BULAKAN—The San Miguel Aerocity Inc., (SMAI) proponent of the P740-Billion worth New Manila International Airport will focus on drainage enhancement works, widening and water channel improvements to address flooding which is among the major impacts of the project based on their Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) submitted to the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Region 3 office.
The EMB Region 3 office on Monday conducted an online public hearing and consultation on the submitted EIS for the project and attended by the proponent SMAI officials, Bulacan officials and environmental groups.
On the 55 pages EIS of the company, a copy of which is posted on the social media account of the EMB Region 3, flooding and coastal flooding were presented as two of the major impacts of the projects in a 2,500 hectare property in this town covering three villages of Taliptip, Bambang and Bagumbayan.
“The project will have a significant impact in the geomorphology of the area. The backfill will raise the elevation of the land. From 0 to 1 m it will be raised to at least 3-5m to minimize flood inundation. This in effect will decrease the floodplain area where water could pass through during flood. The backfilled area would act as barrier and delay the time for the floodwaters to reach the sea. The reclaimed land would act as barrier and delay the time for the floodwaters to reach the sea”.
“Rainfall and river gauges can be used as part of non-structural measures for early warning system. Since flood cross political boundaries, the flood management approach should consider the overall watershed management plan. Different agencies and LGUs concerned should be consulted to align the mitigating measures with long-term plans. The existing drainage system should be improved. There should be a properly designed drainage network that is sufficient to channel the flood to the sea. To lessen this negative impact, the natural drainage system around the project area should be enhanced”.
“The existing channels should be widened and restored to its original conditions prior to the development of fishponds. Old topographic maps could be consulted to determine the original configurations. Additional channel network should be built to facilitate movement of water from the rivers into the sea. Rainfall and river gauges can be used as part of non- structural measures for early warning system. Since flood cross political boundaries, the flood management approach should consider the overall watershed management plan”
“Different agencies and LGUs concerned should be consulted to align the mitigating measures with long- term plans. The existing drainage system should be improved. There should be a properly designed drainage network that is sufficient to channel the flood to the sea”.
SMAI also presented other impacts on land, air, people, water such as hazardous and solid wastes generation, ground shaking, liquefaction, mass wasting, ground subsidence, settlement, volcanic hazard, erosion.
Job and income opportunities for the people and higher revenues for the government is also among the other impact
Officials and residents are zealous on the construction of the project in this old capital of the province as they expressed their all out support during the said public hearing.
Gov. Daniel Fernando said the project will bring tremendous progress and development to the town, the province and its people and will certainly alleviate the status of living of the residents.
Fernando said Bulacan is poised to become a global destination for tourism with the construction of the airport.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) — Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Region 3 office conducted the zoom public hearing and attended by local leaders, residents, fisher folks and other groups to review the submitted Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project submitted by proponent San Miguel Aerocity Inc.
The project New Manila International Airport covers the coastal villages of Taliptip, Bambang and Bagumbayan in this town.
“The public Consultation/ Public Hearing is being conducted in connection with the review of the EIS of the aforementioned project by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) R3 of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)”.
Mayor Vergel Meneses said Bulakan is very fortunate to have a strategic location that is fit for a modern airport that will address congestion problems that has affected many air travelers at the country’s current gateways.
“I strongly support the project, together with the municipal board and the whole of our people and municipality. We are eager for the project to commence immediately because of the countless good opportunities it will bring to our town, our people and the whole Bulacan province as well,” the mayor added.
He highlighted that Bulakan took into careful consideration the economic development, job opportunities, and new businesses that the airport project will bring. The town’s council passed a resolution October last year supporting the undertakings of San Miguel Aerocity Inc. for the said project.
Taliptip Barangay Captain Michael Ramos said that San Miguel has shown its commitment and support to his barangay, particularly the relocated residents, even prior to construction. He added that even prior to construction, residents have already been provided skills training and livelihood opportunities.
A total of 364 beneficiaries benefited from SMC’s cash assistance. The company gave 277 owners of non-concrete houses or shanties were given P250,000 each, while owners of concrete houses were given the appraised value of their homes, multiplied by two, plus P100,000. Cash assistance was also provided to 87 others who were disqualified, for a total of 364 beneficiaries.
Under a partnership between San Miguel Corporation and the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) partnership, a total of 58 former Taliptip coastal residents were able to complete training in different courses geared towards employment during airport construction and full operations, and to open businesses that will cater to the airport and the surrounding communities.
A group of former Sitio Kinse residents have established a community store selling Purefoods and Magnolia products under the company’s community reselling program. SMC provided the capital and the initial inventory of products to qualified relocatees, who are now forming groups and cooperatives.