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DPWH: Manila Bay drainage project 'partly' causing floods to be finished by September

The unfinished drainage system project at the Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach which “partly” caused floods would be finished by September, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said Tuesday.

“Ang programa namin dito actually is actually baka makumpuni namin lahat ito by middle of September or latest end of September,” DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan said in a radio interview.

(Our program here is actually to fix all these by middle of September or the latest end of September.)

Quoting their personnel in the National Capital Region (NCR), Bonoan said the project has yet to be completed because of the additional requirement from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

“Itong tatlong pumping stations na sinasabi natin kailangan po i-enhance 'yung capacity ng mga bomba diyan kasi nag-require ang DENR na i-extend 'yung mga pipes going to Manila Bay para hindi madumihan ang dolomite beach,” he said.

(The capacity of the pumps in these three pumping stations need to be enhanced because the DENR required that the pipes going to Manila Bay be extended so the dolomite beach would not be polluted.)

DENR’s requirement is to extend the drainage pipes up to 300 meters, according to Bonoan.

Because the pumps are still under repair, Bonoan said that only “gravity” moves the water in the pumping stations.

“Partly po,” he said when asked if the unfinished project caused the recent floods in some Manila areas.

Bonoan said that a sewage treatment plant should also be established so that the drainage water that will go to the Manila Bay would be cleaner in accordance with a Supreme Court mandamus.

According to him, the pumping stations near the dolomite beach were constructed as a tripartite activity of the DPWH, DENR, and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

He said the MMDA is responsible for the internal drainage in the NCR and the DPWH is only a support.

On Tuesday, the MMDA pointed to an unfinished project as the cause of flooding in some of Manila's roads amid heavy rains recently.

Parts of Metro Manila got flooded last week due to rains from the Southwest Monsoon (Habagat).

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Tuesday clarified it is not the Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach but the unfinished drainage systems project in the area that caused flooding in several streets in Manila amid heavy rains.

MMDA acting General Manager Baltazar Melgar said that dolomite beach had “no connection” to the floods last week.

“The reason why flood water subsided slowly during heavy rains last Friday was the ongoing construction of three pumping stations and a pipeline by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) which is expected to be completed by October," Melgar said. —KG/NB, GMA News