Residents’ stay stalls anti-landslide project-A A +A
Friday, September 5, 2014
CONTRACTORS working on an ongoing road-widening project at the Talisay-Toledo Wharf Access Road in Barangay Manipis complained that they cannot proceed with putting up landslide mitigation measures if residents there would not relocate to safer ground.
While consultations organized by the Talisay City Government with more than 100 residents living near landslide-prone areas in Manipis was postponed yesterday due to heavy rains.
Willie Abatayo, QM Builders project supervisor, told reporters yesterday that as much as they want to build slope stabilization structures in Barangay Manipis, they could not do so since it might affect residents in the area.
QM Builders is the winning contractor hired by the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) to undertake the P56.8-million road-widening project at the Talisay-Toledo Wharf Access Road.
Abatayo said that the DPWH Second Engineering District instructed them to implement landslide mitigation measures while their work is still ongoing.
They plan to build “benches” or stair-like structures that will prevent landslide debris from fully going down the slope.
“Maglisud man sad mi ug benching kung naay mga mamuyo nga magpabilin dapit sa ubos kay maigo nga sila sa among construction (We can’t do benching when there are residents in the area as the construction works might hit them),” Abatayo added.
Vince Monterde, Talisay City public information and local disaster risk reduction and management (LDRRM) officer, said they plan to meet with DPWH and QM Builders next week to discuss their proposal.
Monterde and the members of LDRRMC were at Manipis yesterday to conduct consultations with affected residents, but it was postponed due to heavy rains.
Monterde said the City is concerned that no relocation site is being provided by DPWH and its subcontractor since a lot of residents in Barangay Manipis could be affected by their road works.
Even Barangay Manipis Chief Emma Cabiluna is concerned because she had found no possible relocation site for residents living near the danger zones.
But Cabiluna advised residents to leave their homes and transfer to their relatives living nearby in the meantime.
Talisay City Councilor Danilo Caballero, who was in Manipis yesterday to attend the consultations, said residents near the landslide prone areas refused to leave because their livelihood could be affected.
Caballero said most of the residents have crops planted near the landslide areas.
Caballero plans to talk to Talisay City Mayor Johnny De los Reyes on how to persuade residents to evacuate to safer ground.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 05, 2014.