Battle on Bitan-ag continues

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By Nef Luczon

Pencalibur

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


"CORRUPTION has appeared throughout the land and sea by [reason of] what the hands of people have earned so He may let them taste part of [the consequence of] what they have done that perhaps they will return [to righteousness]." – Qur'an 30:41

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THAT’S twice this year after tropical depression “Agaton” left Mindanao in January, but luckily this time it happened on a Sunday where there were no classes and people are converging in malls along C.M. Recto Avenue.

But the inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) that brought heavy rain in just a couple of hours again caused the flooding of this notorious national road, good thing Coca-cola has stopped worrying about it every time it happens since they already moved to Villanueva town in Misamis Oriental.

Now it’s up to the newbies like Tune Hotel and the rumored new SM “Premiere” mall to carry the burden that Coca-cola bottling plant used to have.

While flooding keeps on repeating within the proximity of Bitan-ag creek, we will not cease on calling on stakeholders in the community to find concrete, workable and implementable solutions so that flooding incidents will not happen again.

Again, I did mention about this in my column in February, regarding the so-called “Adopt Estero” Project which was mutually signed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Bitan-ag Creek Alliance and the Mindanao University of Science and Technology (MUST), with the aim to curb pollution in Bitan-ag creek areas.

But it appears, as what I have feared before, the recent flooding testify a hurtful truth that the project was not yet enacted fully, of which is also very interesting to note that three sectors alone can’t solve it since the major sectors with major investments and properties were out of the picture.

In short, maybe it is high time for lead agencies to pressure the major businesses near Bitan-ag creek to take its part in clearing, and even widening it to avoid flooding in the future.

Our neighboring countries were able to address the flooding issues in the hearts of their major cities through major engineering works and it is not uncommon to have brilliant engineers and developers we have even in our own region alone. But why this recurring is still a problem? Is it that big not to solve such issue?

Again, it is time that we should take this problem seriously. You can’t just have beautiful edifices along C.M. Recto that represents the “modernity” of Cagayan de Oro when in time it will rain, it turns out like Atlantis-like scenery but instead of clear waters are floating garbage and mud?

We ordinary people can only notice, but those with technical expertise and political power will have the upper hand in leading in solving this problem. We cannot just ignore this forever, and obviously we should not wait for another round of finger-pointing the moment it gets worse.

In fact, we are even “lucky” enough that we only experience “mild” flood currents and not similarly in what happened during tropical storm “Sendong” in 2011. That is why we implore to those who can – please do something.

[Email: nefluczon@gmail.com]

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 02, 2014.

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