Flood Expert and German engineer, Dr. Andreas Klippe, talked about engineering solutions against flooding in the 4th Livable Cities Lab on June 30, 2021. This year’s event focused on Rainy Season Readiness.
With Dr. Klippe are four other figures from different sectors of society. They were Mr. Benjamin Abalos, Chairperson of Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA); Dr. Missaka Hettiarachchi, a Senior Fellow of World Wide Fund for Nature; Engr. Emmanuel Estrada, Sr. Vice President, Technology Strategy & Service Integration Globe Telecom; and Atty. Princess Feliciano, representative of Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro. All the speakers gave their insights on preparing for the rainy season.
Protecting Critical Infrastructure
Dr. Andreas Klippe emphasized protecting critical infrastructures through Engineering Solutions. In his talk, he cited garbage, urbanization, and most importantly climate change as reasons for severe flooding. As he listed some of the Philippines’ most destructive Tropical Cyclones, he also presented traditional solutions people used. At this point, he emphasized that these solutions may not be effective, especially with the worsening climate condition. Dr. Klippe specified that it is necessary to shift to technological innovation. Finally, he showed examples of critical infrastructures that were flood-protected with modern technology.
“Everything starts with a flood-protection plan, that is what we highly suggest. Without a good plan, that is of German standard… [we] don’t move.”Dr. Andreas Klippe
Rehabilitation, Disaster Reduction, Community Engagement
Another speaker, MMDA Chairperson Benjamin Abalos, showed different flood management projects in Metro Manila. Some of those are dredging of open waterways, declogging of drainage laterals, desilting of drainage mains and interceptors, fabrication/installation of manholes, rehabilitation of pumping stations, and completion of trash traps design.
“What is important, the ultimate solution here is really the mindset of the people.”Chairperson Benjamin Abalos
Dr. Missaka Hettiarchchi, a Senior Fellow of WWF, said that to reduce flood risk, different methods should be combined. These are non-structural, soft/green structural, and hard/gray structural methods. He also added that the community should be engaged in flood mitigation.
“In this day and age, the risks are uncertain. The fixed views about the 20-year flood, the 50-year flood — those notions actually have flown out of the window with the changes in the climate.”Dr. Missaka Hettiarachchi
Mayor Marcelino Teodoro was not able to attend the webinar but he sent his representative Atty. Princess Feliciano. At the event, she talked about Marikina’s flood mitigation structures and practices. Some of these practices are manual monitoring of the Marikina water level and having a 3-level alarm system. In addition to those are checking the weather forecast and rainfall density, conducting rescue operations, and managing evacuation camps.
“Along with this Marikina River restoration and flood mitigation measures, of course, we need to complement it by our emergency and disaster protocols at all stages: from preparedness, to response, to recovery.”Atty. Princess Feliciano
Lastly, Engr. Emmanuel Estrada talked about preparedness and business continuity by Globe Telecom even in the midst of disaster.
“The network infrastructures are designed to address risks, threats, and vulnerabilities. We are adapting to the environment itself.”Engr. Emmanuel Estrada
Around 300 people, including those from the Local Government Units, attended the Rainy Season Readiness Webinar. Also in the event were Mayor Lani Revilla (Bacoor City), Mayor Nicholas Yulo (Bago City), Mayor Ericson Singson (Candon City), Mayor Jose Chubasco Cardenas (Canlaon City), Mayor Manuel Saladaga (Mahayag Municipality), and Mayor Dello Lood (Sinacaban Municipality). Germany Ambassador to the Philippines Her Excellency Anke Reiffenstuel was also present at the said event.
Liveable Cities Philippines and the League of Cities of the Philippines, in partnership with Globe Telecom, are the organizers of the event.