Causeways now narrower, siltation setting in — Alcala

Ric V. Obedencio (The Freeman) - November 19, 2015 - 9:00am

TAGBILARAN CITY, Philippines  — The two causeways connecting this city and Dauis town in Panglao island are now “too small” for the water to circulate, thus limiting the movement of organisms within the Tagbilaran Channel.

This was the declaration of former environment secretary Dr. Angel Alcala, also a national scientist and marine biologist during a symposium on reclamation and climate change held at the Holy Spirit School and spearheaded by the Bohol Nature Conservation Society, or BONACONSO.

The two causeways he cited were the Dauis-Tagbilaran junction linking Poblacion Dauis and the one via barangay Totolan connecting the road at the back of the St. Joseph Cathedral.

Alcala, in his power point presentation, showed that the present situation of the city bay area is now deemed delicate because siltation is already all over.

He said siltation, such as in the Tagbilaran-Dauis strait was inevitable due to reclamation thus, he proposed that in erecting causeways, the best option to allow free flow of water would be to use concrete piles in construction.

The Philippine Ports Authority, which manages the seaport, has plans to reclaim five or more hectares offshore to expand its territorial domain in anticipation of an increased volume of vessels docked here.

This matter was also discussed during the symposium due to the observed expansion of existing reclamation projects even by private entities.

A plan, hatched during the administration of then mayor Jose Torralba, to reclaim a portion off the narrow channel that divides this city and Dauis has been revived, after this was aborted due to the mounting opposition from city residents at the time.

Mayor John Geesnell “Baba” Lim Yap II, hinted this during an earlier press conference, saying this could be a solution to decongest traffic from the city’s main streets, but he said this plan should be studied carefully due to environmental concerns.

Yap said this may be incorporated in the city’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan that is now being tackled and reviewed for a final version.

Earlier, women leaders of this city expressed concern over the destruction and abuses inflicted into the Tagbilaran Channel.

Idmila Borja, president of the Tagbilaran Woman’s Club, said: “This channel is no longer the channel it used to be. It has been defaced by reclamations and the sea is destroyed by pollutants such that in the long history of this city, it is only now that we have the red tide. Tagbilaran channel has to be saved.”

BONACONSO member Pat Ruiz, for her part, called on the involvement of citizens in the channel preservation and protection.  (FREEMAN)

 

ACIRC BOHOL NATURE CONSERVATION SOCIETY CHANNEL CITY COMPREHENSIVE LAND USE PLAN DAUIS DR. ANGEL ALCALA HOLY SPIRIT SCHOOL IDMILA BORJA JOSE TORRALBA TAGBILARAN CHANNEL
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