The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) arranged an online forum discussing the importance of water management and flood risks in the Philippines.
In the second installment of Future Cities Forum 2020, ECCP focused on the theme, “Managing Flood Risks and Water Security in the Philippines”. This topic was timely after a series of typhoons wreaked havoc in many parts of the Philippines; one of which is Typhoon Ulysses or known internationally as “Vamco” which pummelled Metro Manila and some parts of Northern Luzon in November of 2020.
Since flooding has been a prolonged problem in the country, keynote speakers in the discussion tackled long-term solutions, as well as unconventional approaches, to flooding situations.
They also shared their thoughts on water management in the Philippines.
From a Flood Expert’s Perspective
President and CEO of Flood Control Asia RS Corp., Dr. Andreas Klippe, is one of the keynote speakers in the said forum. From the perspective of a German engineer and flood expert, Dr. Klippe cites that flooding has a huge impact on the economy.
Dr. Klippe highlighted that protecting critical infrastructures such as hospitals, universities, factories, and government facilities is imperative. For him, these types of structures should consider having flood solution systems so they can operate, despite hindrances brought by flooding.
“We concentrate on critical infrastructures…To protect everybody, we have to protect infrastructure”.
In addition, Dr. Klippe said that having a vision, not just for the next few years, is important as flooding gets worse every year due to climate change. He claimed that it is always the people who pay for the damages brought by flooding.
“It is important to have a vision for the next 10, 20, 50 years. Even until 2100…At least protect your critical infrastructures first because you will be flooded quite more often. Climate change can bring us more increased typhoons”.
Dr. Klippe also encourages the private sectors to protect themselves, especially business establishments from flooding. He added that the moment the business sectors are flooded, they would either leave the country or shut down their operations.
Dr. Klippe also encourages the government, private sectors and the civilians to not wait for the next flood before they act.
In his ending speech, Dr. Klippe cited a three-way process for water conservation: protect the water, collect the water, and reuse the water.
The forum was attended by other speakers: Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, Department of National Defense – Philippines; Sen. Grace Poe, Senate Public Services Committee Chair; and Dr. Sevillo David Jr., Department of Environment and Natural Services (DENR) Representative.