THE flash floods that inundated and caused heavy traffic on several Metro Manila streets on Thursday could be attributed to the government’s unfinished drainage and major road projects, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino on Friday said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has yet to complete 39 drainage projects across the metropolis.
“Instead of the water going to the drainage, they go to the street because drainages have been cut off,” Tolentino said.
Ironically, he said these drainage projects were designed to help prevent floods and further hasten the receding time of floodwater.
“There are drainages that are disconnected. Our estimate is that the 39 projects being repaired are equivalent to 75 kilometers of drainage,” said Tolentino.
Besides the drainage projects, he said, the government’s ongoing infrastructure projects also contributed to heavy traffic in the metropolis.
Among those infrastructure projects were the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Elevated Expressway; the Citra Skyway 3 Project; repairs and upgrading of the Magallanes Interchange in Makati City; the Dario Bridge and the Regalado Bridge; road improvement along España Boulevard in Manila; reblocking in Baclaran, among others.
“What happened was the roads being used by motorists became limited because of these projects so there was heavy traffic,” he added.
With all the ongoing projects, Tolentino said Metro Manila residents should expect more flashfloods during heavy downpours.
The sudden heavy downpour on Thursday afternoon caused flashfloods in some parts of Metro Manila that snarled traffic flow for hours.
The areas that reportedly experienced heavy flooding last Thursday include the vicinity of World Trade Center in Pasay, North Avenue in Quezon City and Buendia-San Lorenzo in Makati.
In the coming days, Tolentino said, flood control teams will be immediately deployed to the areas hit by the flashfloods.
He also said he revised the deployment of traffic enforcers. Apart from enforcers assigned to morning and afternoon shifts, 200 men will be transferred to night shifts.