MMDA: Delay in 2019 flood control projects due to late budget approval

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 25) — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said the implementation of its flood control projects in the capital was delayed due to the late approval of the 2019 budget.

During a Senate hearing on the massive flooding that hit Luzon this month, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said the late approval of last year's spending bill caused delays in their planning.

This is in response to Senator Risa Hontiveros' inquiry regarding a Commission on Audit report that said more than half of the MMDA's flood control projects have yet to be completed.

Citing the report, Hontiveros said these projects were not completed or implemented within their contract time because of "inadequate planning and absence of coordinating mechanism with the other concerned agencies and stakeholders, which hindered the MMDA on attaining its objective to mitigate flooding in the metropolis."

Garcia also said the election season, which banned bidding procedures in the government, was also one of the reasons for the delay.

Despite this, he said of the 108 projects last year, only 11 are left to be completed next month. He also noted that most of these projects are "minimal" and more on the rehabilitation of drainage, and maintenance projects.

For the past two months, the country was hit by consecutive typhoons, with the latest Typhoon Ulysses causing massive flooding in many areas in Luzon, including Metro Manila.