9 August 2012
President Benigno S. Aquino III visited flood-hit areas in Metro Manila where he led the distribution of relief goods to evacuees severely affected by the torrential rains brought by the southwest monsoon.
The President first visited Marikina City that yet again was devastated after the Marikina River overflowed to residential areas, reaching to almost two-storey high flood waters on Tuesday. Although flood level had already receded, some areas still suffer from waist-high water level. Residents could not avoid but be reminded of the typhoon Ondoy that submerged the city in 2009.
Presently, 1229 families or 7009 individuals are currently taking refuge at the Nangka Elementary School in Marikina City. President Aquino personally handed out food supplies consisting of noodles, canned goods, coffee sachets, rice and blanket plus P100 for clothing and P350.37 allowance to last for three days.
Following his visit in Marikina, President Aquino headed to four other evacuation sites in flood-hit areas and distributed relief goods: Bagong Silang Covered Court in Quezon City houses 1,900 families or 9,000 evacuees; Pag-Asa Elementary School in Caloocan City has more than 200 families or 500 evacuees; Gen. T. De Leon Elementary School in Valenzuela City has 608 families or 2,718 evacuees; and Oreta Sports Complex Barangay Poblacion in Malabon City that serves to 216 families or 972 evacuees. According to reports, majority of these evacuees were residing near a body of water that overflowed after incessant downpour in the last two days.
In his message, President Aquino assured the evacuees that the government is serious in mapping out flood mitigating projects that will solve the perennial problem on flooding. He added that in this calamity alone, water level has reached to 5,000 cubic meters, putting into mind that a lone tanker truck can only hold 5 cubic meters of water.
Part of the mitigating plan the government is looking into is the relocation of residences in identified geo-hazard areas and the construction of an eight-kilometer dike that will stop river waters from overflowing into residential areas. Estimated cost for the construction of the said dike will reach to P2.2-billion and is expected to be completed in a span of two to three years.
President Aquino also warned that the government is closely on the watch for businesses taking advantage of the calamity through price hikes. He said that reports have reached him that a particular pharmaceutical company, which he did not name, is selling drugs at high prices. He reminded businessmen not to take advantage over the dire situation.
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