Lawmaker slams MMDA over flash floods
- Aurea Calica () - May 9, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Francis Escudero scored the Metro Manila Development Authority yesterday for failing to address the recurring problem of flash floods in Metro Manila due to clogged drainages.

“Metro Manila was not even one of the areas being directly affected by typhoon “Emong” but flash floods still hit some of the cities. I ask the MMDA, can we expect more floods come the rainy season?” he said.

Areas in Marikina, Malabon and Quezon City were heavily flooded due to continuous rains and clogged drainage systems and esteros last Thursday.

MMDA flood control management service chief Baltazar Melgar said yesterday the agency’s 40 pumping stations are “fully operational and in good condition so we expect that we can easily handle floods.”

“No more serious flooding will occur except, of course, in… areas that are below sea level,” he added.

Melgar said they have been doing year-round flood control projects to keep Metro Manila’s drainage systems garbage-free.

Escudero, however, said the MMDA, which received nearly P500 million as its total anti-flood budget for 2009, should publicly disclose what it was doing with the funds intended for flood control.

Of this amount, he said some P221 million was allocated for the maintenance, repair and rehabilitation of drainage systems and related facilities.

“The problem of flooding has affected the way of life in Metro Manila and has now become predictable. This shouldn’t be so. It seems that year after year, it doesn’t seem to improve, and in fact seems to be actually deteriorating,” he said.

Escudero said the MMDA only seemed to focus on things visible to the public under its “Metro Guwapo” program, such as clearing sidewalks and putting mini-gardens along EDSA, then the flooding problem could be eased considerably.

“If the MMDA can spend millions in solving the traffic problem by building elevated U-turn slots along C-5, which many derisively call the ninth and tenth wonders of the world, then how come we don’t feel it is spending the same amount of money and effort for flood control?” he said. – With Mike Frialde

BALTAZAR MELGAR FRANCIS ESCUDERO MALABON AND QUEZON CITY MANILA MELGAR METRO GUWAPO METRO MANILA METRO MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY WITH MIKE FRIALDE
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