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Cebu News

City to relocate informal settlers

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  The Cebu City government would need to relocate informal settlers particularly in Barangay Tejero so it can jumpstart flood control projects, especially downtown, said Councilor Jerry Guardo, chairperson of the City Council’s committee on infrastructure.

“If we can address this – mahatagan nato’g site ang mga informal settlers – ma-continue, ma-kumpleto na atong flood control projects,” Guardo told The Freeman.

Guardo has been in virtual meetings with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and has gone around the city checking flood-prone areas in the city.

DPWH has reportedly already downloaded funds for the relocation of informal settlers, albeit a meeting will take place this week with Mayor Edgardo Labella.

Guardo said they are eyeing at a vacant lot in Barangay Lorega San Miguel where a middle-rise building can be built for informal settlers. The area can reportedly accommodate an estimated 200 families.

Earlier this year, Labella reportedly met with Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, to negotiate for the construction of medium-rise buildings as resettlement sites for informal settlers.

Project

Guardo said he has relayed to DPWH that Labella wants to prioritize flood control projects, which include one at the river in Barangay Lahug, specifically at the boundaries with Barangay Tinago and Tejero.

Work would include installation of sheet piling, widening, dredging and deepening of the creek.

This project can reportedly address the long-standing problem of flooding in Barangay Parian and other areas downtown, as it can accommodate a large volume of rain water, thus, eliminate overflow during the rainy season.

Flooding concerns

Guardo also looked into complaints of residents, including those in sitio Mangga in Barangay Zapatera and sitio Ubos Pundok, a boundary between Barangays Basak Pardo and San Nicolas.

In Zapatera, a meeting has been arranged today between barangay officials and the developer of an ongoing project so that residents in the area can be informed of the development plan.

In Basak Pardo, Guardo found out during a visit Sunday that an ongoing development project in sitio Ubos Pundok has blocked the drainage, which worsened the problem of flooding residents there have been suffering from for several years now.

Videos from a resident of sitio Ubos Pundok showed floodwaters reaching the knees following a downpour Thursday night.

“Naa puy ongoing development didto sa area unya nasirad-an ang kanal. Gi-divert sa developer but wala pa gi-open. Ang drainage barado na, puno na’g mga basura, silted ang yuta, nagtambak naka bara sa culvert. One fourth nalang ang agianan sa tubig, black-flow na sad,” Guardo said.

(An ongoing development has blocked the drainage. The developer tried to divert the flow of water but the drainage has not been opened. The original drainage is now clogged, filled with trash, and silt has blocked the culverts. Only about one fourth of the original drainage can accommodate water so there is a backflow.)

Guardo said the developer has promised to address the matter immediately.

“Kung magbaha didto, delikado kaayo labi na sa mga bata, mga lumos simbako. Ila na daw ning gi-complain sa barangay pero napasa-pasa na lang,” Guardo said.

(It’s very dangerous when it rains. Children can drown in the flood. They reportedly complained this to the barangay but the complaints fell on deaf ears.)

A heavy downpour can affect 200 families easily.

Residents in the area reportedly agreed to help in a clean-up drive.

Guardo said the city will provide manpower for manual de-clogging in areas that the developer’s backhoe cannot reach during the clearing operation.

“Ang kaning sa Basak, masulbad ra pud ni dayon kay ni-action raman pud dayon ang developer and ang mga standby pud didto, ni-promise pud silag mu-volunteer,” Guardo said.

(This problem in Basak can be solved fast because the developer acted on it immediately. Residents who are now doing anything for now have also promised to volunteer.)

He said the city can suspend the permits of developers that do not cooperate in addressing concerns of residents that concern their projects.

Guardo encouraged residents to channel their complaints to his office or through his Facebook page for immediate action. — JMO (FREEMAN)

INFORMAL SETTLERS

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