Cebu News

In fight vs flooding: Cebu, Mandaue vow mutual aid

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  The local government units of the neighboring cities of Cebu and Mandaue have vowed to continue coordination efforts in a bid to mitigate flooding in Metro Cebu.

Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama and Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes, during the river rehab planning workshop called “Beyond Borders,” pledged to support each other, especially in the area of clean-up operations to help prevent flooding due to clogged waterways.

Earlier, the two cities, through their respective representatives, already agreed to collaborate with each other in the fight against flooding, especially since both LGUs share the same problem every time the Mahiga River overflows.

Rama stressed that working with the local government of Mandaue will sustain efforts initiated by the Task Force Gubat sa Baha.

Since it agreed to collaborate with its neighboring city, Mandaue City has reported an improvement in its flooding situation.

Roy Cimatu, former environment secretary and now Cebu City consultant for environmental concerns and chief of the Task Force Gubat sa Baha, who was also in the meeting, reminded that dredging the rivers is a must to lessen flooding.

This is the same solution he implemented for the Marikina River that Cebu City and Mandaue City are now adopting.

“We have to deepen and widen the rivers so that the water coming from the rain is not going to the streets of Cebu City, kundi papunta dun sa rivers,” Cimatu said.

Earlier, representatives from Talisay City also expressed cooperation with Cebu City in its river clean-up and solving flooding.

‘We Mean Business’

Meanwhile, PROBE head Raquel Arce said that “they mean business” as her office has started issuing the final notices to 50 establishments with illegal construction over the Estero de Parian.

During ocular inspection of some of the big establishments along Colon Street, Arce reiterated that some structures stand on “no-build zone” and therefore need to be cleared.

“This is a no build zone…so inyuhang gitabunan,” Arce said over KTV News, pointing to some violating structures.

The ones that have illegal structures built over Estero de Parian were the first to be served the final notices.

These four establishments include Gaisano Main, 138 Mall, Colonnade Mall, and Dimsum Company, as enumerated by Arce.

“Kani atong gi-priority para atong mapakita nga naa na gyud tay nasugdan. Among gitan-aw ang upat na nitabon gyud sa kanal,” added Arce.

By showing how serious the city government is in its fight against flooding and recovery of the three-meter easement and revival of the city’s dead rivers, Arce believes the others would also follow the law.

For the affected establishments, Arce said they just have to think of the positive side and the benefits it already got out of their respective business in the area.

“Think na lang of the positive side nga pila ka tuig mo nigamit sa maong lugar in connection sa inyong negosyo nga wa mo magbayad sa gobyerno so now is the time nga kuhaon, i-reclaim nag balik sa gobyerno, aron matagaan ug lugar diin sayon na lang mahinluan ang mga kasapaan,” said Arce.

Arce hopes concerned establishment owners would cooperate and voluntarily demolish the structures built along the waterways.

If after 10 days from the receipt of the final notice no action will be taken, the city government will take over to do the clearing.

Arce said the establishment owners may also ask for assistance from them if they wish to tear down the structures voluntarily. – Sanden J. Anadia, JMD (FREEMAN)


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