MMDA: Laguna de Bay dredging overdue

Ghio Ong - The Philippine Star
MMDA: Laguna de Bay dredging overdue
“The lake’s carrying capacity is shallow… due to the sediment,” he said in a dzBB interview.
Philippine Star / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — Dredging the Laguna de Bay so it would be able to hold more water during the rainy season is “overdue,” acting Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Romando Artes said yesterday.

“The lake’s carrying capacity is shallow… due to the sediment,” he said in a dzBB interview.

Artes said “it is about time to desilt Laguna de Bay.”

If the lake overflows, the floodwater in Taguig and Muntinlupa could take months to subside, Artes said.

While a floodgate has been built to pump out excess water from flooded areas in Taguig to Laguna de Bay, Artes said the floodgate becomes useless when water overflows from the lake due to heavy rains.

There was a proposal to “build a channel so excess water from Laguna de Bay could exit to Manila Bay,” he added.

Meanwhile, Artes assured the public that all 71 pumping stations in the metropolis managed by the agency are “operational,” with 36 of them being “upgraded.”

The Department of Public Works and Highways would also build new pumping stations particularly at flood-prone areas, including three near Taft Avenue and two near España Boulevard in Manila, and four near Araneta Avenue in Quezon City, he said.

Artes said that the MMDA and the 17 local government units of Metro Manila are discussing the formulation of a “drainage master plan,” which aims to modify specifications for drainage systems to hold floodwater for at least the next 30 years.

The project would be funded by the World Bank, he added.

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