MMDA: Metro Manila ready for 'Mawar'

MMDA: Metro Manila ready for 'Mawar'
In this February 7, 2023 photo, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority resue personnel with the Philippine response team conducts a readiness inspection in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City in preparation for deployment to help search and rescue operations in Turkiye.
The STAR / Jesse Bustos

MANILA, Philippines — Local government units are preparing for heavy rain and strong winds from Super Typhoon 'Mawar', which is forecast to enter the Philippine weather monitoring area over the weekend.

According to Don Artes, acting chair of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, disaster response units will monitor "areas that are usually flooded even with regular rain, and also along the esteros." Among the areas that are prone to flooding are Marikina and parts of Quezon City and Mandaluyong, he said.

MMDA, which is head of the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, will also be monitoring potential flooding in the cities of Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela.

He said that LGUs have already identified hazard areas in their jurisdictions and have been told to prepare their residents to evacuate to safer ground if needed. 

The MMDA is also preparing its rescue boats in case of flooding and military trucks and ambulances will also be standing by.

Artes said the MMDA will have open lines of communication — over the phone, online and through backup radios — with local governments and will be ready to send teams to help if needed. He said LGUs are also ready to respond to emergencies outsode their jurisdictions.

He said that work to unclog esteros and canals to help reduce flooding continues and will be done with workers hired under the labor department's Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers emergency employment program. LGUs in Metro Manila have been allocated funding for 300 TUPAD beneficiaries each for the unclogging operations.

The government is also still working on relocating informal settler families living along esteros to government housing, he said.

He said that while the capital's disaster risk reduction and management council has contingency plans for before, during and after the super typhoon hits, "what we are really looking at is deploying to help out places outside Metro Manila."

He said that LGUs in the capital region "are already prepared, equipped and trained" and might be needed for operations in areas in the regions that do not have the same resources.

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