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Chiz orders mid-year review of DPWH, MMDA flood control projects

Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero on Thursday said his committee will conduct a mid-year review of the status of flood control projects implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as monsoon rains flooded parts of Metro Manila in the past days.

Escudero said the Senate committee on finance, which he chairs, will ensure that the DPWH is not underspending its approved budget of P42.2 billion for flood management services this year, a bulk of which will be spent for Metro Manila roads.

According to the senator, the DPWH underspent by P303 billion or 13 percent of its total allocation in 2014.

"Kaya gusto nating tanungin ang DPWH kung ilang porsyento na ba ng 1,295 projects nationwide para sa taong ito ang nasimulan, natapos na or drawing pa lang," Escudero said.

Among the items in the DPWH's flood control budget for 2015 are DPWH-North Manila Engineering District's allocation of P1.26 billion; P680 million for its Las Pinas-Muntinlupa District Engineering Office; P1.37 billion for its two engineering districts in Quezon City; P460 million for its Malabon-Navotas district office; and P1.6 billion for its National Capital Region's First District Office.

Together with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Escudero said the government promised to ease flooding in low-lying areas in Metro Manila, where around 4,570 hectares are flood-prone.

He said the MMDA received a P2.19-billion subsidy from the national government to work on its promise of reducing floods in the metro by 10 percent.

This is on top of the P276-million allocation the agency has received for flood control and sewerage management services.

But Escudero himself admitted the national government's funds for such projects are lacking.

"I am of the position that the national government's subsidy to MMDA, insofar as flood control is concerned, should be increased... Hindi lang trabaho ng MMDA 'yan, pero ng pambansang pamahalaan din," he said.

Parts of Metro Manila experienced flooding on Thursday due to monsoon rains enhanced by Typhoon Falcon. —Kathrina Charmaine Alvarez/KBK, GMA News