I always believe that in every problem or issue there’s always an answer to it. It may be either a simple or complex solution. But there’s one project that I am very much concerned of when authorities believe that the construction of Laguna Dike is the solution in mitigating the flooding issues that’s been bombarding Southern Metro Manila and Laguna itself. And since we all know that it has been a long standing problem along those areas and its nearby communities when massive bad weather disturbance comes, I have a strong feeling that this enormous dike does not only serve as flood control but it could also become the problem itself if it is not done appropriately and the right way.
Take a look on what happen to the levees and flood walls that suppose to protect the people and properties in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. And what about the mega dike in Pampanga that was damage when it was continuously pounded by torrential rains. These are just a couple of the many situations that can and may cause tremendous destruction if it is not done properly and if we continue to rely on a single solution to complex issues.
When the administration of President Benigno Aquino III announced the construction of Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike during his latest State of the Nation Address (SONA), it became the biggest project so far in his six-year term presidency. It will be implemented through a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) under the Build-Operate-Transfer scheme. DPWH will bid out this flagship project before the end of 2014 then construction will start in the later part of 2015 and will be completed in 2021, according to the reports that I’ve read.
As I read thoroughly about this massive project, I was so amazed of the enormity of the so called flood control system along the shores of Laguna de Bay because when completed, it also includes a 47-kilometer long six-lane expressway that will be built on top of the dike. It will also have bridges, pumping stations and flood gates, according to official documents from DPWH. But will it be the long term solution of the real flooding issues? Which I doubt, since we all know that flooding in the Philippines is a multifaceted issue that needs a complex solution and don’t have a single answer.
Image from dpwh.gov.ph