The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) have been sniping at each other recently, with each blaming the other for the delayed public works project all over Metro Manila that have exacerbated the perennial flooding problem of the metropolis.
There is no question that the unfinished road works, especially the drainage projects underneath, were a big factor in the recent floods that came after barely an hour or two of hard rains.
What is so worrisome is that the flooding came at the onset of the rainy season, and no typhoons have hit yet. Two recent tropical depressions merely skimmed the Philippines in recent days, far from the National Capital Region, yet the floods came just the same.
When the government was asked which agency was handling the situation, the MMDA and the DPWH pointed accusing fingers at each other.
The MMDA said the DPWH had been remiss in that it failed to ensure that the private contractors handling the road works complete their work on time.
For its part, the DPWH blamed the Authority’s bureaucracy for its slow pace of processing the documents needed by the contractors before they can proceed with their work.
This is what happens when two government agencies march to different drummers. They are out of sync with each other. As a result, it is the public that suffers.
The heads of the two agencies—MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino and Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson—should see to it that the managers and employees under them strive to work as a team and as efficiently as possible.
The MMDA and the DPWH should not play the blame game, nor should they engage in a pissing contest to try and impress the President, or the people that they are doing a better job than the other.
At the end of the day, the residents of the metropolis only want one thing: No more floods. And if the floods can’t be avoided, then at least a guarantee that the waters recede quickly.
This, Messrs. Tolentino and Singson, is not too much to ask.
Get your act together, gents. Please.