The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has asserted that the flood control projects the Commission on Audit (COA) cited as delayed in 2021 have been substantially completed this year.
MMDA Flood Control and Sewerage Management Office (FCSMO) chief Baltazar Melgar said the programmed 59 flood control projects last year were not completed or left unfinished due to several factors.
These reasons, according to Melgar, included the delayed procurement process due to the COVID-19 pandemic; late or pending issuance of clearances from local government units and other concerned government offices; right-of-way issues; relocation of informal settler families; change in order due to additional items/realignment of activities based on current situation/conditions on site upon implementation; and restrictions on worker and equipment mobility brought by the pandemic, among others.
Melgar said the COA-reported “projects are only minor ones like pipe-laying, drainage and riverbank improvements, and rehabilitation of waterways leading to agency-operated pumping stations.” Joel E. Zurbano
“These flood mitigating projects are operational and serviceable this year. Now that we are slowly returning to normal following measures and restrictions to curb COVID-19, we are reassessing and recalibrating our processes to ensure timely completion of our flood control projects.”
This rainy season, Melgar said, all pumping stations of the agency are working at full capacity, with the necessary power and fuel in place. The agency operates 77 pumping stations in strategic locations in Metro Manila.
Also, flood-mitigation activities aimed at declogging and cleaning up waterways such as creeks and esteros are conducted all-year-round with the aim of maximizing the conveyance capacity of open waterways and prevent flooding.
Melgar is currently the officer-in-charge (OIC) of MMDA being its most senior highest-ranking career official.