WB, AIIB commit P21 billion to manage Metro Manila floods
MANILA, Philippines – Will modernizing pumping stations fix the problem of heavy flooding in the Metro Manila?
The country may find out in 25 years once the Metro Manila Flood Management Master Plan is fully laid out and implemented.
The World Bank (WB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) announced in a statement released on Thursday, September 28, that they have approved the funding to improve flood management in select drainage areas in Metro Manila.
WB and AIIB are international financial institutions that provide loans and funds for key programs and projects in different countries.
Under the Metro Manila Flood Management Project, 36 existing pumping stations will be modernized, 20 new ones will be constructed, and supporting infrastructure along critical waterways will be improved in Manila, Pasay, Taguig, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Pasig, Valenzuela, Quezon City, and Caloocan.
Many of Metro Manila's existing pumping stations were built in the 1970s and have become inefficient and underperforming.
"With this project, the government is taking an important step in the implementation of the Metro Manila Flood Management Master Plan designed to safely control floods in the national capital region and surrounding areas," said Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar.
The project which will cost $500 million, or P25.45 billion, will source majority of its funding from the two financial institutions that are expected to provide $415.2 million or P21.13 billion altogether.
This figure will be broken down to $207.6 million or P10.56 billion each from WB and AIIB.
The Philippine government, on the other hand, will provide the remaining $84.79 million or P4.31 billion.
"When floods occur, the capacity of people to earn a living is constrained, and many can fall back into poverty. Investments that improve flood management helps protect vulnerable communities as well as boost resilience against the impact of climate change," said Mara Warwick, WB country director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand.
"Investing in sustainable infrastructure is a key priority for AIIB and we feel this project is a great fit for our first investment in the Philippines," AIIB's Director General for Investment Operations Supee Teravaninthorn added.
In Metro Manila, plastic wrappers, bottles, and cans clog waterways and entries to pumping stations, affecting the operation and maintenance of the pumps. Part of the project's goal is to help improve the management of solid waste especially in barangays located near the draining systems served by the pumping stations.
DPWH and the Metro Manila Development Authority will implement the project in close coordination with local governments and key shelter agencies. Slated to start this year, the project is scheduled to be completed in 2024.
The master plan proposed a set of measures to effectively manage major flood events, which includes the following:
reducing flooding from river systems that run through the metropolis, by building a dam in the upper Marikina River catchment area in order to reduce peak river flows entering Metro Manila during typhoons and other extreme rainfall events
eliminating long-term flooding in the flood plain of Laguna de Bay, to protect the population living along the shore against high water levels in the lake
improving urban drainage, including modernization of Metro Manila's pumping stations
improving flood forecasting, early warning systems, and community-based flood risk management
In 2015, WB obtained a $6 million grant from the Australia-WB Philippines Development Trust Fund and Policy and Human Resources Development Trust Fund of Japan, to finance studies and designs of other interventions for the next phase of the master plan. – Rappler.com