Reasons Why We Flood

Why we flood?

Environmental Planner, Arch. Armando Alli shares his insights on why we flood.

In his facebook post, the Architect mentioned two main reasons we why flood especially in Metro Manila.

Here is what he wrote:


Two (2) other key reasons as to why we flood i.e. aside from the Metro Manila Area (MMA) being a large floodplain, high tide situations seaside, excessive rainfall, denuded elevated areas at upland side, and our antiquated and clogged i.e. poorly maintained drainage systems are :


Too much paving around buildings/ dwellings prevent surface water percolation (water seeping into the soil to help recharge aquifers and in a way, the percolated water helps retard soil subsidence and saltwater intrusion); the very same over-paving does not retard surface water flow and instead accelerates the transfer of storm/ rain/ drainage water to clogged drainage systems and/or onto the heavily concreted roads that then act as large surface canals that bring such collected storm/rain/drain water to lower elevations at a very fast clip (resulting in flash-floods or even inundation, and therefore misery and extensive damage to properties and health/ well-being of the populace); and


There are limits on what can be built on a property and these have all been set in laws such as P.D. No. 1096 (the 1977 National Building Code of the Philippines/ NBCP), P.D. No. 957, B.P. Blg. 220, R.A. No. 7279.

LGU zoning ordinances (ZOs) and their respective regulation streams e.g. IRRs, guidelines, standards, procedural manuals, department administrative orders (DAOs), memorandum circulars (MCs), etc., and in a plethora of other recent executive issuances, including the 2015 DPWH Design Guidelines, Criteria & Standards (DGCS, particularly Volume 6 on Buildings and Other Related Structures), the 2015 DPWH PH Green Building Code (PGBC), the 2000 Architectural Code, etc.;

YET, both the private sector (particularly building designers) and the supposed regulators in Government think that most of these are mere suggestions (and since we are apparently a soft state, they expect no punishment for their act/ non-action relating to required compliances).

In the 2004 Revised IRR of the NBCP alone, percentage of site occupancy (PSO), setbacks, percentages of impervious surfaces (i.e. those that prevent water percolation), and the like have already all been set in great detail; yet, we see illegal construction such as firewalls, yard and road right-of-way (RROW) encroachments, lack of open spaces, illegally-reclaimed legal easements, etc., all with pavement, by the way, more as the rule rather than an exception, with the sole reason being that the regulators have NOT done their jobs (although of course, there are permitted exceptions in cases of extreme hardship of lot owners to comply, a matter also determined by the regulator).

Both the DPWH and its deputized LGU (local) building officials and the DILG and its LGU officials (including municipal/ city engineers who are unable to protect the mandated legal easements along waterways that have been illegally reclaimed, thus narrowing these drainage-ways), share a large part of the blame for the perennial flooding, especially at low-lying areas.

Over-building and over-paving have been regulated since mid-2005 when 2004 Revised IRR of P.D. No. 1096, the 1977 NBCP was promulgated by the DPWH i.e. the first time that the regulation of both physical planning (macro-micro) concerns and building design (micro) concerns have been integrated into a single rule book.

Unfortunately, its implementation and enforcement have been weak at a most critical period (2005 to date).

We are now reaping the results of that weakness over the nearly 1.5 decades when development and construction nationwide were already at an all-time high. Thanks.

——— side note —— end of the post

With that said, I think there is a lot of things we need to overhaul in our system here.

Social Enterprise with A Twist!

Looking for ideas to boost your social enterprise?

Before we go down to the nitty-gritty of this article, I would like you to know that this post is based on my travel to Bangkok, Thailand.

While networking with other researchers, I was also interested in knowing the people and customs in Thailand.

Fortunately, I had this experience in an expo.

social enterprise
Craft for Change: A social enterprise expo in Bangkok. Thailand

As a social scientist and environmental planner, I am interested in discovering social innovations.

It is inspiring to see people making a change in the community.

When I was in Thailand, I was able to witness an exhibit about a social enterprise making a social impact.

Watch this video to learn what is social enterprise.

The social enterprise creates an impact on the beneficiaries and also to the environment.

This is nice to know because many of the things today are harmful to our environment.

What I learned from the exhibit is that they feature original handmade products.

