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Cebu News

DPWH projects causing flooding in Cebu City?

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Projects supposedly meant to contain flooding in Cebu City have instead become one of the very causes of flooding, an initial assessment of the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office showed.

These flood-control projects found to be allegedly causing flooding in some parts of the city are being undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

With this, former environment secretary and now chief of Cebu City's Task Force Gubat sa Baha Roy Cimatu wants to meet with DPWH-7 officials and the Cebu City Engineering Office to shed light on the matter.

Cimatu told members of the TF Gubat sa Baha the other day that he wanted DPWH to present a situationer report and other details of their projects here.

“Nasabutan sa special task force nga ipatawag sila sa next scheduled meeting. Naay mga importanteng projects nga supposedly imbes motabang sa syudad nga ma-relieve atong baha, mao na nuoy nag-cause of baha based sa initial evaluation sa atong disaster office headed by Harold Alcontin,” said lawyer Jerone Castillo, special assistant of Mayor Michael Rama.

Another special assistant of the mayor, Ramil Ayuman, mentioned the likes of Tagunol bridge, T. Padilla bridge and a project of DPWH in Tejero as some of those that are allegedly causing more harm than good.

Ayuman also said that Cimatu was not happy to note the slow progress of DPWH's works.

Castillo also mentioned an abandoned project but did not specify what or where this project is being done.

“Gi-abandon pa ang project, wa pay klaro, nganong nahitabo man ni?” he said.

Earlier this month, City Councilor Joel Garganera called the attention of DPWH for the unfinished project along Tinago and Tejero that were also causing the residents “too much hassle,” especially during heavy downpour.

Garganera even said the contractor of the said project seemed to be “untouchable.”

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, who attended the meeting with Cimatu, thanked the members of the TF Gubat sa Baha and Cimatu for all their efforts to revive the city's rivers and solve the city's massive flooding as well.

Rama reminded everyone to continue to be aggressive in the fight against flooding, saying “we have to live with a legacy.”

River commanders of the task force are also currently busy sending out notices to establishments that were found to have illegal construction in the waterways.

Cimatu's instruction is to prioritize the clearing of structures directly blocking the flow of water.

Those that have already been given final notices have 10 days to voluntarily demolish the illegal structures.

No extension so far has been granted to any of them.

For those residents living along the three-meter easement, their structures will only be demolished once there will already be a relocation site identified for them.  JMD (FREEMAN)

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