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Pumping stations, dredging spared some towns from flooding — SMC

MALABON AND NAVOTAS cities did not experience heavy floods during the onslaught of typhoons Rolly and Ulysses because of the presence of the government’s water pumping stations, which were complemented by San Miguel Corp.’s (SMC) Tullahan-Tinajeros river dredging project, the firm said on Tuesday.

“Based on the feedback we received from representatives of the local governments of Malabon and Navotas, no major floods were reported. This is largely due to the pumping stations installed by the government, particularly the Metro Manila Development Authority that easily channels flood waters out to the Tullahan River,” SMC President Ramon S. Ang said in a statement.

Mr. Ang said that the Tullahan River in Malabon did not overflow during that time.

“This is because we’ve already dredged and deepened the mouth of the river going to Manila Bay, to up to five meters,” he said.

The P1-billion Tullahan-Tinajeros river dredging project is an SMC initiative that aims to dredge the 27-kilometer river to boost flood mitigation efforts. Mr. Ang said that the company had extracted some 60,532 metric tons of silt and solid waste from Tullahan River, as of Nov. 14.

River dredging is one of the immediate safeguards that needs to be put in place to prevent widespread flooding, an Environment official said separately on Tuesday.

“As immediate action, we need to restore the river by doing dredging,” Department of Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary for Climate Change Service and Mining Concerns Analiza Rebuleta-Teh said in a webinar hosted by international research organization Stratbase ADR Institute.

According to Ms. Teh, the planting of the appropriate tree species along the river bank, enhanced watershed management, and reforestation, among others, must also be done to prevent heavy flooding. — Angelica Y. Yang

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