MMDA chair protests too much

/ 12:16 AM February 03, 2017

In the news article “5 MMDA men in trouble over fire” (Metro, 1/17/17) Metro Manila Development Authority’ s chair, Tim Orbos, reportedly asked: “Why did our emergency protocol fail to work?” He also noted that at the time the fire broke out in the agency’s main office in Makati City last Friday the 13th, “none of the fire alarms worked, no one ordered the evacuation… and worse, the fire extinguishers did not function.” That was really “bad luck” compounded three times over. Volumes of Commission on Audit documents (incriminatory?) were torched to ashes.

So what else is new? Hasn’t Orbos realized yet he is managing a crew of incompetent or do-nothing people? What breakdown in “emergency protocol”?  It was total lack of common sense. What failure of alarm equipment?  It was total lack of quality equipment and maintenance  that kickbacks prevented the agency from acquiring.


The sloppy personnel whom former MMDA chair Francis Tolentino put in charge are still very much entrenched there. Typically like their former boss who wasted taxpayer money on hundreds of boxes of adult diapers law enforcers were supposed to wear for the duration of their 24-hour guard duty in last year’s visit of Pope Francis, his minions could only marvel at the sheer stupidity—nay, lunacy—of the proposition. Tolentino probably thought the men should also wear loose skirts instead. And DU30 is rumored to be hell-bent on re-hiring him after the one-year ban?

Orbos was also puzzled why the alarms did not work? Does anything really work in that agency?  For a showcase of its lack of insight or foresight, he should just watch those traffic lights all over Metro Manila that at one intersection say “go” while at the next they immediately say “stop,” to the consternation of motorists who get stalled every inch of the way.  The lack of synchronization reflects the kind of badly wired brainpower that runs that agency. Or consider the dozens of monitors at the agency’s main office that have become practically useless as choke points occur and clog traffic all day long without anyone calling or sending anyone else to do anything about them.


Surely, given what everyone else already knows, the MMDA chair protests too much.


ROSE ANNE BARTOLOME, [email protected]

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TAGS: Fire, fire alarm, letter, Letter to the Editor, Metro Manila Development Authority, MMDA, opinion
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