Clogged drainage systems delay flood pumping operations — MMDA

Marje Pelayo   •   June 25, 2019   •   1811

MANILA, Philippines – It’s not yet typhoon season in the country but the prevailing rain showers and thunderstorms are already inundating most parts of Metro Manila, congesting traffic and affecting the riding public.

Personnel of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) have been busy in de-clogging drainage systems such as a retarding pond along Quezon Avenue in Quezon City.

But according to the MMDA, flooding has already become a normal scenario in most parts of Metro Manila and there is no way to stop it.

“Hindi na po kasi namin maipapangako na hindi babahain ang Metro Manila. Ang Metro Manila (ay) napakababa ng sea level natin,” explained MMDA Spokesperson and ASec. Celine Pialago.

(We cannot promise at this point that flood will be prevented in Metro Manila because Metro Manila’s sea level is low.)

“Ang kaya na lang naming gawin at iyon ang sinisikap namin, pabilisin po ang paghupa dahil tuwing may pagbaha, may pagbigat sa daloy ng trapiko, may congestion, pinagdudusahan po natin ito,” she added.

(What we can do is to try hastening the drainage of flood water because every time there is flooding, the traffic flow gets heavier then congestion follows which burdens us all.)

What concerns the MMDA most is improper waste disposal that results in the clogging of drainage which leads to severe flooding in Metro Manila.

This is why the MMDA has started de-clogging operations to clean up wastes from tributaries ahead of the typhoon season.

“Kapag napupuno ng mga basura ‘yung mga esteros natin, nagbabaha sa Metro Manila, pina-pump natin ‘ang tubig,” Pialago said.

(When esteros are filled with waste materials they cause floods in Metro Manila. What we do is, we pump out the floodwater.)

“Worst case, nasisira ang ating pumping stations (so) nagkakaroon ng delay sa operations,” she added.

(Worst case is that our pumping stations end up broken which delays our operations.)

According to barangay officials in Binondo, they regularly clean up waste materials from Estero de Magdalena every Saturday.

However, after some time they once again saw a pile of garbage in the supposedly cleaned estero.

The Pasig River Rehabilitation Center noted that up to 300,000 kilograms of garbage materials are being collected from the river every year coming from about 270 families which they need to relocate.

Some families have volunteered to leave the place but ended up returning because it is closer to their sources of livelihood.

Some of them travel on a weekly basis.

“Walang hanap-buhay doon sa Cavite (There’s no employment in Cavite),” said Ester Galarosa whose family has been relocated in Cavite.

She said she returns to Manila to vend.

“Bumabalik talaga kami para naman kahit paano makaraos man lang sa pagkain namin araw-araw (We return (to the city) to support our needs, so we could look for food to eat),” explained Fredo Peñano, also relocated in Cavite.

The MMDA assured that they regularly do de-clogging operations in different parts of Metro Manila in order to fast track the pumping of floodwater and prevent inconveniences. – (with details from Harlene Delgado)

DILG: No LGU in Metro Manila is 100% compliant with road clearing order

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 17, 2019

None of the Metro Manila local government units has reached 100 percent compliance with the road clearing order, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

In a statement, the DILG said they still have not identified which of the LGUs are fully compliant with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to clear all public roads.

“We have not made any determination on which LGUs are fully compliant,” according to DILG Spokesman Jonathan Malaya.

Malaya also said an LGU needs to be fully compliant with the following before it can be declared as obstruction-free:

  • Enact or revisit ordinances related to road clearing and banning of illegal construction
  • Prepare an inventory of roads within their jurisdiction
  • Develop and implement displacement strategies
  • Cause and rehabilitation of recovered public roads

He also added that the DILG will validate the data from the LGUs regarding their status in the road clearing directive.—AAC (with reports from Mon Jocson)

Mass transport highway, express bus lane: proposed to solve EDSA traffic

Maris Federez   •   September 16, 2019

A lawmaker in the Lower House has proposed to dedicate an express bus lane, while another suggested reserving certain hours for mass transportations only along EDSA to solve the perennial traffic in Metro Manila’s major thoroughfare.

According to the data of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the average vehicular volume on EDSA is more than 400,000 every day and it is expected to increase further by 15 to 20% these BER-months.

House Committee on Transportation chairman Edgar Sarmiento suggested dedicating the innermost lane of EDSA as an express bus lane for those who will ride the MRT.

Three lanes will be allocated to private vehicles, while the outer lane will be for passenger buses that will stop in designated loading and unloading areas only.

These buses will be allowed to queue in for pick up and drop off of Metro Manila-bound passengers at the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange and the Valenzuela Gateway Complex Terminal.

Sarmiento said this scheme will prevent bus drivers from over-speeding and from overstaying in loading and unloading areas and cause traffic congestion.

“We propose this to eradicate the kanya-kanya system of the buses wherein they compete with each other creating chaos through overtaking, overspeeding, and overstaying,” Sarmiento said.

Meanwhile, Caloocan representative Edgar Erice has proposed the dedication of mass transport highway which aimed at giving priorities to public commuters.

Under his proposal, private vehicles will be off-limit along EDSA on certain hours every day.

“Dapat yung limang lanes ng EDSA from 6 to 9am at 6 to 9pm dedicated lang sa mga public utility vehicles [The five lanes on EDSA shall be dedicated only to public utility vehicles from 6:00 to 9:00am and at 6:00 to 9:00pm],” he stated.

With the 6-to-9-scheme, private car owners will have the option to use alternative roads, leave the house earlier than usual, take the bus, or take EDSA only after 9 o’clock.

The MMDA said it welcomes the said proposals.

“Ito yung pro commuter talaga; para sa mga ordinaryo nating mamamayan na mas mapabilis yung byahe nila. Ngayon, pagdating sa private may mga alternatibo naman sabi nga ni Cong Erice [This is really pro-commuter; for the ordinary people to have faster travel experience. Now, when it comes to private (car owners), there are alternatives as what Cong. Erice said],” according to MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia.

These suggestions, as well as the others, will go thru the MMDA’s engineering team for further study and screening for the selection of the feasible solutions for EDSA traffic.

The selected suggestions will be submitted to the Metro Manila Council meeting in October. (from the report of Vincent Arboleda) /mbmf

LIST: Weekend road repairs, reblocking in Metro Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   September 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Several roads in Metro Manila will be closed to motorists starting Friday night to give way to the scheduled weekend road repairs and reblocking, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced.

In an advisory, the MMDA said repair works on the following roads will begin at 11 p.m. (Sept. 13) until 5 a.m. (Sept. 16):

SOUTHBOUND:

  • EDSA-Bansalangin to North Avenue (U-turn), 5th lane from sidewalk
  • EDSA-Magallanes-Baclaran Bus Stop to Magallanes-Alabang Bus Stop
  • C-5 Road near Market Market Mall
  • C-5 Road in front of Palar Village in Taguig City

EASTBOUND:

  • Quirino Highway-Salvia Street to before Belfast Road (outer lane)
  • Elliptical Road after Maharlika Street (8th lane from outer sidewalk)

WESTBOUND

  • General Luis Street-Rebisco Road to SB Road


NORTHBOUND:

  • Bonifacio Ave. near Selecta Drive (1st lane from sidewalk)
  • Batasan/ San Mateo Rd. in front of Petron (1st lane from center island)
  • EDSA Main Ave. to before P. Tuazon tunnel (1st lane from the sidewalk)
  • Katipunan Avenue/C-5 Road after CP Garcia St. (truck lane)

Affected motorists are advised to avoid the said areas and use alternate routes instead.

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