When I say handmade, its means handmade!

They do not use any machines in making the products. Notice the photo below.

social enterprise handmade product


Yes, it can be tedious but this is social entrepreneurship with a twist.

Unlike with many social enterprises, they utilize people to craft their products with the use of just hands.

These products used materials which are environment-friendly.

Not only that they have a purpose of creating it. The proceeds help community organization to raise funds and help their members.

This is the essence of the social enterprise.

Below is a sample product I bought to support the cause of social entrepreneurs.

social enterprise for cause
With the seller of handmade products dedicated for the oldies.


The beneficiaries of the organization are the old people.

While helping people, they also help the environment.

Such an inspiring move.

If all only many organization are like this, then we would have to live a sustainable life.

What do you think about this social enterprise?

Share your comments below.

Assessment of Water User Fee For Improved Water Supply

Researchers from NwSSU conducts a survey of the possibility of coming up with a water user fee.

Its purpose is to improve the water supply in the Calbayog City.

This is possible through the protection of the Calbayog Pan-as Hayiban Protected Landscape (CPHPL).

The premise was there is occasional insufficient water supply in the city. According to the local residents, there is a low water supply early in the morning. If you are in an elevated area, water seldom is unavailable during peak hours from 5:30 am to 7 am.

Also, previous researchers show unsustainable farming practices like slash and burn farming in CPHPL.

Slash and burn and other land-use practices affect water supply.

Thus, conducting a survey for the protection of watershed areas is necessary. To do this it needs an approach called payment for the ecosystem or environmental services.

So, the team asked the lowland water users if they are willing to pay for sustainable water supply. Likewise, if farmers are willing to shift their farming practices to a sustainable one.

After six months, the team finished the valuation study in Calbayog City. This was through the funding of the DENR Region 8 and with the help of provincial ENR in Catbalogan.

The team conducted a random survey of 700 households from lowland water users. Meanwhile, about 300 upland farmers living in the watershed protected area.

For the lowland water users, there are only 412 who responded to the interview. Others were busy and they are not present in their houses during the field survey.

From the results, there are only a few people who knew about the main source of the raw water which is the CPHPL.

Some perceived that raw water is from Ton-ok falls.

Over half (56.3%) of the respondents perceived that it is from the water district.

A little over half (51.8%) of the lowland water users have an alternative water source.

These are from water vendors, deep wells, and a little 13 % are using rainwater harvesting facility.

The real question in the study is, “ are you willing to pay for an extra amount for the protection of the CPHPL?”

Only 46.6 % are willing to pay for this. 53.4% are not willing to pay.

One reason was that they cannot afford to pay any extra amount for what they are currently paying. A majority (81.9%) did not feel the effect of insufficient water supply.

Here is a summary of the willingness to pay vis-a-vis their awareness about the CPHPL. This tells us that if they are aware of the watershed, they are willing to pay for the protection.

water user fee for watershed protection



For upland farmers, there were 350 farmer respondents out of 2, 820 households (as of 2014 , CPHPL Manual).

The study shows that majority of them were willing to accept compensation for land use change. Their willingness to accept is due to shifting cultivation and slash and burn.

But, there are few lowland water users who are willing to pay for the watershed protection. Meanwhile, the majority of farmers are willing to accept this compensation. Thus, in this case, the possibility of payment for ecosystem services is not workable.

Yet, with the governments’ funds, watershed protection is still a good thing to pursue. But, this would also entail other water users will share the cost of protection (e.g. NIA, Electric Cooperatives and Water Districts).

Even so, the cost or value of watershed protection is as follows.

Please see table below.


These values are the people’s perception of the value of watershed. It appears that lowland water users have low perceived value over the upland water users.

This is because upland farmers got their daily living in watershed protected areas. But, lowland water users were not able to link watershed provisioning services (e. g. water) of CPHPL to themselves.

As such, there should be an environmental awareness campaign about the watershed.  Failure to do so will decrease the willingness to pay over not willing to pay for ecosystem services.

How about you?

Are you willing to pay for watershed protection for improved water supply?

0 Vote
0 Vote

SAD Free Community: A fight against smoking, alcohol and drugs

Are you a victim of smoking, alcohol, and drugs in your community?

