MMDA urged to fast-track flood-control measures

MMDA urged to fast-track flood-control measures

MANILA, Philippines — Quezon City First District Rep. Juan Carlos “Arjo” Atayde urged the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to expedite efforts to prevent catastrophic flooding in the metropolis.

At the same time, Atayde expressed his gratitude to the MMDA for its plans to upgrade and add more pumping stations in Metro Manila, particularly in the flood-prone Tatalon area along Araneta Avenue in Quezon City.

“That area is very vulnerable to flooding, and in some cases it only takes a few hours of intense rains to make it impassable to vehicles,” Atayde stressed in a recent privilege speech in Congress.

“Let’s not wait for another Ondoy flooding tragedy to happen again in the Metro Manila,” he added, referring to the 2009 flood disaster caused by Typhoon Ondoy, which dumped heavy rains that affected 872,097 people and caused over 200 deaths in the National Capital Region.

Responding to the congressman’s concern regarding the implementation and improvement of flood-control measures before the onset of the rainy season, the MMDA immediately buckled down to work last Wednesday.

Atayde then praised the MMDA for its immediate response in addressing heavy flooding in Metro Manila.

Meanwhile, he also encouraged the agency to “continue working on identifying more flooded areas so that they can put in place flood mitigation measures before the wet season starts and typhoons bring about extraordinary rainfall.”

In the same privilege speech, Atayde likewise urged the government to designate a "flooding czar" and fast-track flood control projects in NCR, particularly in Quezon City.

The neophyte lawmaker said he was prompted to deliver a privilege speech focused on flooding in response to concerns raised by constituents and barangay officials in several areas, as well as in other parts of his district.

Atayde proposed the DPWH to allocate P40 million to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of constructing retarding ponds in malls, basketball courts, playgrounds, parks, and other open spaces, as well as box culverts under Metro Manila roads; relocating informal settlers where retarding ponds will be constructed; constructing high-rise walls and pumping stations at the San Juan River; and assessing the master plan for flood control of Metro Manila and surrounding areas.

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