DELUGED with criticisms over last week’s severe floods, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will sit down together to discuss solutions to the worsening problem.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino on Sunday said that he already ordered
Noemie Recio, director of the MMDA’s traffic engineering center, to meet with DPWH officials this week.
Tolentino maintained that the unfinished drainage systems and ongoing piping rehabilitation of the DPWH contributed to the flooding in Metro Manila.
“Maraming project ang DPWH na nasimulan na at dapat nang tapusin agad lalo na ngayong tag-ulan [The DPWH has so many unfinished projects that should be rushed especially this rainy season],” Tolentino said over the agency’s weekly radio program.
He cited that the DPWH has 100 ongoing drainage improvement and road work projects in the cities of Manila, Caloocan, Pasay, Quezon City, Taguig, Pasay and Las Piñas.
In Manila alone, Tolentino said, there are at least 20 ongoing road re-blocking and drainage improvement projects, particularly in Tayuman, Escolta, Carriedo, Blummentritt, Laon Laan and Abad Santos, among others.
The DPWH turned the table on the MMDA by claiming that the unfinished road projects of the agency were caused by the MMDA’s slow issuance of permits.
At the same time, Tolentino said that the agency will be deploying more traffic personnel during the rainy season not only to man the roads but to provide assistance to motorists and commuters.
“The MMDA battalion will be deployed in graveyard shift from Monday to Friday to help the public during heavy rain,” he added.
Meanwhile, a total of 334 truckloads of garbage were removed by MMDA personnel as part of the agency’s Estero Blitz campaign to declog waterways, especially esteros and creeks in the metropolis.
MMDA Flood Control and Sewerage Management Office Director Engineer Emma Quiambao said that piles of garbage were removed during the two-week campaign that began on May 28.
She also noticed that some establishments are also dumping untreated wastewater directly from their kitchen into the drainage system.
The official said this was particularly true from the stretch of Taft Avenue to Padre Faura in Manila where they found out that several restaurants were dumping untreated wastewater, including used oil and grease to the drainage system.
For his part, MMDA Assistant General Manager for Operation Atty. Emerson Carlos said this is a violation of existing regulations which mandates that food establishments, car wash, vulcanizing and repair shops must install “grease traps” to prevent used oil and other chemicals from flowing into the drainage system as they eventually hardened up and prevent the flow of water.
Carlos said they must also treat their wastewater before dumping it into the drainage system.