TO HELP PREVENT FLOODING WITH THE onset of the rainy season, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Tuesday called on Metro mayors to relocate informal settlers living on riverbanks and clear waterways of garbage.
“We are all public servants and should therefore work hand in hand for the protection and common good of the people,” MMDA Chair Oscar Inocentes said in a statement.
At the same time, he asked local officials to monitor developments in their area and to strictly implement the law.
Inocentes made the appeal after he received complaints about flooding in some areas in Parañaque and Quezon City due to heavy rains which hit the metropolis over the weekend.
“I have received several complaints through text messages regarding incidents of flooding this past weekend. I have instructed concerned agency officials to look into the problem and work on it to avoid a recurrence,” he said.
Among the areas where flooding was reported were Sucat Road, right in front of Casino Filipino, and near the Trinoma-MRT North Edsa station in Quezon City.
Baltazar Melgar, head of the MMDA Flood Control Management Service, said the flooded area on Sucat Road was near Ibayo Creek where 150 families have built shanties.
“One of the perennial causes of flood is the garbage being dumped into the waterways. We really need to clear high-risk areas such as creeks and riverbanks of informal settlers to address this problem,” Melgar said.
The MMDA has been eyeing the relocation of families living near the creek for months. Notices were even issued to affected residents and concerned agencies although the clearing operations were delayed because of the recent elections, Melgar said.
Inocentes, however, said that the MMDA was bent on implementing the relocation.
“We will coordinate with the city government of Parañaque and the National Housing Authority on this matter so that we can push through with the operations without any more delay or hindrances,” he added.
Meanwhile, leftover debris like gravel and sand which clogged the drainage system in front of Trinoma were to blame for flooding in the area.
Melgar said a private contractor who repaired a portion of the road failed to clear it of debris after the completion of the project.
In addition, the Quezon City engineering department did not conduct an inspection to make sure that the work crew would remove leftover construction materials from the area, he added.