FOR THE third time in less than three weeks, the St. Raymund’s building was flooded due to heavy monsoon rains, causing the suspension of classes last July 22 at the Faculty of Arts and Letters (AB) and the College of Commerce, two of the University’s biggest colleges.

As a result, students and faculty members have complained about the loss of class hours. Two weeks before, the building was flooded twice, resulting in the suspension of classes.

Some students and faculty members have said that the constant flooding is surprising, considering the expensive cementing last summer of Quezon Road, the street in front of St. Raymund’s, was supposed to have renovated the drainage as well.

According to Antonio Espejo, Buildings and Grounds assistant superintendent, the flooding was caused by clogged waterways along Dapitan St, which prevented the floodwater in the University’s drainage to flow out.

Espejo also said UST’s multi-million open-drainage system eased the water flow inside the University.

Last summer, the University reconstructed its drainage system in preparation for the rainy season.

However, it was not only flood waters which waterlogged St. Raymund’s building last July 22, but comfort-room effluent as well.

According to AB faculty secretary Lino Baron, the water sprung from the comfort rooms in the first floor.

“The water probably came from the men’s room. So ang nangyari dito, the drainage system may have been clogged and caused the water from the comfort rooms to overflow,” Baron said.

Baron added that the “dike” in the first floor lobby of the AB building aggravated the flooding and caused the water to be trapped inside.

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“The ‘mega dike’ is not really that sufficient because nakulong yung tubig sa loob, which affected the classrooms in the first floor,” Baron said.

Baron also said that the suspension of classes was a decision of the College of Commerce dean and the AB regent to prevent accidents.

Prior to the school year 2000-2001, stair–like dikes were constructed in the building’s main entrance and two other gates to prevent flood waters from entering.

Meanwhile, the Manila City government still has no immediate plans of solving the flood problems in the España-Sampaloc area, where the University is located.

In a telephone interview, Manila assistant city engineer Armando Andres told the Varsitarian the problem is mainly caused by the low ground level of España Blvrd.

Andres also said that squatters in the Sampaloc area add to the flood problem.

However, Andres said long-term projects like the repair of the city’s drainage system are undertaken to solve the problem.

“Ginagawa ngayon ang (drainage sa) intersection ng España-Blumentritt at pag natapos iyon tiyak na magiging malaking tulong iyon sa pagkawala ng baha,” he said.

Moreover, Manila’s drainage system is being unclogged daily to help the water subside quickly every time there is flooding. Andres added that reconstruction and elevation of roads are also being planned for the next year. Ma. Cristina S. Lavapie

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