MMDA chief, quick response personnel to move to flood-prone España
MANILA, Philippines — If ever España Boulevard in Manila is under water, the chair of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) would be the first to know.
MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino said on Monday he and other MMDA employees would soon transfer to a new office right in front of the campus of the University of Sto. Tomas ideally to be “closer to flood-prone areas.”
“So we are near to those who need us. We can see the flooding taking place and the response time would be shorter,” Tolentino told reporters during his inspection of the third floor of a three-story private building which serves as a dormitory.
The rooms on the third floor will be occupied by the officials and members of different MMDA units handling rescue, CCTV monitoring, flood control and traffic.
The MMDA chief will take the room overlooking the España Boulevard and UST’s main gate.
Tolentino also ordered rescue trucks and heavy equipment deployed at the office on España Boulevard, which he called the MMDA monitoring center.
He said 8 percent of the agency’s personnel have been ordered to move with him into the new office.
Tolentino admitted that there has been delay in the deployment of their personnel coming from the agency’s headquarters on Orense Street in Makati City.
“Now, we are closer to areas below-sea level. We can easily help Manila where there are ongoing 26 drainage projects of the DPWH,” Tolentino said.
The MMDA chief said he would still keep his office at the MMDA headquarters but stay at his new one at least half of the day.
The UST and the España Boulevard are known for being flood-prone during heavy rains.
There were instances when flash floods forced students at the University of Santo Tomas to spend the night in their classrooms until the waters subsided the next day.