Do you want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Do you have a family member, relative suffering from the effects of smoking, alcoholism and drug abuse?

This is your chance to be part of our advocacy in the future.

For the first time in the City of Calbayog, a group of health advocates encourages people to a SAD free community.

According to the lead campaign organizer, this is a historic event because no other group has been doing this in the city.


Its been a while since I have not participated in a cause-oriented event. This time I just joined a Walk for a Cause organized by Adventist Hospital Calbayog. The advocacy is to have a SAD free community.

Despite the bad weather, there are still people with an unwavering faith who joined the activity. It was participated by young, old and children alike who share a common goal to a SAD Free Community.

What is SAD Free Community?

S is for Smoking

We all know that smoking kills! So, smoking is one of the habits that should be eliminated in the lifestyle of a person.

There are several health effects that a person may acquire from smoking. For example, coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times,  stroke by 2 to 4 times, of men developing lung cancer by 25 times.

Smoking Can Damage Every Part of the Body.
Learn more about smoking effects here.

A is for Alcohol

Alcohol has many effects on our body. I don’t need to name it here one by one. Just read the 23 effects of alcohol in our body here.

Or learn the various effects of alcohol to your body by looking to

an infographic from the team at Addiction Blog

Adverse effects of alcohol (INFOGRAPHIC)Adverse effects of alcohol (INFOGRAPHIC)
D is for Drugs

Dangerous drugs are a no-no. But why are still many people are addicted to it? It not just causes mental health problems but also relationship problems.

Why SAD free community?

Many are struggling to quit smoking, and others have suffered from alcohol and drug abuse. The Adventist Hospital Calbayog being a prime promoter of good health through God’s healing hands encourages people to stop these unhealthful habits.

The AHC brings good news to the people through walking 7 kilometers from the hospital and around the city to spread the deadly effects of SAD to the people and making a change. It does not matter if it rains or shines.

As long as there are people willing to accept the invitation to eliminate SAD in their life, it’s already an accomplished mission.

Information about SAD FREE community effect is given through printouts and pamphlets.

Look even at a very young age, this child participates in the walk for a cause for a SAD free community wearing a raincoat.


How to participate in the SAD free community advocacy?

  1.  Simply visit their facebook page.
  2. Promote SAD free lifestyle.
  3. Join the Walk for a Cause for SAD Free Community

It’s that simple.

Join our SAD free community outreach program.

A message from the campaign organizer.

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. 3 John 1:2,NIV

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Vaccination Crisis: The Truth About Vaccine and Why You Should Avoid it.

Vaccination Crisis Foretold!

vaccine vials
Image courtesy of punsayaporn at


Are we really having a vaccination crisis here?

Pardon me, and don’t get me wrong with this article.

It is my intention to write this article to share with you about an old warning.

Sorry to scare you.

By the way, this is not just about reminding you of the issues we faced today, but also a review of a book that I read.

The reason for giving this book review is to open our mind and judge by ourselves if it is really a fulfillment of prophecy or a mere conspiracy.


Because there are isolated cases in our hometown that young children and even the senior citizens died after having immunized of pneumonia. Of course, there are other reasons for their death, and not just about the vaccines.

(This information is based on word of mouth in our town which I have heard from my mother and sister).

Could this be the beginning of vaccination crisis?

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at

Recently, reports in TV spread the news about Dengvaxia where many children were affected and hospitalized because of the vaccine. In the news, the Garin and Sanofi representatives were sued for the damages that was caused by Dengvaxia over to the suspected death of a child.

To quote;

The Public Attorney’s Office said it sued Garin and Sanofi representatives for damages after its own forensic examination found that a 10-year-old child, who had no history of dengue, died within a week of receiving the vaccine. ABS-CBN News

There were more than 830,000 children that were immunized with Dengvaxia as part of the government’s dengue immunization program. GMA News

How sad.

I cannot keep silent about these issues now especially that I have read about “The Vaccination Crisis.

Many critics, government officials, and experts are saying not to scare people about it.

Well, I say, it’s better to know something than nothing!

In the Bible, it says,

my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6, NIV

With this pressing issue, let me just say about a book which is very important to read.

