"Water cure" courtesy of government, Maynilad and Manila Water

No classes today not due to incessant rains but because the strong public denunciation about the government officials’ incompetent handling of the problem. Yesterday, these incompetents announced the suspension of classes very late in the day — I think it was around 7:00 am or by the time most students have already left their homes and waded the floodwaters that have engulfed Metro streets.

By lunchtime and the late afternoon, officials of DepEd, Ched, Pagasa, the NDCC and Malacanang were pointing fingers among themselves on who to blame. All of them washed their hands in the filthy floodwaters. The presidential spokesperson announced by the time TV Patrol went on air that classes have been ordered suspended by President Arroyo.

Now, we all know that no downpour happened today, as if the heaven deigned to allot the entire day for the canals and pumping stations to gobble up all the murky and dirty floodwaters en route to the Pasig River and Manila Bay. For the public, especially the parents, it was again a testimony to utter incompetence of government in handling public affairs.

Flooding is an age-old problem, perhaps as old as the water and sewerage system of Manila. Government cannot seem to master its own rules on the suspension of schools and businesses when calamities strike the Metro. More importantly, we have yet to see a comprehensive solution to incessant flooding by way of modernizing the water and sewerage system that dates back to the Spanish era, if I remember it right.

Maynilad and Manila Water, the two private water concessionaires who in their billboards and other ads, proclaim their expensive projects to bring such system to 21st century standards, should be queried by Congress why floods continue to literally drown the economy which Mrs. Arroyo says will assume First World status in two decades. If they cannot answer this, then we should make them eat all their propaganda about the wonders of privatized water systems and have their executive swim upstream the Pasig River.

How many pumping stations have they setup to cover Metro Manila?

What the f**k have the foreign partners of Maynilad and Manila Water have done aside from repatriating their shares of profits?

Ultimately, it is to the government’s discredit that Manila get submerged in floodwaters at this time and age of globalization. As long as our taxes don’t go to modernizing our water and sewerage systems and there’s always an incompetent handling when strong/incessant rains strike, the farce of Wednesday will recur. ###

1 Comment

  1. Urbano dela Cruz

    ah, I think you have your water systems all mixed up.

    the water utilities (and their pumping stations) handle domestic water distribution and sewage.

    not to be confused with storm water systems. neither do you want your storm water system mixing in with your sewer system. (of course we don’t have an extensive sewer system so our storm water systems also double as sewers.)

    the storm water and flood water systems are owned and run by the government.

    so when the government refers to “pumping stations” vs. floodwaters -they are referring to the metro stormwater drainage system (run by the MMDA).

    when Maynilad and Manila Water refer to their “pumping stations” they are referring to drinking water pumping stations -part of the water distribution system.

    that said, there is a fundamental problem with how we deal with flood waters and storm water surges. it has nothing to do with the water system, and everything to do with the way we design our streets.

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