Members of the Regional Development Council VIII – Infrastructure and Utilities Development Committee (RDC VIII-IUDC) and stakeholders from concerned agencies and the academe recently met last 9 February to discuss the flooding problem in many areas of the region.   The IUDC jointly called for science-based strategies and revival of the task force for flood prevention during the said meeting.

The Committee discussed existing flood control feasibility studies and master plans, and provided several recommendations for future action. It was agreed that the socioeconomic impact (e.g., jobs generated, lives and properties protected) in those FSs be highlighted. In addition, the Committee set for a rapid transition to science-based flood prevention by conducting first, above all else, water hazard scientific studies and hydrological studies to be led by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) VIII and the academe. Likewise, they encouraged to pursue nature-based solutions (NbS) and hybrid (grey-green) infrastructures after considering the results of these studies.

Also, the Committee found it crucial to revive the anti-flooding task force that was created in 2019 through RDC VIII Resolution No. 10, Series of 2019, “Approving the Creation of a Task Force to Address the Flooding Problem in Region VIII.” Building upon the abovementioned call for science-based flood prevention, the Committee recommended recomposing the task force with the inclusion of DOST VIII, LGUs, the academe and selected PSRs as members, and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) VIII as the Chair.

The Committee also emphasized the need for greater participation and inclusion of Samar Island in flood mitigation programs, by including them in the planning and implementation of big-ticket flood prevention and control projects.

This special meeting was conducted by the IUDC to ensure that the flood control projects to be supported by the RDC are planned and designed with greater foresight and responsiveness in protecting people’s lives, properties, and the environment.

Article and Photos by: Josefina Ballesteros (PMED)