COA reports MMDA’s unfinished flood control projects

The Commission on Audit (COA) said in a report that flooding in Metro Manila could have been prevented or at least minimized had Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) completed major control projects that should have been finished in 2018 and 2019.

“Various projects were not completed/implemented within the specific contract time due to inadequate planning and absence of coordination mechanism with the other concerned agencies and stakeholders, which hindered the MMDA in attaining its objective to mitigate flooding in the metropolis,” a COA report read.

COA’s report on its 2019 annual audit on MMDA, only 45.37 percent or 49 projects (amounting to P453.242 million) of its 108 programmed control projects of the agency for 2019 (totaling P1.1 billion) were completed as of yearend.

However, Baltazar Melgar, chief of the MMDA’s Flood Control and Sewerage Management Office (FCSMO), told The STAR  that the projects reported by COA were “completed this year.”

“The said projects are only minor ones like improvement of drainage, riprapping, and rehabilitation of waterways leading to our pumping stations,” he said.

“The completion of these projects was delayed because the approval of the GAA (General Appropriations Act) was also delayed, and there was an election ban,” he said.

However, in a response attached to the COA report, FCSMO said it is “re-assessing existing practices and discerning additional measures to ensure timely completion of control projects.”

COA reports MMDA’s unfinished control projects

COA’s data showed that 54.63 percent or 59 programmed projects worth P639.561 million remain unfinished, seven of which have not even started.

COA said that these unfinished projects were on top of 13 control projects amounting to P97.531 million programmed for 2018, which also remains uncompleted as of the end of 2019.

The state auditors noted that 13 unfinished projects for 2018 could have addressed the perennial flooding problems in Marikina, Makati, Manila, and Quezon City.

Three projects, meanwhile, could have fixed drainage system improvement along J.P. Rizal Extension, J.P. Rizal-Estrella, and Kalayaan Avenue in District 2, Makati, while two drainage improvement projects were programmed for C.M. Recto and Punta Sta. Ana in Manila.

Drainage improvement should have also been constructed along Commonwealth Avenue and Paltok Creek, both in Quezon City.

Also programmed for 2018 was floodgate construction in Barangay Old Zaniga in Mandaluyong City.