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The great flash flood of July 1

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Freeman) - July 4, 2016 - 12:00am

For our special presentation on our talkshow on Straight from the Sky we come up with a discussion on what is happening in Europe in a new word that never existed before called BREXIT! Yes, suddenly the United Kingdom is out of the European Union and the Brits are moving towards a dark and stark future without its EU partners.

To have a clearer understanding about BREXIT and find out if the United Kingdom would splinter or not, I asked my good friend, Mr. Joris Claeys, a Belgian to help me in this discussion. I already had Mr. Claeys as guest in the past with his ecoNovate, a community driven innovation. He is currently involved in Cebu Art District and Taste Cebu, which is a sort of mixture of culinary arts with Cebuano culture, something truly innovative.

So watch this interesting talk about BREXIT with Mr. Joris Claeys on SkyCable’s channel 52 at 8:00PM tonight with replays on Wednesday and Saturday. We also have replays on MyTV channel 30 at 9:00PM tonight and at 7:00AM and 9:00PM respectively on Wednesday and Friday.

***

Should we call what happened to Metro Cebu last Friday, July 1 as the Great flash flood? Well for lack of a proper title, this is one title that seems to be appropriate to describe what happened late Friday afternoon. I was driving from my office in Juana Osmeña to Llorente St. on my way home when I couldn’t believe in my eyes that there was flooding along Osmeña Boulevard going to Cebu Doctor’s Hospital. So instead of passing there, I drove towards Chong Hua Hospital passing by Orchid Street, which surprisingly was not flooded. I guess it is because of its proximity to the Guadalupe River.

What is happening in Osmeña Boulevard is an obvious sign of poor drainage, where the flood waters could not be drained into the Guadalupe River just a few hundred yards from there. From the house, we proceeded to Marco Polo Plaza Hotel and traffic was literally a crawl along Escario Street all the way to JY Square along Gorordo Avenue. The problem? No Traffic enforcers in sight. Motorists no longer obeyed the traffic lights. It seems that the motorists made use of the strong rain as the reason to violate traffic rules. So there was a massive and total failure of traffic enforcement.

Thanks to irate netizens, the YouTube is filled with videos of the flooding from Colon Street all the way to the Banilad Road especially along Gaisano Country Mall. Clearly the flooding was due to the overflowing Mahiga River, the same thing has happened along Mango Avenue near Rahman Street where the Lahug Creek overflowed into the streets. This could only mean one thing - the mouth of the river is clogged and it backtracked and overflowed.

You should see the video along A.S. Fortuna Street especially between Rolling Hills and the Volvo Dealership which was inundated. Yet it took the DPWH contractor nearly three years causing great traffic inconvenience to construct that drainage project. Clearly that drainage project did not work as designed and I hope that newly installed Mandaue City Mayor Luigi Quisumbing would look into this contract and make sure that the DPWH doesn’t pay the contractor for that lousy project because it still gets flooded anyway.

Everywhere you hear horror stories from people complaining about the flooding. Ms. Nelia Neri wrote in her Facebook that she could not attend the 10th Anniversary of Marco Polo Plaza Hotel because of the flooding in Banilad Road. The Freeman’s ace reporter Mitchell Palaubsanon wrote her sorrows suffering a four-hour trip from SM Seaside to Galleria Shopping Mall. She was not even halfway on her trip to Mandaue City.

Call it timely that last Friday was the first day of work for returning Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña to test his mettle whether he can still run Cebu City like he did in the past. Incidentally during his oath-taking ceremonies, Mayor Osmeña came up with a new slogan “To make Cebu City Number One again.” Hmmm, the problem with slogans is, he does not clearly specify where we can be number one? In flooding perhaps? For the sake of transparency, I would like to hear Mayor Osmeña map out his plans on how he can make Cebu City number one again in the next three years.

Mind you, Mayor Osmeña was at the helm of Cebu City for more than 20-years and his previous slogan, “Cebu City, a City Next to None” hasn’t really brought Cebu next or closer to Singapore his original target for comparison. So, the hell with his slogans! I dare say that he ought to roll up his sleeves and get to work to fix the drainage of Cebu City, including his favorite South Road Properties, which also gets flooded when the heavy rains come. I totally agree with his plan to build flyovers, which was denied to Cebu City during the six-years of the Aquino regime whom Mayor Osmeña supported. Mayor Osmeña can count on my support for as long as he shows transparency and that he has the political will to fulfill his plans.

vsbobita@mozcom.com.

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