MANILA — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Tuesday clarified that an ongoing drainage systems project, not the Dolomite Beach, caused flooding in some of Manila's streets last Friday.
In a statement, MMDA acting general manager Baltazar Melgar said that the flood stemmed from the project's unfinished pumping stations, along with a pipeline near the area.
"[The] Dolomite Beach has no connection to the recent flooding in the area. The reason why flood water subsided slowly during heavy rains last Friday was the ongoing construction of three pumping stations and a pipeline by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) which is expected to be completed by October," Melgar said.
The three pumping stations still under construction are the Padre Faura Drainage, Remedios Drainage and Estero De San Antonio, the MMDA said.
Melgar noted that the said pumping stations and pipelines are among the government's engineering solutions to reduce the high coliform level count in the area, as well as to make Manila Bay's water "swimmable."
He said that last Friday's flood took a while to subside because the floodwater was diverted to the Pasig River through the Balete Pumping Station instead of discharging directly into the Manila Bay, pending the completion of the three pumping stations.
The agency said it is now coordinating with DPWH to operate a mobile pump in the area to discharge water directly to the Manila Bay.
"These storm waters can be safely discharged directly into the Manila Bay because it can be diluted," Melgar said.
DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan earlier said that the pumping stations have not yet completed renovation due to lack of funds.
"Iyong pumping stations po na sinasabi natin, kailangan po i-enhance yung capacity nung mga bomba d'yan kasi nag-require ang [Department of Environment and Natural Resources] na i-extend iyong mga pipes going to Manila Bay para hindi ho madumihan yung dolomite beach. Ang requirement po nila is we have to extend yung mga pipes sa up to 350 meters," he said.
The Duterte administration earlier allotted P389 million for the dolomite beach rehabilitation project along Manila Bay.