Flooding on Taft Avenue blamed on unfinished pumping stations near dolomite beach
MANILA, Philippines — The recent flooding in portions of Taft Avenue due to the southwest monsoon was caused in part by the unfinished pumping stations near the Manila Bay dolomite beach, said the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Tuesday.
In a phone interview with INQUIRER.net, MMDA Flood Control director Baltazar Melgar said that three of the main drainage outposts — the Faura and Remedios drainage systems, and the Estero de San Antonio Abad — have been closed due to repairs being conducted by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The three drainage systems are responsible for leading the floodwaters to Manila Bay.
“Sa ngayon hindi pa tapos ‘yan, so mabagal ang pagsubside ng tubig baha,” said Melgar.
Currently, the flood water is being caught by the Estero de Balete before running down to Pasig River, he said.
“So medyo mabagal magsubside ang tubig-baha. ‘Yung travel time malayo, so nagkaroon ng medyo mabagal na pagsubside,” he explained.
Melgar further clarified that the Manila Bay dolomite beach has nothing to do with the repairs which he said were required by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) so that the discharged water from the pumping station that is being repaired by the DPWH will not pollute the Manila Bay.
DPWH Sec. Manuel Bonoan, in an interview over Teleradyo, claimed that the unfinished pumping station is partly the cause of the flooding in Taft Avenue and Roxas Boulevard.
“Kasi po ‘yung mga bomba dito meron pa kasi STP (sewage treatment plant) na dapat gagawin eh para mafilter po ‘yung run of water coming from the internal drainage sa Roxas Boulevard para ‘yung itatapon sa Manila Bay na tubig ay malinis na rin po,” said Bonoan.
(Because the pumps here still have an STP that must be built to filter the run of water coming from the internal drainage on Roxas Boulevard so that the water that will be dumped into Manila Bay will be clean.)
“Hindi ho pwedeng dirediretso ‘yung tubig na itapon agad, in accordance with the mandamus ng Supreme Court na dapat hindi mapollute ang Manila Bay,” he added.
(The water cannot be directly disposed of immediately, in accordance with the mandamus of the Supreme Court that Manila Bay should not be polluted.)
Bonoan was referring to the high court’s writ of continuing mandamus in 2008, directing 13 government agencies to clean up, rehabilitate and eventually preserve Manila Bay.
According to Bonoan, the repair of the pumping station project near the dolomite beach is a tripartite activity among the DPWH, the MMDA, and the DENR.
“‘Yung tatlong pumping station po na sinasabi natin kailangan po ienhance ‘yung capacity ng mga bomba diyan kasi nagrequire ang DENR na iextend ang mga pipes going to Manila Bay para hindi marumihan ang dolomite beach,” said Bonoan.
(The three pumping stations near dolomite beach need to have enhanced pump capacity because the DENR required us to extend the pipes going to Manila Bay so that the dolomite beach will not be polluted.)
“Ang requirement po nila is we have to extend ‘yung mga pipes to 300 meters, malayo na po dapat ‘yung dapat tapunan ng tubig galing dito sa Roxas Boulevard papunta sa Manila Bay,” he added.
(Their requirement is that we have to extend the pipes to 300 meters, it must be a long way from where the water needs to be dumped from here on Roxas Boulevard to Manila Bay.)
Bonoan said that they expect the repairs and the additional development to be completed by mid- to late September.
When asked why it took so long for these measures to be done, Bonoan cited budgetary constraints, particularly after the DENR added new technical requirements like the sewage treatment plants, and the 300 meter long pipelines.
“Naghanap po muna kami ng pondo para sa pagkumpuni ng pumping station (we first had to look for funds to repair the pumping station)” he said.
Bonoan said that once the pumping stations are finished, the run of floodwater in Roxas Boulevard and Manila Bay will be able to be dumped farther away in the Manila Bay.
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