Cebu News

Fast track allocation for flood

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  The Cebu Provincial Board is urging the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to facilitate the speedy transfer of budget for the Metro Cebu Integrated Flood and Drainage System Master Plan Project.

The Board made the request through a resolution authored by Board Member Glenn Soco.

Citing a DPWH report, Soco said one of the major causes of flooding in Metro Cebu is the overbanking of rivers, natural depression of urban and rural areas, and undersized or absence of drainage lines or outlets.

Cebu City, which is part of Metro Cebu, is going the extra mile to solve its perennial flood problem – even hiring as consultant former environment secretary Roy Cimatu. The city, as of this writing, is enforcing its easement rule along waterways strictly, sending out notices and threatening demolition even to private establishments that have violated the policy.

According to DPWH-7, the total cost of the master plan project, which commenced in 2018, would reach up to P44 billion, implementable within 10 years.

However, due to the limited budget available, the department was only able to implement P1.8 billion for rivers in Metro Cebu.

In a separate resolution, the Central Visayas Regional Development Council also requested DPWH to allocate additional funds for the implementation of unfunded projects in the master plan project, and explore Official Development Assistance as one-time source funding.

Soco, in a press statement, said there is a pressing need to fast-track and hasten the completion of the master plan in order to address the flood concern.

In Mandaue City, for example, he said, families had to be evacuated and the city had to declare a state of calamity.

Soco said torrential rains had damaged properties in several local government units in Cebu as floods reached dangerous levels like in Cebu City and Consolacion town.

“May the DPWH facilitate the speedy downloading of the budget appropriated and intended for said plan. This body earnestly requests that DPWH would promptly look on the expeditious completion of the project which had been planned for several years. Apart from budgetary constraints, the agency is likewise urged to look into other causes in the delay of its implementation and provide for solutions to the same,” his resolution reads.

Metro Cebu and other parts of Cebu Province now experience flooding even during occasional rains. The problem of flooding has caused major transport issues, endangered lives, and damaged properties. JMO (FREEMAN)

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