DPWH implements water projects-A A +A
Sunday, March 17, 2013
THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) implemented P417.3 million worth of various water projects in Central Visayas, particularly Cebu, between 2009 and 2012, as mandated by Republic Act (RA) 6716, or the Rainwater Collector and Springs Development Law.
This announcement was in response to the statement of Elisea Gozun, the presidential assistant for climate change, that the agency, which is tasked to build rainwater collectors (or catchments) and rehabilitate old and defective wells, has been slow in implementing the law.
In a letter to Sun.Star Cebu, Marie Mig-non Nillama, DPWH 7 spokesperson, said the agency spent P57.6 million in 2009, P110.2 million in 2010, P208.9 million in 2011 and P40.5 million last year to improve the water supply.
The allocations were for the construction of water systems, artesian wells, reservoirs, pumping stations and conduits.
Nillama said the agency will allocate more funds this year to build water catchments.
She said it is now a DPWH policy that drainage must be a compulsory component of road projects so rainwater will go directly to the canal instead of flowing to the streets.
Earlier, Gozun said Congress passed the law in 1989 yet.
She said if the DPWH and local government units (LGUs) don’t fully implement the law, which also prohibits the rampant cutting of trees in watershed areas, Metro Cebu faces the risk of flashfloods like those that hit Cagayan de Oro and Compostela Valley.
To avoid such calamities, Gozun, who is a former secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, suggested that the DPWH and LGUs should work together to build catchments to store rainwater and prevent it from flowing directly to the streets.
Gozun said the collected rainwater, if treated, can be used for washing vehicles, washing clothes, watering the plants, among other things.
She said it is sad to note that reservoirs, catchment basins or detention ponds, which are required by RA 6716, are rare in Cebu.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 17, 2013.