UNFINISHED drainage systems and ongoing piping rehabilitation of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the two water concessionaires were identified as the culprits behind last Thursday’s floods that crippled several areas in Metro Manila.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino on Friday said that the ongoing road projects prevented rainwater from flowing.
“Walang madaanan ang floodwaters because they are trapped above the ground. Worse, lanes affected by the project under the [DPWH] and water utilities, limited the thoroughfares where motorists could traverse,” Tolentino added.
He said there are at least 100 ongoing drainage improvement and road work projects in cities of Manila, Caloocan, Pasay, Quezon City, Taguig, Pasay, and Las Pinas.
In Manila, there are at least 20 ongoing road re-blocking and drainage improvement projects, particularly in Tayuman, Escolta, Carriedo, Blummentritt, Laon Laan, Abad Santos, among others.
“May mga hindi pa tapos na [There are unfinished] drainage system and road works in UST, in Laong Laan and there are diggings by water concessionaires,” he said.
The MMDA Chief lamented that contractors have started working on the project even before summertime but until now, they are not completed yet.
“The purpose of these drainage improvements is to alleviate the flooding but since they are not yet finished floodwater failed to recede,” he added.
He also blamed the public for disposing their improperly wherein most of them went to pumping stations.
Although all pumping stations were operational, Tolentino said some of them were under capacity due to the garbage that made their way to the pumps’ delicate systems.
“As a result, they simply couldn’t handle the huge volume of floodwaters,” he pointed out.
The agency also blamed the informal settlers that are blocking the waterways, citing that the agency failed clear at least 10 major waterways of garbage.
In the aftermath of Thursday’s flooding, the MMDA conducted declogging operations in various esteros and waterways in Pasay City as part of its Estero Blitz program.
Ritchie A. Horario