CBC photo courtesy

Significant rainfall on Thursday (13 July 2023) led to severe traffic congestion along the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and in Metro Manila areas such as Taguig, Pateros, and Muntinlupa.

The Office of the Civil Defense-National Capital Region (OCD-NCR) reported that the flooding was exacerbated by the temporary closure of the drainage system for road construction purposes.

As of now, there have been no reports of damage or casualties, according to the OCD-NCR. They are closely monitoring the situation and staying in touch with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for updates.

The OCD-NCR mentioned that Metro Manila is currently experiencing light to moderate rainfall with intermittent heavy downpours due to a low-pressure area (LPA).

Nevertheless, the operator of SLEX, San Miguel Corp. (SMC), has issued a public apology to motorists. Below is the full text of SMC’s press statement:

“We sincerely apologize to the motorists who were affected by the heavy flooding at the Skyway At Grade (ground level) Bicutan in Parañaque City, caused by continuous moderate to heavy rainfall from 6:00 PM on Wednesday, July 12, until today, Thursday, July 13, resulting in heavy traffic in both directions of the expressway.

Historically, this section of the Skyway System has remained flood-free, and we have consistently worked towards maintaining smooth and reliable traffic flow for our valued users. Our maintenance teams conduct regular inspections of the drainage system to clear any obstructions such as sludge and garbage.

However, over the past few months, an increase in floodwaters on the carriageway has become apparent.

These incidents are primarily attributed to a drainage system issue outside the Skyway system, which we identified in February of this year, caused by ongoing construction works in the area unrelated to our operations and beyond our direct control.

Since then, we have been actively coordinating with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and other government and private sector stakeholders in the area to collaboratively address the problem. We have even provided some of our equipment to expedite the drainage of floodwater and deployed our maintenance teams to siphon water off the carriageway.

One of the stakeholders in the area is currently working on the affected portion of the drainage system within their property, and the contractor has committed to completing the outfall this month.

We are optimistic that these corrective actions will restore the smooth flow of floodwaters to the nearby creek and put an end to the flooding at Skyway At-Grade Bicutan, which has significantly disrupted traffic flow and inconvenienced the public.

In the meantime, we will continue to collaborate with all stakeholders involved in the area to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, ensuring efficient and safe traffic movement on the expressway.”