Dutch envoy says flood control must be free from politics
CITY OF MALOLOS — The Netherlands ambassador to the Philippines, Marion Derckx, last week said proposed flood and disaster management projects being prepared for the coastal communities of Bulacan and Pampanga provinces should be insulated from politics.
The Dutch government is in talks with the National Economic and Development Authority in helping address flooding in these provinces, Derckx said in a meeting with members of the Alyansa ng mga Baybaying Bayan ng Bulacan at Pampanga (ABBBP).
She was invited by the Malolos government to discuss her country’s disaster management policies.
“We have an agency [in the Netherlands] that is independent from politics and politicians. It has a separate national budget and the only job of the people there is to keep us all safe,” she said.
But it was a different matter here, Derckx said. “Every three years, new people are elected, causing for realities needed to be addressed properly to become more complex,” she told the ABBBP members.
According to Derckx, flood management plans should have continuity regardless of who gets elected after three years.
ABBBP is an alliance of local officials from the Bulacan towns of Bulakan, Hagonoy, Paombong and Calumpit, and the City of
Malolos, and the Pampanga towns of Masantol and Macabebe.
It was formed to unify their respective flood control projects and to enforce the Manila Bay Sustainable Development Master Plan.
Derckx said: “It is now a challenge to all concerned … to gather and discuss what to do. There should be unity in planning, action, funding, infrastructure, maintenance for the coming 100 years and not just within the immediate years to come.”
“We love and hate water. We need water but it [brings] us destruction, we have to think of ways on how to deal with water during flooding and the dry season,” she added. —Carmela Reyes-Estrope
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