Mayor cites some ‘hard lessons’ for Marikina
By DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 05:12:00 10/08/2009
As the struggle goes on to restore normalcy in flood-devastated Marikina City, Mayor Marides Fernando has learned some “hard lessons.”
Lesson No. 1: No more excuses and favors for riverside squatters living in danger zones.
“This time around we’ll be very strict. I think now people have no reason to resist when we ask them to move out of these hazard areas,” she told the Inquirer on Tuesday.
Lesson No. 2: There should be a minimum height standard for the construction of residential and commercial buildings, depending on how elevated the place is.
This, Fernando said, would help prevent cases of people drowning inside their homes.
Lesson No. 3: Policies against illegal parking will be more firmly observed.
“Even just one car blocking the road can impede rescue workers from reaching their destination,” she said.
Lesson No. 4: More rubber boats and rescue equipment should be in stock for emergency situations.
“The rescuers had to scramble for equipment so we need more of these prepared,” Fernando said.
There are still squatters in Marikina. However, these people are accounted for and some have been given titles to their lands. Like in Barangay Tumana. If I remember it right, while BF was mayor of Marikina, he distributed the lands to those living in squatter area tumana. Then during the reign of his wife, now mayor Marides Fernando (MCF), squatter Tumana was transformed into a Barangay.
Though the location is risky during heavy rains as it is beside the river – and if you will check the map, I think its still part of the banks of the river – you can’t just relocate and strip off the map of the City one Barangay. Maybe what they can do, and to similar areas too, is to provide a better flood canal and make the houses higher. Plus, include early warning systems so that people can evacuate immediately during floods.
You see, its not only squatters or those living near the river who has flooding problems. Our subdivision is prone to flooding even during light rains.
Policies on proper parking is strictly followed in Marikina. You will seldom see any improperly parked vehicles for the Road and Traffic safety unit of the City is constantly going around. Plus, there are Barangay Tanods and other deputized traffic officers on key streets and establishments.
Rescuers had a hard time going to different areas because vehicles were swept by raging flood waters. They were swept away from their original position. I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures.
Marikina City is a big DANGER ZONE. Its prone to flooding. Its a valley. It is situated between two mountains. What it needs is a proper flood control system. And the existing ones has been proven to be not enough to handle flood waters from Rizal, Laguna, and other areas. We also need more rescue equipment. The City only have 6 rubber boats. But how many Barangay are there in Marikina?
I say two rubber boats per Barangay. More should be given for flood prone areas like Barangay Tumana and Fortune.
Isn’t Baguio already a high place, but have you seen the news? It got flooded. That, plus the regular landslides.