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MMDA’s Edsa traffic warning irks DPWH exec

Saying “there is such a thing as interagency courtesy,” a ranking public works official on Wednesday wondered why the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) seemed to heap the blame on his department for the capital’s daily traffic jams.

Melvin Navarro, director of the Department of Public Works and Highways’ National Capital Region office (DPWH-NCR), took issue with MMDA Traffic Engineering head Neomie Recio’s announcement earlier this week that the DPWH may start a flood control project on Edsa next month which could worsen traffic on the busy thoroughfare.

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“They’re making it appear [that] DPWH road projects are to blame for the traffic problems,” Navarro told the Inquirer. “To think [that] the MMDA has not even approved this flood control project which has been pending with them since March last year.”

All road projects in Metro Manila must be approved first by the MMDA before these can be implemented.

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Navarro lamented that instead of talking about the advantages of government road projects and the partnership between the two agencies in the implementation of development programs, “they’re (MMDA) engaging in ‘laglagan’ (letting another person take the blame for something).”

“It’s so unfair,” he stressed.

Reached for comment, Recio said that she never blamed the DPWH for heavy traffic on Edsa. She clarified that she just wanted to warn motorists to brace themselves for more bottlenecks once the department starts the drainage improvement project on a portion of the highway next month.

“We put the project on hold because we wanted their engineers to mark the site first so that we will see the portion that will be affected,” Recio said, adding the MMDA wanted it implemented in such a way that it would not worsen vehicular flow in the area.

She also pointed out that she had a recent meeting with the DPWH, where she asked one of its engineers to properly mark the work site. Until now, the request has not been acted upon, she noted.

The DPWH, he said, had presented a timetable for the project although it did not detail the scope of work for the duration of the program.

The MMDA official earlier announced that the DPWH may start working next month on the drainage improvement project on the northbound lane of Edsa, affecting the stretch between White Plains and Mega Q-Mart in Quezon City. With a report from Maricar B. Brizuela

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TAGS: Edsa traffic, Metro, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, news
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