AFTER rejecting the government’s proposal to dig a massive catch basin for flood waters under the Open Field, UST plans to build its own catch basin in a different location on campus.

The “flood catcher,” to be dug under Osmeña Drive between the Parade Ground and Benavides Park, was designed by professor Peter Lim, former dean of the Faculty of Engineering.

In an exclusive interview with the Varsitarian, newly re-elected Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. said that with the planned 10-meter deep basin, the campus should be able to withstand two hours of continuous rain. Water will be pumped out afterwards.

“We have approved the plan at the level of Economic Council. What we are talking about here is everyday rain. We noticed that the water inside the campus could not get out,” Fr. Dagohoy said.

The earlier proposal of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to dig a catch basin under the Open Field, to drain floodwaters from Quezon City and Sampaloc area toward Manila Bay, was opposed by the University due to security concerns and possible disruption of classes and other University activities.

Moreover, the Open Field was declared a National Cultural Treasure along with other structures inside the campus in 2010.

No formal proposal

Fr. Dagohoy also said the government did not make a formal proposal, and the DPWH did not submit any scientific study.

“It was just a letter given by the district DPWH supervisor addressed to Fr. Roux during the time of former rector Fr. Roland de la Rosa,” Dagohoy said.

In a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer on July 29, 2015, DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson said the 3.3-kilometer long catchment project to be constructed from Blumentritt to Tondo might be “the solution” to lessen flooding in Quezon City and Sampaloc, Manila.


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