Boracay flash flood shows more time needed for rehab

Some roads in Boracay have been submerged in floods due to the effects of Tropical Storm Falcon. | Philstar.com photos by Tonette Zoning

by Nestor Burgos Jr

THE inter-agency task force managing the rehabilitation of Boracay Island appealed to tourists and residents on Wednesday, July 17,  to give the rehabilitation more time after flash floods brought by heavy pour hit the island on Tuesday, July 16.

“We are appealing to tourists … until the middle of next year, our situation will be like this and we may face some flooding,” Natividad Bernardino, general manager of the Boracay Interagency Rehabilitation Management Group, said in a press conference broadcasted by livestream from the island.

Natividad said the task force could only implement “mitigating” measures to address the flooding on Boracay due to unfinished drainage and other projects.

“The rehabilitation of the drainage system is ongoing and while the construction is ongoing, we will implement the mitigating measures,” she told the INQUIRER in a telephone interview.

These include putting up pumps and temporary outfalls drainage canals, especially in low-lying and flood-prone areas, to flush flood water into the sea so that the water will recede faster.

“Let is just help each other,” Natividad said in the press conference.

The flash floods triggered an outcry from residents, who posted on social media photographs of residents and tourists wading in flood.

They also decried what they perceived as the slow pace of the rehabilitation projects even after the island was closed to tourists for six months from April 26 to October 25, 2018, for rehabilitation. 

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