The Vaccination Crisis

vaccination crisis ferrelVaccination Crisis was written by Vance Ferrel and published by Harvestimes Books in 2004. You can download a copy from Amazon or buy it in there publishing store.

Of course, every one has its own opinion. You can therefore read it for yourself and decide whether if it is true or not.

Well, everything is personal, but don’t take this personal. I gave a review to whatever type of book that I feel like its worth sharing.

So, here is my honest review of Vaccination Crisis.

First, the book author shares facts which I presumed is based on his own research. It is hard to cite and mention names and organization that causes this big health problems in our society.

And do you know that these multinational organizations are helping in one way or another to improve the lives of the people are the ones mainstreaming the mass vaccine immunization?

It’s ironic!

In this book, there are stunning evidences about vaccination crisis and the author manages to collate all the details from these important sources.

For me, if we try to accuse a person of doing something wrong (e.g. stealing,) we should have evidences, facts, etc. And this book has laid out all its evidences why should we avoid vaccination.

What could be the impact of vaccination crisis in our lives and to our loved ones?

boy vaccinated
Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at

In my opinion, vaccination can be considered to what other people may call it “depopulation theory” if there such a theory.

Well, I don’t believe it.

However, the author mentions many types of vaccines that are dangerous to humans. Chapter 1 was a good start to teach us about the danger of smallpox vaccine and why vaccination is dangerous.

To quote how dangerous smallpox vaccine is.

If you scratch where the fresh vaccine pox is and put it into your eye, you can transfer smallpox to the eye. And if some of the fluid from it touches another person, he may contract the disease. If you get “progressive vaccinia,” your immune system is compromised; the virus continues to grow, and is often the cause of death.

The good thing about this book is that it also contains information the signs and symptoms of smallpox and its possible natural remedy.

Other vaccines that are mentioned in the book includes anthrax, childhood vaccines like measles, tetanus, polio, mumps, influenza, and german measles.

Why vaccines are dangerous?

vaccinia virus
Image courtesy of interphasesolution at

The author also mentioned the origin of vaccines and what really makes it dangerous.

This makes me decide not to be vaccinated.


Here is the reason I got from the book.




According to a November 1969 National Health Federation report, a study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) disclosed that people who have been vaccinated for measles have a 14 times greater chance of contracting the disease than those who were not vaccinated. A 1985 study by the U.S. government noted that 80% of “non-preventable” cases of measles occurred in people who had been vaccinated (20th Immunization Conference Proceedings, May 6-9, 1985, p. 21).

Now, you decide!

A personal testimony.

My mother asked and permitted local health workers to immunized her with pneumonia. After that she already had an occurrence of pneumonia but prior vaccination she never experienced such disease.

One of our neighbor also had the same experience. Worse is that, others really died after vaccination.

This is the same story with the quote above which I will reiterate here:

The Public Attorney’s Office said it sued Garin and Sanofi representatives for damages after its own forensic examination found that a 10-year-old child, who had no history of dengue, died within a week of receiving the vaccine. ABS-CBN News

In the book, despite the claim of World Health Organization (WHO) that proper diet is the best way cure and avoid to deadly and infectious diseases, still they are intending to promote mass immunization campaigns.

What on earth did I just say?


So, please read the book Vaccination Crisis to learn more.

The author is cautious about giving his personal advice why should we avoid vaccines in these latter days. There are case studies and stories in the book that will blow your mind.

Sorry for the term, but I like to call it that way.

After reading the book, I immediately told my parents and siblings not to take part in the mass immunization campaign our local village administered by local health workers.

Now, going back.

The Philippine Vaccination Crisis

vaccination crisis syringe
Image courtesy of tiverylucky at

The Philippines had just been stirred because of Dengvaxia.

Are these things a mere coincidence of the book Vaccination Crisis?

Although, its not the same vaccines that is found in the book, but it is perfectly clear to me that if ever there is a campaign for immunization of whatsoever, I dare not to be a part of it.

For me, I would agree to the author that we need to change our lifestyle.

Its time to go back to the original diet that our Creator has given us.

Its true. We cannot avoid illnesses today, but I still believe that prevention is better than cure.

So, instead of vaccination, why not prevention?

Read and download this book Stay Green, Stay Healthy now for free!

Have something to say?

Feel free to comment down.