in the last stop of an ocular inspection of Laguna Lake as chair of
the Senate Committee on Climate Change, moved for more government and
private sector support for the thousands of residents of this locality
still submerged in floodwater due to the abnormal rise in the water
level at the Laguna Lake from Typhoon Ondoy.
Loren said that while weeks had already passed since Ondoy hit Metro
Manila hard last Sept. 26 and 27, the residents of Lupang Arenda are
still grappling to have some normalcy in their day-to-day life as they
wade through chest-deep flood or make do with makeshift boats in
trying to eke out a living.
"I am afraid for our brothers and sisters in Lupang Arenda and for
those in other areas that are still flooded due to typhoons Ondoy and
Pepeng. Their conditions are deplorable, made more so by the
water-borne diseases they face" said Loren, whose committee had
already held two hearings on the devastations caused by Ondoy and
With Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) chair Ed Manda, Loren
conducted an ocular inspection of the lake, whose water level at the
height of Typhoon Ondoy reached an unprecedented high of 13.81 meters
from its normal level of 12.5 meters.
Prior to Ondoy, the lake's normal level of 12.5 meters which prior to
Ondoy was last breached in 1978 at 13.58 meters and in 1919 at 14.62
meters, also during typhoons.
Loren and Manda kicked off the ocular inspection at the Guadalupe
station of the river ferry system.
Loren said that as the LLDA had repeatedly warned that Lupang Arenda
is permanently at risk to flooding every time there's an abnormal rise
and the slow recession of water at Laguna Lake, the government and the
residents must agree on a permanent relocation site.
She cited statements by experts that another super-typhoon could bring
the water level at the lake at its all-time high of 14.62 meters with
unimaginable consequences to nearby low-lying areas and also to areas
which had never experienced flooding before.
The public information office of the LLDA had said that a total of
100,000 households in Lupang Arenda, Cainta and Pasig had been
displaced due to the abnormal rise in the water level of Laguna Lake.
Lupang Arenda residents had opposed their relocation, telling the LLDA
that they have been paying fees to the National Housing Authority for
a permit to stay in the reclaimed area.
Loren said that since the Laguna Lake can only hold a little more than
two billion liters of water, its water-holding capacity must be
improved by cleaning up the lake of garbage, by not allowing fish pens
destroyed by Ondoy to be built anew and by addressing the siltation.
As the catch basin for floodwater that course through the various
river systems, Loren said Laguna Lake's water-holding capacity must be
the subject of thorough studies by action, on which the government can
initiate actions that would address the problem.