MMDA warns Metro Manila to submerge if all pumping stations scrapped | Inquirer News

MMDA warns Metro Manila to submerge if all pumping stations scrapped

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 01:56 PM August 09, 2023

MMDA warns that Metro Manila to submerge if all pumping stations are removed

FILE PHOTO: A passenger jeepney get through a flooded portion of E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue in Quezon City like an amphibious vehicle. Photo taken in September 2017 following rains brought by Tropical Depression Maring, which lashed Metro Manila, leaving some areas underwater. Philippine Daily Inquirer/Edwin Bacasmas

MANILA, Philippines — Remove all pumping stations in Metro Manila, and the entire capital region will submerge, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) told senators on Wednesday.

Acting MMDA chairman Romando Artes said this in a Senate hearing after Senator Cynthia Villar questioned his claim that all 71 pumping stations under the agency’s supervision are 100 percent operational.


According to Villar, a pumping station is malfunctioning and blocking a river between Las Piñas and Paranaque cities. She said that instead of pumping water, it is collecting garbage and causing floods in the area.


READ: Flooding on Taft Avenue blamed on unfinished pumping stations near dolomite beach

“Hindi namin malinis ang river dahil nakaharang siya dun tapos pinabayaan din; ang dami-daming informal settler dun sa river. So kini-question ko ‘yang idea na ‘yan ng pumping station kasi marami na ding nagsabi sa amin na sa Metro Manila ang problem ‘yung pumping station ninyo, imbes na i-pump ang water, eh nakukuha ang basura, nagma-malfunction,” she said.

(We couldn’t clean the river because it blocked it, then it’s neglected; there are many informal settlers in the river. So I’m questioning that idea of ​​a pumping station because many people have told us that the problem is your station in Metro Manila. Instead of pumping the water, it’s getting the garbage. It’s malfunctioning.)

“So instead na makatulong, nakakasama pa (So instead of helping, it’s detrimental)…” the senator also said during a joint panel in the Senate hearing investigating the flooding in many parts of the country.

Senator Bong Revilla, who was presiding over the hearing, asked government officials present if there were other solutions to the flooding problem besides using pumping stations.

“Do you think may iba pang solution to handle that baha (Do you think there is another solution to handle that flood)?” Revilla asked.


“Lulubog po ang buong Metro Manila ‘pag inalis po natin lahat ng pumping stations,” Artes answered.

(Metro Manila will submerge if we remove all the pumping stations.)

The acting MMDA chair, however, later informed the panel that they are not operating a pumping station in the Las Piñas-Parañaque River.

“Ano ako, naloloka? Ano ba kayo bakit ayaw ninyong admit-in,” Villar said.

(What am I, crazy? What are you doing, why don’t you want to admit it?)

She later said the pumping station is probably with the MMDA or the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

READ: DPWH, MMDA told to zero in on causes of flooding

“Ano ako, nag i-imagine (What am I, imagining)?” Villar further asked.

Artes clarified his statement, saying he did not accuse the senator of imagining things. He insisted that the MMDA has no pumping station in the Las Piñas-Parañaque River.

Villar nevertheless demanded concerned authorities remove the pumping station in the area.

“Patanggal na ‘yun, ako na lang maglilinis ng river (Remove that, I will just clean the river),” she said.

“Kasi nakaharang siya dun, lalong hindi malinis ang river. Ako ang sinisisi nung mga homeowner na wala daw akong ginagawa para linisin ‘yung river.”

(Because it’s blocking, we cannot clean the river anymore. The homeowners blame me for not doing anything to clean the river.)


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