CH to reach out to property owners affected by project
Alicia Ivy L. Chua (The Freeman) - February 15, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said that they will be reaching out to the private property owners who will be affected by the restoration of waterways to solve the flooding in the city.

Earlier, Engineer Kenneth Enriquez, head of the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW), recommended the restoration of waterways following complaints from residents of Barangays Kinasang-an and Talamban on long term flooding in their area.

The residents said that the stagnant floodwater is emitting foul smell and posing health risk to the residents.  

Labella ordered the siphoning of the floodwater, but Enriquez said it cannot be done all the time. He recommended a more permanent solution to the problem, which is to restore the waterways.

Enriquez said that pumping out the floodwater is also costly for the city government. He said it costs up to three thousand a day per area to pump out floodwater.

Enriquez said restoring the waterways—canals or rivers--including special features such as warehouse buildings, locks, boat lifts, and boats will address the problem.

With this planned waterways restoration project, private houses and establishments will be affected. Enriquez said that the timeline for the suggested long-term solution would depend on the availability of the budget. But he said it would take at least one to two years.

“We really have to reach out to the private owners affected, but if they would not agree then we might be constrained to have an expropriation proceeding,” said Labella.

Labella has directed the City Legal Office (CLO) to look into the possibility of expropriating the privately-owned properties to be affected by the project. The CLO had convened a team of three-lawyers to look into this issue.

Attorney Rey Gealon, city legal officer, said that the mayor has his eyes set on solving the decade-long flooding problem in that part of Kinasang-an.

“The primordial consideration is the greater good. The mayor does not want the people to suffer any longer,” said Gealon.  FPL (FREEMAN)

EDGARDO LABELLA
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