UP Resilience Institute – NOAH Center Attends the Public Consultation of QCDMP’s Stormwater Harvesting Detention Basin Project

The University of the Philippines Resilience Institute (UP RI) – Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) Center, represented by Dr. Mahar Lagmay and Dr. Harold Aquino, conducted a public consultation regarding the proposed Stormwater Harvesting Detention Basin Project in Quezon City. The consultation was organized by the QCDRRMO, QC Engineering Department, and Office of the City Administrator. The public consultation was held on May 18, 2023, at the Main Building, City Hall Compound, Quezon City, and was attended by Homeowners Association members and representatives (HoA), Barangay officials, District Action Officers, and other stakeholders. The objective of the meeting and technical discussion with the stakeholders is to help in the information dissemination of the benefits of the proposed project as there were some barangay officials and residents that have reservations about the said detention basin project.

Some of the representatives of the stakeholders, QC TWG members, and UP RI representatives

The proposed stormwater harvesting detention basins that will be built under pre-existing basketball courts and parks of selected barangays of QC are part of the recommendations from the Quezon City Drainage Master Plan (QCDMP) Project. The QCDMP aims to provide solutions to the existing flooding concerns of the city and can serve as a long-term framework for flood management projects.

The construction of detention basins will enable the city to have temporary storage of surface runoff during peak flood events. The stored flood water will gradually be drained to a main drainage network after the rainfall event. With this, a reduction in the peak flood levels is expected in the area and downstream of it.

Dr. Lagmay explaining the city’s goals in having the stormwater harvesting detention basins

ACA Alberto Kimpo from the Office of the City Administrator opened the program and welcomed the participants of the public consultation. He presented some examples of similar detention basins used abroad and shared what Mayor Belmonte just recently visited. He also reiterated to the stakeholders that this project will be of great help in mitigating the effects of flooding in the city, especially in the barangays in low-lying areas.

ACA Alberto ‘Bebot’ Kimpo welcoming the homeowners’ associations, barangay officials, District Action Officers, and all the stakeholders for the public consultation

Dr. Aquino, the Structural Engineer for the QCDMP Project further explained the benefits of having the detention basins placed in strategic locations to avoid the rapid accumulation of flood and surface water in the barangays downstream, especially during rainy seasons. Since one of the concerns of the stakeholders was the space for the basketball court will be used, he clarified that after the construction of the detention basin facility, the basketball court will be built again to where it initially stands.

Dr. Aquino expounding on the benefits of having the detention basins

Dr. Lagmay, Executive Director of UP RI and Team Leader for the project, explained the process of how the flood models and other spatial data were used in formulating the detention basin project. He also thanked the QC local government for giving UP RI the opportunity to be part of the city’s first detention basin project. He mentioned that the stakeholders should put their full support into this initiative.

Dr. Lagmay explaining the importance of the understanding the effects of flooding

Ms. Delmendo, one of the Supervising Science Research Specialists of UP RI and part of the Project Manage Team of the QCDMP, explained how the ten possible locations of the detention basins were identified. She mentioned the flood modeling process that would determine the holding capacity of the basin. She also advised how the elevation of the barangay and its proximity to a waterway were considered.

Ms. Delmendo explaining the process of how the locations of the 10 detention basins were selected

Some members of the homeowners’ associations, Barangay officials, and District Action Officers aired their concern about giving up their basketball courts for the detention basin project and offered other QC-owned open spaces like parking lots and parks as alternatives. The UPRI team advised that there were available data for some of those open spaces but will need more time to determine the capacity to hold the water. Further meetings with QC’s Technical Working Group (TWG) will be set for these possible alternatives.

Some of the stakeholders airing their concerns

Atty. Mark Dale Perral of the QC Engineering Department also assured that the local government of QC will be with all the stakeholders for any legal concerns brought by the implementation of the project especially during the construction of the facilities.

Atty. Mark Dale Perral giving the stakeholders the assurance of QC’s assistance in legal matters

The meeting concluded with ACA Alberto Kimpo urging the members of the homeowners’ associations, Barangay officials, and District Action Officers to continue their support of this QC initiative. As residents and stakeholders of the city, the collective participation of barangay officials and residents will help achieve the targets and goals of the Drainage Master Plan.

The other representatives from UP Resilience Institute (UP RI) who attended the public consultation were Engr. Vince Simbajon, the research associate for the project’s Flood Management Expert, Dr. Aldrich Castillo, Mr. Dino Evangelista, Mr. Glenn Sabio, and Engr. Genarro Pascual, all from the Flood Modelling Component.