SMC readies master plan to solve Bulacan flood woes
San Miguel Corp. (SMC) will implement a multibillion peso flood control program to mitigate the perennial flooding in Bulacan once it receives the green light to build its proposed international airport immediately north of Metro Manila, according to the company’s president.
In particular, the country’s largest conglomerate is proposing to build a spillway that will allow excess rainfall from the vicinity of the Angat, Ipo and Bustos dams to empty directly into Manila Bay, thus preventing the flooding of the province’s low-lying areas that happen annually.
“Following extensive hydrologic studies, and with the help of water resource experts, a comprehensive drainage management plan is being formulated for the [proposed] New Manila International Airport and adjoining areas,” SMC president Ramon Ang told the Inquirer in an e-mail.
He explained this was necessary because “certain parts of Bulacan have always been prone to flooding.”
“It has been a perennial problem of the province, made worse by clogged waterways and drainage systems,” Ang added.
Deforestation in the watershed that is also the only source of potable water for the metropolis of 10 million inhabitants means that rainwater runs off to the plains due to the degradation of the area’s water holding capacity.
“Proper design and management of flood control measures around the Angat and Pampanga River basins, which cover a huge part of the Bulacan province, are key to addressing flooding in the province,” Ang said.
Once given the green light, the privately funded airport complex will take six years to complete from the time the project breaks ground and will involve no government guarantees. It will rise on a 2,500-hectare property immediately north of Navotas along the Manila Bay shoreline which the conglomerate acquired recently.
The conglomerate said managing the flow of water from these dams through a combination of capacity and structural improvements and the improvement of river systems and tributaries would help address flooding.
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