Motorists who are worried about the negative effects heavy rains may bring as a result of La Niña, need not be according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

Clearing of ‘waterways, canals and gutters’ by the MMDA Flood Control and Sewerage Management Office (FCSMO) is now done all year-round as per their Director Baltzar Melgar.

Preparation for the coming rainy season and La Niña began at the start of the year as the MMDA regularly cleared and de-clogged ‘canals, esteros and drainage system of garbage and other debris.’

“All of it is ready to minimize the flooding in Metro Manila. So that it won’t cause huge inconvenience to motorists and commuters alike,” said Melgar.

The MMDA has also made sure that its 54 pumping stations with newly installed pump engines are fully operational and can function to its capacity of draining 350 drums of floodwater per second.

“These pumping stations are vital for flood mitigation because Manila’s elevation is only a little higher than the main sea level,” added Melgar.

Unfortunately, the flood control structures of the MMDA have a threshold and if continuous rains exceed its floodwater capacity, excess water will overflow and cause flooding.

To ensure that all the floodwater flows away from the streets and out to the sea, the MMDA started the Estero Blitz program in August 2015 in order to clear drainages, esteros and waterways leading to Manila Bay.

“We already intensified our cleaning operation this last March 1 before rainy season takes place,” said Melgar.

The agency called on the public, including barangay officials to assist in cleaning esteros and waterways to reduce other possible causes of floods.

"To those who want to help, we are willing to provide them assistance and equipment so that we prevent the flashfloods during monsoon rains," added Melgar.