Legarda: DPWH Budget Towards Livable, Sustainable, Resilient Communities

November 23, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, said that the proposed 2017 budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in the amount of P454.224 billion aims to build communities that are livable, sustainable and resilient.


“DPWH’s key role in infrastructure development is crucial in meeting our economic growth targets in the coming years, but it is also important to ensure that we are building structures that are safe and can withstand hazards and reduce or mitigate disaster risks,” said Legarda.


The DPWH already has a master plan to address flooding and promote sustainable and resilient communities, particularly a flood management plan in Metro Manila and surrounding areas covering the Pasig-Marikina River Basin and Laguna Lake Basin. The project amounting to P351.72 billion is ten percent complete and estimated to be finished by 2030.


Programs on resilient infrastructure include the construction or rehabilitation of flood mitigation structures along major river basins and principal rivers; rehabilitation, retrofitting and strengthening of existing bridges; providing safe access on highly vulnerable areas; building evacuation centers incorporating requirements prescribed by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council; and adopting the Design Guidelines, Criteria & Standards (DGCS) 2015, which incorporate resilient design to address climate change impacts to all infrastructure.


Legarda said that the DPWH needs to work closely with other agencies because strategies to improve flood management include decongestion of Metro Manila, relocation of informal settlers, and addressing ground subsidence and the overuse of environmental resources.


“The DPWH should coordinate, for instance, with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources not only on the inventory of available idle lands but also to undertake massive reforestation in areas that cause flooding, like in the areas of Sierra Madre that have been deforested,” she explained.


Legarda also cited the DPWH for giving due importance to the construction of support facilities for marginalized sectors, especially senior citizens and physically challenged individuals, as well as the creation of more bike lanes and infrastructure for pedestrians.