Philippines: Dredging of Manila Waterways Moves Forward

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said it has dredged more than 70 percent of its annual target for waterways in the metropolis as of last month, although it admitted it could have done more if the agency is not hamstrung by budgetary constraint, limited manpower and heavy equipment.

“To date, the agency has completed 70.91 percent of its annual target for Metro Manila’s waterways. Stated otherwise, 39,436 out of a total of 55,608 linear meters of waterways have been declogged,” MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said.

The successfully dredged esteros and waterways include Estero de Kabulusan, North and South Antipolo open canal, Estero dela Reina, Estero de Magdalena, Washington, Pi y Margal, Economia and Estero de Pandacan, all in Manila; the Cutcut Creek and the Roxas Boulevard Canal in Makati City; Maricaban Creek in Taguig City; Marikina River and Buli Creek in Marikina City; peripheral canals in Caloocan City; Tullahan River in Malabon City; Estero Tripa de Gallina, San Juan and E. Rodriguez Avenue in Pasay City; Tangue Creek in Quezon City; Maytubas Creek in Mandaluyong City; and Cutcut creek in Paranaque City.

At the same time, Tolentino said 10,370 linear meters of manholes, canals and drainages in eight areas of Metro Manila — Estero Tripa de Gallina-Buendia, PNR open canal, Espana Boulevard, Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard, Pureza Street in Sta. Mesa, Quirino Avenue, Taft Avenue, San Francisco Street in Mandaluyong and E. Rodriguez — were declogged for an accomplishment rate of 60 percent.

Earlier, Tolentino admitted they could have done more if they have the resources to complement their intensified cleanup and dredging operations.

For 2011, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has proposed a P980-million budget for the agency, short of the P1.5-billion it originally requested.

Tolentino said they would offset this through a strengthened cooperation with the private sector such as the recent signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the MMDA and San Miguel Corporation (SMC), in which the later would fund the cleanup of the 15-kilometer Tullahan River, and other government agencies such as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The official said he has already talked to DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson to identify projects and infrastructure development which they can collaborate on.

The MMDA is also crafting an integrated Metro Manila flood control plan dubbed “Metro Manila Blueprint 2030” because the existing one was crafted around 1952. He said he expects the draft to be finished by mid-November this year.

The comprehensive plan will include plans for Metro Manila and nearby areas about flood control, flood management, and urban renewal, among others.

Tolentino said new pumping stations will be constructed and additional pumps will be installed to increase the Metro Manila’s capacity to drain floodwaters.

The MMDA is currently operating some 50 major and minor pumping stations in the metropolis.

Among the MMDA’s other proposals are the upgrading of existing drainage systems and the widening and dredging of rivers to their desired depth and width.

“We cannot avoid floods. Accept that as a reality, just like we can’t avoid traffic,” he said. “But we can reduce floods, and the consequences,” the MMDA chief said.

(positivenewsmedia)

Source: positivenewsmedia, October 4, 2010;

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