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Cebu News

Cities unite vs flooding

Mechelle P. Florita/ATO - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines -  The cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Talisay are consi-dering on coming up with an integrated drainage master plan as one of the solutions to solve the hounding problem of flooding in their respective jurisdictions.

Yesterday, mayors  Michael Rama, Jonas Cortes and Johnny de los Reyes, of the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Talisay, respectively, met to discuss the resolutions they are eyeing to address the hounding problem of flooding in the three cities caused by the narrow waterways and unimplemented drainage projects, among others.

The concern was discussed during the 1st Inter-City Drainage Summit, an event organized by the Cebu City government, where the participants from the three cities, as well as other agencies and groups, came up with joint resolutions to battle flooding.

The officials discussed the integrated drainage master plan for Mandaue, Cebu and Talisay Cities considering that these places are just geographically connected.

“All participants be advocates of the drainage summit, each city sponsor and create resettlement sites and move for a more livable resettlement in Mandaue, Cebu & Talisay Cities,” as stated in the joint resolution.

The cities also assured that they will strictly implement all environmental laws, especially the three-meter easement zone law.

Article 51 of Presidential Decree No. 1067 known as “The Water Code of the Phi-lippines” states that “the banks or rivers and streams and the shores of the seas and lakes throughout their entire length and within a zone of three (3) meters in urban areas, along their margins, are subject to the easement of public use in the interest of recreation, na-vigation, flotage, fishing and salvage. No person shall be allowed to stay in this zone longer than what is necessary for recreation, navigation, or to build structures of any kind.”

The Cebu City government has earlier sent notices to owners of business establishments which have viola-ted this policy. Rama yesterday vowed that the city government will force the owners to destroy parts of their structures which are encroaching on the rivers.

The Cebu City government is also planning to demand budget from the national go-vernment for its projects that can solve the perennial problem of flooding in the city.   A few weeks ago, businessman and co-chairman of the private sector-led Mega Cebu movement, Roberto Aboitiz, lamented on the national government’s lack of support for Metro Cebu when it comes to development.

Based on his presentation during the Mega Cebu Lea-ders’ Convergence Meeting, there was no project for Cebu City intended by the Natio-nal Economic and Development Authority Board.

Last month, NEDA Board approved infrastructure projects amounting to P307 billion to be expectedly completed within President Benigno Aquino III’s term. However, none of which was for Cebu.  NEDA-7 regional director Efren Carreon defended that there is a need to finish first the feasibility studies of the requested projects. 

South District Representative Rodrigo “Bebot” Abellanosa also has the same concern with Aboitiz.

According to him, for this year, Department of Public Works and Highways alloca-ted almost 30 percent of its total budget to Mindanao, 52 percent for Luzon and only 18 percent for the Visayas.

Meanwhile, during yesterday’s event, an integrated multi-sectoral drainage task force was also created.  On November 20, they will meet again in the Social Hall, Le-gislative Building of the Cebu City Hall to continue to tackle matters on the said concern. — (FREEMAN)

BUILDING OF THE CEBU CITY HALL

CEBU

CEBU AND TALISAY CITIES

CEBU CITY

CITIES

CITY

CONVERGENCE MEETING

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS

DRAINAGE SUMMIT

MANDAUE AND TALISAY

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