SP Highlights: Comprehensive Drainage and Flood Control Master Plan for Naga
“Climate change is no longer some far-off problem; it is happening here, it is happening now.” -Barack Obama, President of the United States- Although the present administration rallied majority of the Filipinos behind the word “change,” we must all be aware by now that not all change is beneficial to public welfare. And climate change is one of those prejudicial “changes”. Climate change alters the composition of the global atmosphere, resulting to significant deleterious effects on the composition, resilience or productivity of natural and managed ecosystems or on the operation of socio-economic systems or on human health and welfare. In short, and to give more context, climate change is one of the major reasons why we are now experiencing unusual torrents of rains during a supposedly summer season, or facing a scorching sun during “Ber-months”. In fact, this year, we saw for ourselves how climate change can be so disastrous without any warning or notice. On 12 January 2018, without any tropical storm signal hovering over Naga City or Camarines Sur, just pure heavy rains, many of our places were flooded unexpectedly. Properties were damaged, and many people were inconvenienced. Although thankfully, no life was taken, but such incident should never happen again. Learning from the said event, the 12th Sangguniang Panlungsod of Naga, thru the sponsorship of Councilor Vidal P. Castillo, chairman of the Committee on Infrastructure, enacted Resolution No. 2017-103. Via this resolution, we created a Technical Working Group (TWG) to formulate a Comprehensive Drainage and Flood Control Master Plan for the City of Naga. The aforesaid TWG will be headed by the City Engineer, with the City Administrator and the City Planning and Development Coordinator as members. The Regional Irrigation Manager of the National Irrigation Administration and the District Engineer of the Department of Public Works and Highways-Camarines Sur 2nd District Engineering Office are also invited to be part of the group. Though NIA and DPWH are already beyond the control and scope of authority of the city government, we believe that their participation is indispensable if we are truly serious not only to arrest the present problems on flooding but also to devise contingencies for the future. In addition to this initiative at the micro level, the 12th Sangguniang Panlungsod also passed Resolution No. 2018-104, sponsored by Councilor Greg Abonal, to show the city’s appreciation and commitment to the vision of Her Excellency, Vice President Ma. Leonor G. Robredo, to craft a Drainage and Flood Control Master Plan for the whole of Metro Naga. We are supportive of this initiative as this will facilitate utmost cooperation among and between national government agencies and local government units. Thru strategic collaboration among stakeholders, those at present which are seemingly impossible tasks may be transformed to ambitious yet possible projects. To represent Naga in this vital technical partnership are City Engineer Leon Palmiano IV and Councilor Vidal Castillo. We have to admit that the world is no longer the same as before. Due to massive industrialization, emission of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been enormous that resulted to the changes in climate today. Indeed, as part of the Bicol Region, we are supposed to be used to typhoons and must have already been equipped with strategies and infrastructures to counter their impacts, but, we have to confess that we are now confronted with a new problem --- sadly, much larger and more serious than the previous one. Nevertheless, we, Naguenos, are acknowledged for our strong spirits and brilliant minds. Though we are facing a larger threat in climate change, we know that, with teamwork and unbending will, we will be able to come up with a Comprehensive Drainage and Flood Control Master Plan that will overcome present challenges and provide safeguards for future adversities. Sa pagtatarabangan, mayong problemang dai masosolusyonan.