Former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary Roy Cimatu will lead the city’s “gubat sa baha” (war against flood), with the first initiative to be the clearing of the drainage system of obstructions, lawyer Jerone Castillo, special assistant of Mayor Michael Rama, said Wednesday, Aug. 31.
Castillo said the public and private sectors in the city will work hand in hand during the massive drainage declogging day.
The expertise of Cimatu during his stint as DENR secretary, especially the work he did to transform and beautify different places like Boracay Island, Manila Bay and Marikina River, would help the city, according to Castillo.
“With his experience… I think we can see a brighter future in solving our flooding problem,” said Castillo.
Last Aug. 30, Mayor Rama appointed Cimatu to be a “DENR-like secretary” and to oversee all environmental matters in the city.
The City Government will now consolidate all flood control and drainage master plans from the Department of Public Works and Highways, the City’s Department of Engineering and Public Works, and the City Planning and Development Office. Once the plan is unified, Castillo said, the implementation will be led by Cimatu.
While waiting for the master plan, Cimatu did not want to waste time and asked for a measure that could be done immediately to mitigate the effects of flooding in the city, Castillo said.
“In the meantime, what secretary (Cimatu) requested, because he is an action person, was, ‘Can we start already the battle?’” Castillo said.
Cimatu mentioned that the city must start by declogging all the drainage that needs to be cleared of obstruction, thus the declogging day, which falls on the same day as International Coastal Clean-up Day, Castillo said.