Drainage projects ‘stalled’ by lack of council nod

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Sunday, August 31, 2014


DRAINAGE projects of the Cebu City Government amounting to P252 million have not been implemented.

This was disclosed by the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) in the wake of the flooding that recently struck the city.

The P252 million covers the P100 million worth of drainage projects that the City was supposed to implement in 2012. The P52 million and P100 million covered projects that were supposed to be implemented last year and this year.

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The amount forms part of the implementation of the City’s P2.4-billion drainage master plan.

DEPW Chief Engr. Jose Marie Poblete told Sun.Star Cebu that the drainage projects were not implemented because these were not approved by the City Council.

Poblete said the budget for drainage programs and projects are lump sum appropriations, and charges in the said account needs the approval of the council as provided for in the budget ordinance.

The P100-million budget in 2012 was supposed to cover drainage projects in Barangays Luz (P729,420), Parian (P3.6 million), Kalubihan (P5.4 million), Sto. Niño (P28 million), Ermita (P1 million), Sawang Calero (P3.8 million), Pahina Central (P667,621), Basak Pardo (P3.5 million), and Basak San Nicolas (P8.7 million).

It also covered drainage projects in Barangays Guadalupe (P31 million), Carreta (P1.7 million), Kamputhaw (P4.3 million) and along Magallanes St., particularly from D. Jakosalem St. to Manalili St. (P6.2 million).

Powe

For 2013, the P52-million drainage projects were supposed to be implemented in Barangays Sambag 1 (P5.6 million), Tejero (P11 million), Carreta (P13.5 million), Ermita (P2.4 million) and Lahug (P20 million).
The other P100 million set aside for this year, Poblete said, covers drainage projects in other flood-prone areas.

Poblete said all the drainage projects for 2012 until 2014 already have program of works and estimates (Powe) from DEPW.

To be implemented, he said they need a resolution allowing them to charge the fund for the said project to the lump sum appropriation account.

The DEPW chief said council approval is needed because the City Budget Office won’t sign the approved budget of contract (ABC) for the project without the resolution.

The ABC, Poblete said, is one of the requirements so the bidding for the project can proceed.

Based on records of the office of Councilor Margarita Osmeña, who heads the committee on budget and finance, DEPW was only able to endorse drainage projects to them this year.

A question of funding

Also, the total drainage projects introduced to the legislative body only amount to P51.6 million.

These are covered by proposed resolutions authored by Councilor Roberto Cabarrubias, who heads the committee on infrastructure.

The council has not yet approved Cabarrubias’s resolutions as it has scheduled an executive session first with the DEPW and the City Treasurer’s Office on Sept. 5.

Since there are projects that date back to 2012 yet, the council wants to know if there are funds to support the implementation of the drainage projects.

It was in 2012 when the City started implementing drainage projects that are aligned with the drainage master plan.

Before that, the DEPW implemented drainage projects based on the request of the city’s 80 barangays.

Metro master plan

Aside from implementing drainage projects, Poblete said the City needs public help in solving the flooding problem.

This is because solid wastes, such as plastics, have clogged drainage lines.

He also said there is a need for the City to recover the three-meter easement of rivers, which are being occupied by illegal settlers.

Mayor Michael Rama, in a separate interview, said he wants the Department of Public Works and Highways to give an update on the comprehensive Metro Cebu drainage master plan.

The master plan, he said, will address the recurring flooding problem in the entire Metro Cebu.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 31, 2014.

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