Cebu City Council approves P15M for drainage

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Thursday, September 4, 2014


CEBU - The Cebu City Council approved Wednesday more than P15-million worth of drainage projects, with one official pointing out that “playing the blame game” wouldn’t keep the city’s streets from being flooded.

In their regular session, the council passed nine resolutions drafted by Councilor Roberto Cabarrubias that will authorize Mayor Michael Rama to sign contracts with different contractors for the drainage projects.

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Cabarrubias heads the committee on infrastructure.

Based on the resolutions, the drainage projects will be implemented in different sitios of Barangays Luz, Mambaling, Kinasang-an, Paril, Lusaran, San Nicolas Proper, Basak Pardo, Ermita and Basak San Nicolas.

The council, though, asked the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) to submit to them a certification that none of the P15 million worth of drainage projects have been implemented yet.

The P15 million will be charged to the City Government’s P100-million lump sum appropriation for drainage projects in 2012.

Before the council approved Cabarrubias’s resolutions, Councilor Eugenio Gabuya asked why the contracts have only been endorsed to the council now, when the projects were charged in 2012 yet.

Paperwork, personnel

He said it was unfair for the council to be blamed for the delay in the implementation of the drainage projects.

Problems in the city’s drainage again surfaced after major roads were flooded last Thursday, following a heavy downpour.

Councilor Margarita Osmeña, chairperson of the council’s committee on budget and finance, recalled hearing that in a previous executive session with officials of the DEPW, one observation was that drainage projects were delayed because the office, among others, lacks people to do the program of works and estimates.

She added the bidding for these projects were done by the executive department only last year.

Gabuya then said it should be made clear that the council has not caused delays in the implementation of the drainage projects.

Osmeña, in a privilege speech she delivered yesterday, also reiterated that the council is not sitting on the drainage projects that need its approval.

The contract, which was endorsed to the council a few months back, has not been immediately approved by the legislative body because there were several questions that needed to be answered, she said.

No blame game

One of the questions was whether there were still funds to back up the projects, since the appropriations dated back to 2012 yet.

“Hopefully, this will help the public understand the situation. We do have the right and the duty to ask questions when we do not know the answer. Why would we approve an appropriation if only to block it?” she said.

“If there is a single issue that we all undoubtedly agree on, it is that we must address the drainage problem. Playing the blame game will certainly not help,” she added.

All the council is asking, Osmeña said, is for their questions to be answered.

The council decided to conduct an executive session with the DEPW, the City Treasurer’s Office, the City Accounting Office and the City Administrator’s Office on Sept. 12 to discuss the status of all the drainage projects of the city, including those which have been funded in 2010 yet. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 04, 2014.

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