METROPOLITAN Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Oscar Inocentes on Thursday vowed to modernize the agency’s pool of heavy equipment to speed up the completion of projects in the metropolis.

Aside from the heavy equipment, the MMDA chairman said updated rescue tools for the use of its emergency responders would also be acquired.

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“I will initiate the purchase of more modern equipment for the agency, so that we don’t have to borrow from other government agencies or private individuals when a need arises, especially during times of disaster,” Inocentes said after conducting an inspection of all MMDA vehicles and heavy equipment along White Plains Avenue in Quezon City Thursday morning.

Inocentes said he intends to seek the assistance of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who had pledged full support for all his future endeavors in the agency.

“The President gave me the go-signal to make the necessary purchases and that she will help me every step of the way, more so if it will benefit the public and will improve the over-all condition of Metro Manila,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, the MMDA chief ordered agency officials to conduct a thorough inventory of all vehicles and equipment to ensure that everything is accounted for.

“I ordered the concerned officials to take photographs of vehicles and equipment that are not here today, whether they are on site, not working, or being repaired. This way we will know if something is amiss,” Inocentes noted.

MMDA has in its inventory numerous bulldozers, pay loaders, dump trucks, back hoes and vacuum trucks as well as rescue vans, ambulance and containers pre-loaded with hydraulic tools for cutting and digging through debris as well as first aid equipment needed for search and rescue operations.

The agency deployed its equipment not only in the conduct of its project but also to assist local government units in time of calamities, the latest of which was the deployment of more than 1,000 personnel and 100 heavy equipment to various areas in Metro Manila ravaged by Typhoon Ondoy last September. (AH/Sunnex)