MMDA to clean manholes, drainage system to minimize flooding in MM

By on June 16, 2014


A woman wades her way on Imelda avenue circa Sept 2009 in the Philippines. Typhoon Ondoy left hundreds of thousand families displaced and killed hundreds of people. Timothy Medrano / Shutterstock
A woman wades her way on Imelda avenue circa Sept 2009 in the Philippines. Typhoon Ondoy left hundreds of thousand families displaced and killed hundreds of people. Timothy Medrano / Shutterstock

MANILA — To lessen the flood problems in Metro Manila, the Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is now targeting the cleaning of drainage system particularly manholes.

According to Engr. Emma Quiambao, MMDA Flood Control and Sewerage Management Office director, the agency is cleaning up creeks and esteros as part of the “Estero Blitz” campaign, involving declogging and dredging of creeks and drainages in flood-prone areas in Metro Manila.

Quiambao said they will start this week the cleanup of the drainage system where they will open manholes in at least 20 areas in the metropolis.

“We will also declog our drainage system especially the lateral ones, beside the roads. We will also open and clean manholes using cranes and backhoes,” Quiambao told the agency’s weekly radio program.

She said the flooding that was experienced in some parts of Metro Manila last week was due to the clogging of the drainage system.

“If our manholes are blocked with waste materials, definitely we will experience flooding when it rains,” she added.

She, however, noticed that the flood water, especially in España area has subsided fast.

“In España, there was flooding but it subsided fast, it lasted for only 30 minutes,” she added.

Quaimbao also asked the Flood Control Center to deploy flood engineers during heavy rains to keep an eye on manholes.

Because of this, Quiambao said the agency will continue with its estero blitz program by cleaning up esteros, and declogging the drainage system and manholes.

“We will continue the Estero Blitz. We are done cleaning the downstream and now we will clean the upper areas,” she concluded.

Earlier, MMDA admitted that flooding in Metro Manila is inevitable, but can be alleviated.

MMDA chairman Francis Tolentinto said they have finished their Estero Blitz program or dredging of waterways and drainages in Metro Manila.

Among the waterways the agency has finished are Viente Reales creek, Tanigue Creek in Caloocan; Letre Open Canal, Tonsuya, Malabon; Pinagsabugan Creek, Longos, Malabon; Tanque Creek, NIA Road, Quezon City; Mariblo Creek, Barangay Bungad, Quezon City; Concepcion Creek/Bayan Bayanan Outfall, Concepcion Marikina; Hagonoy Retarding Pond/Hagonoy Creek, Hagonoy, Taguig; Sapang Buwaya Creek, San Isidro, Paranaque; Pasong Diablo Creek, Alabang, Muntinlupa; Maricaban Creek, Pasay; Estero Tripa de Gallina, Buendia Avenue to Zobel Roxas, Pasay, and its Malate, Manila side; and Estero De Pandacan in Pandacan, Manila.

The program was one of the mitigating measures the agency conducted before the onset of the rainy season.

Workers have removed thousands of truckloads of garbage from various estuaries in the metropolis. During rainy season, waterways cause immediate flooding because they are clogged with garbage.

Also a factor of flooding is the ongoing drainage improvement projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways all over the metropolis.

“Merong mga flood prone areas na meron pang ginagawang engineering intervention na maaring makaapekto sa pagbaha,” said Tolentino.

Since constructions are still ongoing, Tolentino said portions of thoroughfares have been closed to vehicular traffic, limiting the lanes available for motorists.

Aside from regular declogging of drainage systems, Tolentino said all pumping stations are ready for the rainy season.