The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said it has exceeded its 2017 and 2018 targets to slash the number of flood affected areas in Metro Manila.

MMDA spokesperson, Celine Pialago said the agency has made a “huge headway” in its flood control efforts, which led to a decrease in flooded areas to 319 hectares, surpassing the target of 245 hectares in 2018 and 263 hectares, exceeding the 250-hectare target in 2017.

“In a continuing effort to address this problem, the MMDA made progress by having been able to reduce the flooded area baseline of 2002 from 13,100 hectares to a total of 2,713 hectares in 2018,” Pialago said.

The MMDA issued the statement in response to a Commission on Audit (COA) report stating that the MMDA left 117 out of the 170 flood control projects uncompleted in 2018, with a total cost of P878.6 million.

“The COA report had misappropriation of terminologies.” 

Pialago said the COA report had “misappropriation of terminologies” which resulted in unfavorable results.

One of the sources of the alleged misunderstanding came from district engineers who said a project is deemed completed when he or she accepts the work from a contractor of a project.

On the other hand, finance considers a project completed or obligated once all requisite paperwork has been submitted and payment issued to the contractor.

“Unfortunately, this time lag between the acceptance of work and issuance of checks was considered in the COA report, thus the unfavorable result to the agency,” she said.

The MMDA exceeded their targets for their flood control projects through the achievement of several goals — one of which was declogging and desilting works which achieved an actual accomplishment of 124.8 percent above its target for 2018 — clearing a total of 512,378 linear meters of waterways and drainage systems.

Other accomplishments of the MMDA include continuous maintenance of 60 drainage pumps all operating at full capacity, an effective flood control operations system said to be “100 percent reliable,” and completion of flood control infrastructure projects.

“The agency has made efforts to rectify the situation.” 

Pialago said the agency has made efforts to rectify the situation to avoid confusion in the future.

“We also assure the public that we will continue working to the best of our abilities — rain or shine,” she emphasized.

In its audit report released in August, the COA further said “out of the 170 flood control projects for implementation and completion during the year, 53 projects have been completed, 53 were ongoing, and 64 projects were not yet started as of December 31, 2018.”

The audit body added the MMDA also failed to include procurement schedules in its annual plan for infrastructure projects and was not able to expedite procurement in compliance with an order from the Department of Budget and Management. 


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