Cebu News

Disaster council chief pushes for water impounding facilities

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CCDRRMC) head Gerardo Carillo is pushing for the establishment of rainwater catchments as one of the flood-control solutions.

Carillo, in a news forum Tuesday, said that subdivisions and public and private buildings should have rainwater catchment facilities to help lessen the volume of water during flooding.

"We need to inspect that there would be an impounding area para ang tubig dili na mobaha og mo-cause sa baha nga moadto sa atong mga kadalanan," said Carillo.

Although an ordinance has been there, Carillo said it was not strongly enforced.

"Sa pagkakaron it was not strongly enforced. But in the marching order of the Mayor, we will have to enforce it. We will have to impound our water," said Carillo.

Flood-prone places in the city will also have a water impounding area where the rainwater will be collected and sold to the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) to produce cheaper water.

According to Carillo, desalinated water in MCWD now costs around P80 per cubic meter whereas rainwater or surface water will only cost around P32.

"Tubig is an important resource if we are just going to harvest this properly, retain it, we can actually utilize the same," said Carillo.

Climate Change

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) recently recorded a total of 212.9 milliliters volume of rainwater in the first week of August, stating that the new record is above normal than usual.

PAGASA chief meteorological officer Meyma Casilagan said that the abrupt changes in the amount of rainfall in Cebu are brought by La Niña, while also acknowledging the adverse effect of climate change.

"Epekto na rin ng climate change ug global warming and then sa karon na nasa La Niña period ta, so expected nani na masinati nato ang above normal rainfall ug above normal condition," Casaligan said.

La Niña is defined by PAGASA as a weather phenomenon associated with above normal rainfall conditions across most areas of the country during the last quarter of the year and early months of the following year.

The Legal and Policy Director of Oceania, Atty. Rose-Liza Eisma-Osorio, added that the experienced extreme weather conditions are now considered the "new normal" - and that everyone should move towards adaptation and mitigation measures.

Osorio also pointed out the need to ban the use of plastics as part of the proactive measures.

"Kanang single use of plastics man gud, mga twelve minutes ra na nato gamiton and then we throw it away. I know that the city has an ordinance nga e ban ang paggamit ug plastic bags...but I think they need to have more proactive measures," Osorio said.

"We need to stop the plastic at source kay we cannot keep on producing plastics and when you are using plastics, you are also using fossil fuel. And fossil fuel is the major cause of climate change," Osorio further added.

Primary Measure

On Monday, the Cebu City government started tearing down 40 structures encroaching on the three-meter easement along the Kinalumsan River in Barangay Mambaling to mitigate the risk during floodings.

Carillo said these settlers contributed to the garbage that clogged the waterways that worsened the flooding issues in the city and neighboring places.

"Kining mga namuyo within the three-meter easement they contributed the garbage kay sayon ra kaayo ilang paglabay ug mga garbage dinha sa atong nga kasapaan, unya inig ulan ug kusog, mo clog ang atong waterways maong ig-abot diri sa ubos baha na kaayo ta," Carillo explained.

Families and individuals affected were given financial assistance and are currently taking shelter at San Nicholas Elementary School.

Carillo said that the government will shoulder their electricity and water expenses and even repairs for any damages in the materials in the duration of their stay.

Carillo said they will be relocated to a 5-hectare container vans at South Road Properties (SRP) for temporary housing. — Darlene Joy Gil and Jonah Marie Chu, CNU Interns, GMR (FREEMAN)


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