MANILA, Philippines – At least 661 manholes around Metro Manila are missing and may have already been covered with asphalt, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino said on Wednesday.
Tolentino said the MMDA is now coordinating with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to identify the private contractors that covered the manholes with asphalt.
"Ito iyung imbentaryo ng aming flood control monitoring teams na diumano ay nalagyan ng asphalt… ang mananagot dito ay ang private contractors na nag-overlay nito,” Tolentino told dzMM.
"Kasi usually gabi ito (asphalt overlaying) ginagawa, lalong-lalo na kapag nagmamadali sila, galing po sa batching plant iyung mga aspalto na hindi na pwedeng isauli,” he added.
Tolentino said the absence of these manholes have contributed to the flooding problem in Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, Tolentino shared that the MMDA flood control teams collected some 182 trucks of garbage around Metro Manila after floods brought by heavy rains yesterday subsided.
DPWH-National Capital Region officer-in-charge Reynaldo Tagundano, for his part, said he already ordered last week an investigation into the reports of missing manholes.
"Pinapa-identify ko po kung sino 'yung contractor na nag-overlay...kung kailangang suspindihin sila suspindihin natin," Tagundano said in a separate interview on dzMM.
"Ina-assure ko ang publiko na titignan namin itong 661 manholes, kung alin talaga ang dapat naming gagawin, gagawin naming,” he added.