Duterte approves Cagayan, Marikina flood management plan after Typhoon Ulysses

President Rodrigo Duterte approved plans formulated by his new typhoon task force to prevent a repeat of flooding in Cagayan province and Marikina City experienced during Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced this on Wednesday, December 16, in a statement.

"Also approved are the plans of the Task Force Build Back Better on flood mitigation and management in Cagayan province and Marikina City," he said.

The plans were presented to Duterte by Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, who chairs the task force along with Public Works Secretary Mark Villar.

What are the plans?

Cimatu presented the approved plans in a Malacañang press briefing on Thursday, December 17. They encompass projects for the Bicol region as well, which had also been badly affected by the storms.

The plans involve the following:

  • Widen Magapit Narrows and remove 19 sandbars in Cagayan River
  • Restore Marikina River to its original state by removing illegal structures
  • Fast-track DPWH flood mitigation projects including Upper Marikina Dam and Parañaque Spillway
  • Construction of 7 flood control projects along Bicol River and rehabilitate existing flood gates and pumping stations
  • Implement whole-of-society approach in fight against illegal logging in Sierra Madre, Cordillera, Caraballo Mountain, Marikina River Basis with active participation of local governments
  • Improve management of protected areas in Sierra Madre, Cordillera, Marikina, and Bicol River Basins
  • Ask President Duterte to certify as urgent House Bill No 6973 and Senate Bill No 1878 creating the Environmental Protection and Enforcement Bureau under the DENR

Duterte's task force is supposed to be the overall central body in charge of implementing rehabilitation and recovery efforts in areas affected by Ulysses and Super Typhoon Rolly (Goni).

It is supposed to be a "more permanent body" for addressing natural calamities while a Duterte-backed Department of Disaster Resilience is not yet in place, according to Malacañang. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.