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MMDA appeals to public to dispose waste properly this coming rainy season

MANILA, May 30 — With the coming rainy season, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) over the weekend reiterated its appeal to residents to dispose their waste properly and make sure they do not end up in the streets, thereby clogging the waterways, to avoid another tragedy similar to last year’s widespread flooding brought by typhoon Ondoy.

MMDA general manager Robert Nacianceno made the appeal as the agency intensified its preparations for the onset of the rainy season and the opening of classes on June 15.

Earlier, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Services Administration (PAGASA) warned that the opening of classes next month may also see the start of the rainy season.

“The agency appealed to the public to refrain from indiscriminately throwing their garbage on waterways and drainage systems as it will clog the inlets and cause floodingand they should manage their waste and practice the proper disposal," Nacianceno said, adding the MMDA needed the cooperation of the public in this issue.

The MMDA is also in talks with officials from various construction firms currently engaged in infrastructure projects, especially those projects located near waterways, to ensure that their wastes, including debris, do not flow and clog the drainage system.

“They should manage the debris of the construction site and we will not allow to go to the drainage channel so it may not have a problem. We will pay them a visit just to make sure na hindi pabaya ang kanilang mga workers (that their workers were not neglectful of their waste),” Nacianceno said.

To prepare for the rainy season, the MMDA has also installed 20 Internet protocol closed circuit television cameras (IP-CCTV) on the main pumping stations that will provide real-time monitoring within the critical areas in the metropolis.

The installation of the IP-CCTVs forms part of the agency’s flood control monitoring system with telemetry and remote management platform, which was designed to monitor the 25 pumping stations located at various sites in Metro Manila in one centralized command center.

The new monitoring structure in place incorporates the use of a telemetry system to enable the agency to gather pertinent pumping facilities information, including diesel pump status, fuel consumption, fuel level on the storage tanks, and flood levels among other things.

The MMDA has also intensified its campaign against residents using the pumping stations at their garbage basket by dredging it of debris.

MMDA chairman Oscar Inocentes said the cleanup and dredging operations have been underway most of the summer season.

At least 35,000 cubic meters of garbage had been removed so far from the creeks, canals and rivers throughout Metro Manila.

“We have started early so we could finish our cleanup before the opening of classes and the start of the rainy season. Our only request to the public is please don’t throw your garbage in the streets, that will end up in the drainages and cause flooding,” the MMDA chief said.

“If we keep on throwing our trash anywhere, our efforts will always become useless,” Inocentes said.

Inocentes said the MMDA does not want a repeat of the extensive flooding last September when typhoon “Ondoy” slammed Metro Manila and nearby provinces, causing untold damage to lives and properties.

“Our efforts to improve the flood control system will be ineffective if we remain careless about our surroundings. We should all do our part to avoid calamities like Ondoy,” Inocentes said. (PNA)

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