THE entire Metro Manila will be submerged in flood if its drainage laterals would not be upgraded, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) warned on Wednesday.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino admitted that Metro Manila’s drainage laterals are already old and need to be upgraded.
“Ang ating [Our] drainage laterals ay matanda na at kung may magbara rito, tiyak na lulubog sa baha ang buong [are already old and if there is clogging], Metro Manila [will be submerged in flood],” Tolentino said in a radio interview.
He said that the current drainage system in Metro Manila is composed of 580 kilometers (kms) of open waterway, 89kms of drainage laterals and 58.97kms of drainage mains and interceptors.
Because of this, the MMDA said that it is very important that the drainage system must be upgraded and maintained.
“Our drainage system is of 15 to 60 inches in diameter, it is already 35 years old. Tinayo ito noong hindi pa masikip ang [It was built when] Metro Manila [was not crowded],” he added.
According to Tolentino, Metro Manila’s waterways, drainage and lateral systems are clogged because of dumping of garbage, and that clogging is one major cause of floods.
Meanwhile, MMDA deployed some members of its Rescue Battalion in flood prone areas in metropolis in anticipation of widespread flooding caused by heavy rain.
The MMDA personnel are tasked to assist stranded motorists and commuters and to man the traffic during flooding.