A penny for wishful thoughts - I

AS IT APPEARS - Lorenzo Paradiang Jr. -

The promise of Mayor Jonas C. Cortes that 2012 shall be focused on the perennial drainage problem and on infra-projects, especially public buildings and streets rehab, is worth noting.

One vital component of the drainage dilemma is effective solid waste management to obviate plastics and debris blocking canals and silted culverts. Seven barangays with no material recovery facility (MRF) include Subangdaku, Tipolo, Centro, and Looc, as strategic centers. In Subangdaku, a national agency refuses to grant a small area for the MRF. Can’t Mandaue City exert liaison work, and/or request help from the Palace?

Also a big factor for the drainage system… While the blocked sinkhole or “bito” might be expensive for restoration, other sinkholes in the Cabancalan outskirts may suffice to drain that big area inundated by flash floods. There’s an abandoned artesian well to drain water pools in just hours when its old pipe casings are left open. Other possible sinkholes could do the same, but no serious official reaction has been taken, so far.

An NGO expensive proposal focuses on using the lagoon for commercial/tourism uses around its periphery. They are sold to a two-kilometer diversion of flash floods from Cebu City to Butuanon River requiring giant culverts, catchment basins, P2 M for feasibility study, and multi-millions of project work for 5 years. What about now when the problem is long at hand?

In various areas, natural flow of rain water from higher estates is blocked by buildings/concrete walls of lower estates. While civil law mandates that the latter should “receive” or facilitate water passage, the violation is very rampant… There’s sitio Kalubihan in Labogon; or the vicinity of the City Jail and LTO; or in Poo, Tipolo where the covered creek is now blocked of its free flow; or yonder corner of Paknaan Road-National Road where an iceplant blocks rain flow to nearby Butuanon River; or that creek between Tipolo and Guizo for its revival, etc. Can’t the Legal Department remedy the situations? Perhaps, boldness and political will can egg them into action, involving all the Barangay Captains who should be convened and oriented on the legal ramifications; and then, required to make actual inventory of affected areas, as a start.

Engr. Oscar Rodriguez of the Council of Elders and once a civil engineering college dean, posits in his drainage brief, that the “stormwater” drainage system involves both the government and private land owners, particularly on water easement between private properties. The latter private “stormwater” needs traversing private estates whose owners are responsible to maintain the legal easement of natural waters. When necessary, the LGU has the right to enter private properties to ensure easement maintenance.

One hates to harp on this, but so many years back, these cited problems within administrative levels, were of inter-departmental concerns, among the City Administrator, the City Attorney, the City Engineer, the DPS head, inter alia. Seldom was the City Mayor strictly bothered by administrative minutiae. However, he was daily briefed by the City Administrator on the city’s state of affairs and progress of the projects. He has bigger issues to ponder on, like, policy thrusts, developmental plans, inter-relations with other LGUs on common problems, and closer liaison with national agencies, inter alia. Except on issues beyond the administrative level, the executive need not prod on the department heads and/or decide for them.

 Admittedly, with the multifarious drainage problem, it seems that the working force and equipment of the City Engineer’s Office are beyond their noses in addressing these sectional drainage headaches. If need be, why not bid out projects on private contractual basis? Individual problems have to be dealt with one at a time on prioritized schedules to get needed results.

 One is not sweepingly judgmental without a mind for the limitations. But the problems appear open-ended sans end that agonizingly irk the affected residents.

(To be continued)

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