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DPWH solves stalled antiflood project in Manila

MANILA, Philippines–Good news for residents affected by the delay in the completion of the P560-million antiflooding project in Blumentritt, Manila.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and utility firm Maynilad Water Services Inc. have finally found an “engineering solution” to the problem that has prevented work from proceeding on the flood interceptor project—a water pipe that lies directly in its path.

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The positive development was announced over the weekend by Public Works Undersecretary for Technical Services Raul Asis who said “both sides have agreed on a viable engineering option.”

“The flood interceptor box project of the DPWH-National Capital Region will maintain a straight alignment. On the other hand, the Maynilad pipe which lies directly in the path of the box culvert (at the intersection of Juan Luna and Hermosa Streets) will have to be realigned by going under it,” he told the Inquirer.

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The Maynilad pipe has a diameter of 1.2 meters while the DPWH facility is 3.3 kilometers long, 6 meters wide and 3 meters deep.

“No less than DPWH-National Capital Region Director Reynaldo Tagudando reported this positive development to (Public Works and Highways) Secretary Rogelio Singson last July 3,” Asis said.

Singson earlier expressed concern over the delay in the flood-control project which started in July last year. It was supposed to be completed within 300 days, but work has bogged down due to right-of-way issues and the water pipe.

Once finished, the facility will serve as a catch basin for floodwater from Quezon City, directing its flow to Sunog Apog Creek in Tondo and then out to Manila Bay.

Singson has pushed for the project’s completion by December this year. However, of its five segments, only one has been finished by the private contractor hired by the DPWH to work on the project.

When contacted, Cherubim Mojica, chief of Maynilad’s corporate communications office, said she was “not authorized to make any further comments until we have completed our technical reviews.”

Earlier, she told the Inquirer that the pipe’s realignment was one of the options they were considering.

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Meanwhile, Asis denied reports that the Blumentritt project had been causing both serious traffic and flooding problems in the area, saying these were to be expected during the implementation of infrastructure projects.

“We’re definitely doing something about these and other problems they’re supposedly causing and working for the early completion of projects, including those intended for flood control,” he said.

At the same time, he urged some sectors to “stop blaming the DPWH for all sorts of project-related problems.”

Residents in the area earlier complained that the project site lacked safety signs and guardrails, making them fear for their children’s safety.

They added that with the start of the rainy season, the diggings were often filled with floodwater, turning the area into a breeding site for mosquitoes.

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TAGS: antiflood project, Blumentritt, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Manila, Maynilad Water Services, Philippines - Regions
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