THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Northern Mindanao is looking at widening the creeks in Cagayan de Oro City as among the long-term solutions to flooding, aside from fast-tracking the upgrading of the drainage system.
A group of engineers of the DPWH met with the City Council on Tuesday, February 21, to discuss the plans and solutions to address the urban flooding.
DPWH Engineer Saivan Valendez said it is necessary to widen the opening or channels of the creeks to give more space for the rainwater to flow and avoid clogging.
Bitan-ag Creek, for example, needs to be widened by at least 12 meters, Valendez said.
“This is a very plausible plan actually, however we cannot move and do it because of the road right-of-way problems (RROW). Daghan man gud mga tao sa kilid, naa pa gyuy dakong establishments na nga naa diha nga area (There are several people and big establishments in the area), so we need the local government to settle this,” Valendez said.
He added the existing sewers and canals should be cleaned regularly to prevent becoming clogged by garbage.
The DPWH cites the inadequate sizes of drainage and channels, siltation, tidal influence on low-lying areas, and unregulated runoff as causes of flooding in the city.
To date, the DPWH is working on the drainage system particularly in areas near Limketkai and in parts near Gumamela Street in Barangay Carmen.
Aside from developing the drainage, the DPWH also recommended all residential and commercial establishments install cisterns which can collect rainwater.
A water retention ponds upstream and downstream and flood gates should also be created so water will not flow immediately to low-lying areas.
City Councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr., a member of the committee on engineering and public works, vowed that the council will support the plans by creating policies and ordinances to realize the plans.
Lao also acknowledged the city lacks urban planning, noting that illegal settlers have been allowed to settle in areas where government projects can be built.
Lao said the city will have to work and find more relocation sites this year.
“Actually, ang City Government man dapat ang magbuhat sa drainage plan, but naa may sa DPWH (the City Government should be the one to come up with a drainage plan but the DPWH already have a plan) so all we have to do is support it, whatever they need we will give. Karon, gipasubmit nato sila ug feasibility study as atong basis para makahimo ta ug (now we submitted the feasibility study as the basis of our) policies and ordinances,” Lao said.