MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has placed the blame on garbage found in waterways in the breakdown of its pumps, which makes it difficult to control rising floodwaters in Metro Manila during the rainy season.
MMDA said around 51 of the agency's pumping stations are filled with garbage collected from rivers and estuaries.
In Estero Tripa de Galina in Manila, MMDA put up a trash screen to prevent garbage from going straight to the pumping station.
However, this is not always effective as trash still manages to reach the pumps.
Delfin Felicilda, the manager of Libertad pumping station, said trash collected is comprised of everything from sofas to television sets.
The truckload of garbage collected everyday emits a foul smell, making it look more like a landfill than a pumping station.
“Kailangan natin ihinto ang operation ng ating pump, so in short, hindi natin namamaximize ang operation n gating pump because of the garbage,” said Engr. Baltazar Melgar of MMDA Flood Control.
All the agency can do is add more pumps to better control rising floodwaters.
Several residents of Barangay Tambo in Parañaque City have turned a nearby river into a dumpsite.
“Aminado ako pero hindi naman ‘yung bundok-bundok na basura,” said Kristina Llave, one of the residents.
The MMDA again called on residents to avoid throwing trash near rivers and estuaries.
The agency added that barangay and local government officials should also make an effort to impose stricter rules on waste disposal. -- Report from Gretchen Malalad, ABS-CBN News