Cebu News

With La Nin?a expected to come soon: Gabion dams ASAP - Garcia

Iris Hazel M. Mascardo - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Just like Mayor Michael Rama, Cebu City Acting Mayor Raymond Garcia wants gabion dams built as soon as possible, as he anticipates the “revenge” of the La Nina phenomenon after the El Nino phenomenon caused so much heat the past several months.

The City Council had already requested that the dams be built water catchment facilities to impound runoff water in the upland areas and arrest their immediate cascade to the downtown sections of the city.

Garcia also sees the wisdom of building them up and already ordered for their immediate construction.

“El Niño karon. Grabe gyud ni mubawos ang La Niña.So, we expect so much rain in the coming days and kuyawan na gyud kos baha,” he told a press conference last Thursday.

“Mubawos gyud ni (ang La Nina),” he also told Cebu City Task Force on Gubat sa Baha Chief Implementer Melquiades Feliciano prior to that, as he instructed him to “continue what you are doing”.

Garcia is concerned because even if La Nin?a has not officially arrived yet, there are areas in the country that have already experienced flooding when rain suddenly comes.

Garcia is happy with what Task Force had been doing for the recovery of the three-meter easement and revival of the city’s rivers.

During their meeting days back, Feliciano also told him that declogging and desilting of waterways and drainage systems are ongoing, as preparation for the coming of Nin?a, which brings abnormally high incidents of rainfall.

Garcia, on the other hand, asked Feliciano to provide him with the Task Force’s short-term plan for the coming of La Nin?a


“Duna lang koy additional na directive nga to give the Office of the Mayor the short-term plan, expecting La Nina mobawos sa El Nino…. Mao na nga short-term plan especially as regards to decloggging, desilting and even the possibility of putting up gabion dams,” Garcia said.

“Kay ang problema man gud ana, ang tubig nga gikan sa bukid, kusog kaayo mudagayday padung diri sa ato sa flat area, or the city proper, that’s why grabe atong baha kay it (runoff) will find its own way—muadto na sa dalan, muadto nas mga balay,” he added.

Just like what Mayor Rama had been saying, Garcia also sees gabion dams as a deterrent to flooding in the lowland areas of the city.

“Kanang gabion dams dili man na concrete structure nga lisod himuon..Murag bato ra na nga ma-impound lang nato ang tubig..muhinay ug kanaog dinhi sa atong siyudad sa Sugbo,”Garcia added.

 “So we are also looking into that, the possibility of having gabion dams as a deterrent for the water to really come down and flood the low areas of the city of Cebu,” he said.

Before the Department of Interior and Local Government implemented Mayor Rama’s six-month preventive suspension last May 10, he always followed up the construction of the gabion dams.

Garcia reiterated this, saying that with him as acting mayor for six months, combatting La Niña is something that he wants the city to be properly prepared for.

He considers the gabion dams as being of paramount importance since the city’s drainage system is still from the 1970s and could not accommodate the heavy volume of water.

As for the drainage system, has also ordered Cebu City Administrator Kristine Joyce Batucan to look into the P1.3-billion Flood Control Program that was awarded to A.M Oreta Co. but is not yet to be implemented.

Garcia said he wants the possibility of aligning the said budget as fund source for the Task Force’s P200-million priority flood control projects for an “ideal solution.”

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