compared right now. TBH, we have never seen PNoy taking drastic action and what does he do? Of course, sleeping on the job and let his advisers and men do the job for him. Please read more articles and it will prove you wrong.… Read more »
Doomed Nation
Guest

And that might just very well be the what keeps our country from getting out of its slump. Masaya at kuntento na tayo sa short-term solution. Oo, may problema na (ulit) ngayon, ibig sabihin ba nito ay kalimutan natin ang long-term solution?

nonamer
Guest

completely agree on this point. honestly, everytime he’s blaming the past administration for the ‘so-called minanang kasalanan’, I was like, president ba sya? Because he’s not acting one. By the way, if supposed massive project is a good help, bakit hindi tinuloy? Just because a perceived evil initiated the project? Geez.

joeld
Member
Something is always wrong with this kind of reasoning. Its typical of the Pinoy. “Panay ka reklamo, ano na ba nagawa mo?”. I see this often as comments on the net. They fail to realize that channels like this (this site) gives way to a better understanding of a situation. Its true, I can just get up and do something (physical) or better yet, I can look things in perspective and say ” Hey, that makes sense!” If I was one of Pnoy’s henchmen then this is a good tool for planning for future events and circumstances. And seems to… Read more »
Abraham Ortiz
Guest

I hate to see comments without constructive solutions to this problems.Are Filipinos not educated anymore?They blame the present administrations if there is calamity!They don;t investigate if this is true or not!They don’t research for the thruthfulness of the news item.They just jump into a conclusion and write a reply blindly just because the present President is not what they voted for.

kid dynamo
Guest
lest we forget, the funding coming from JAICA would not be released that easily without studies and proposals backing them. Not to mention that its better to have tried them than having tried NOTHING AT ALL. i think the main reason for the cancellation is NOT the soundness of the projects but of the supposed shady transactions in the bidding process. i can give the Aquino administration the benefit of the doubt for cancelling them, malay mo nga naman. BUT TWO FUCKING YEARS AND COUNTING still no result on the investigation or the resumption of the commencement of projects is… Read more »
joeld
Member

Unless you are living in Utopiaville, then shady transactions are part and parcel of every contract. There is always that fine print that some will just fail to read and other arrangements under the table. Not only in the Philippines but in all other countries. Its like, failing to cross a log bridge because you are thinking you might fall and get eaten by crocs.

Tongits
Guest

Akala kasi ni pnoy ay mas magaling siya at ang mga dating officials ay mga bobo at di pinag-aralan ang mga ganitong projects. Ang kaso hanggang dakdak lang itong si bs at walang ginawa kundi mag noynoying. Mukhang di alam Kung ano ang gagawin. Kaya Ito Kawawa na naman si Juan.

jeeper
Guest
Reading the comments are almost funny, if not for the calamity we’re in. Yes, noynoy is an idiot and I didn’t vote for him exactly for that reason, besides, I hated how media seems to be shoving him up to my face like the second messiah. If he had shelved GMA’s projects, he should have thought of another solution. It was three years after Ondoy and its aftermath is still fresh in our memories. If he could not think of a solution, he should have made his minions think of one, which is unlikely. His appointees seemed to be random… Read more »
MidwayHaven
Guest

And yet certain people still see him as Aragorn. It’s really, really sad.

JOHN
Guest

here in iloilo we don’t experience flood anymore coz of PGMA flood control project in jaro, iloilo city… thanks to her for saving our life and property from destructive floods and typhoons (at least government save millions from this accidents)… i hope that flood control project will also be implemented in luzon…

JKMencias
Guest
Everyone should participate, watever the goverment tries to do in attempt to stop it would be put into waste unless each person in this land participate, young & old, rich or poor.. there have been many unlawful companies, squatter areas, irresponsible logging, subdivisions in areas na ndi dapat tinatayuan.. all of us who doesn’t know how to abide the simple “bawal magtapon ng basura d2”. lahat ng kanal na makita ko may basura.. dapat noon pa naten inumpisahan ang campaign na bawal gumamit ng plastic bags etc.. I can say all of these kz as i was growing up I… Read more »
Abraham Ortiz
Guest

Tapos si Pnoy ang sisihin ano?

ChinoF
Member

Some proof BS Aquino may have axed actual workable projects. One of the projects he axed was the Candaba, Pampanga project. And recently, Candaba was flooded.

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/pampanga/local-news/2012/08/06/villages-flood-watch-list-identified-236100

ChinoF
Member
trackback

[…] Real Philippines explains that the Philippine Peso (PHP) 1.9 billion for flood control projects that was scrapped by the […]

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[…] Real Philippines explains that the Philippine Peso (PHP) 1.9 billion for flood control projects that was scrapped by the […]

skyturn
Guest

No amount of flood control can solve this. The best way is to adapt. Raise the road levels while maintaining a cavity between the new road and old. Condemn all ground floor structure and fill it in. The global water levels have raised and the climate has changed. We have to change our ways. The way the Romans, French and Italians did. It might just cost lesser that way and it will prevent loss of property and lives.

Teabag Deluxe
Guest

Raising road levels would not help because the water will only go to other lower areas. Haven’t you noticed that water always rises and is always on top? Just like the crow and the pitcher of water fable, in which the crow kept dropping rocks to raise the level of the water.

They’ve raised the road levels so many times in Malabon that my grandfather’s house there already lost its first floor, yet the place is still flood-prone.

ChinoF
Member

At least you do have a solution suggested… though don’t count out “flood control” yet.

Although the best suggestion of course is to leave flood plains and move to higher ground. The problem with humanity is that they keep loving flood plains to settle on.

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