Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary and Task Force Build Back Better (TF BBB) Chair Jim O. Sampulna on Wednesday, March 9, handed over to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) the remainder of TF BBB’s Marikina River rehabilitation to ensure its continuity even after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's administration.
Sampulna pointed out that the move will mainstream TF BBB’s gains in the Marikina Restoration Project (MRP) through the DPWH-Unified Project Management Office-Flood Control Management Cluster (DPWH-UPMO-FCMC).
"But the objective of the activity remains the same — to address the issue of perennial flooding in Marikina, Pasig, and Quezon City," Sampulna said, stressing that TF BBB’s gains in its objective for Marikina River are proven by improved conditions in the cities of Marikina and Pasig during intense rains last year.
The transfer allows for the second segment of Phase 2 of TF BBB-Marikina River Dredging Project (TMRDP) to be adopted under Phase 4 of DPWH’s Pasig-Marikina River Channel Improvement Project (DPWH-PMRCIP) in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
TF BBB’s MRP-Phase 1 was completed in July 2021, or five months after it was launched in February, resulting in the widening of the Marikina River by about 9,060 square meters after 41,625 cubic meters were dredged from three sites or "chokepoints" along the Olandez sewage treatment plant, BF City, and SM Marikina riverbanks.
"This broadened the river to 90 to 100 meters and additional depth of two meters," Sampulna said.
Meanwhile, Marikina City Mayor Marcelino "Marcy" Teodoro said TF BBB’s efforts have greatly lessened the anxiety of Marikina residents during heavy rainfall, noting a great improvement in the lessening of floodings have been observed last year, especially in outlying areas along the Marikina River.
He added that the TF BBB has provided local officials with effective models for addressing the flooding problems in Marikina City.
"Binigyan tayo ng magandang template ng TF BBB," Teodoro said, noting that the Marikina City Council has approved a resolution calling for the dredging of Marikina River by administration instead of hiring contractors.
He added that the city government had no dredging equipment before the initiatives of the TF BBB. 
Teodoro said that the city government already purchased new equipment and other dredging materials as a result of the lessons learned from TF BBB’s initiatives in the Marikina River.
TF BBB’s MRP-Phase 2 consisted of two segments covering three barangays in Pasig City, namely Barangay Santolan and Ugong (Segment 1) and Caniogan (Segment 2) .
Sampulna said Segment 1, which started in July 2021, is now almost complete with 30,420 cubic meters already dredged as of Nov. 2, 2021, and has resulted in the widening of the Marikina River on the side of Pasig City by 12,840 square meters. ###