THE new chief of the Project Reduction of Danger Zones (Redz) wants the Cebu City Government to purchase its own swamp excavator.
This, after lack of equipment hampered the dredging operation being initiated by the barangays in some waterways in the city.
Redz chief and Tinago Barangay Captain Joel Garganera said dredging in Tejero Creek was temporarily put on hold because the equipment they are using can no longer access some portions of the creek being occupied by settlers.
“I think it’s already time for the City to purchase the swamp excavator because it can help a lot,” he said.
Redz was supposed to dredge the entire stretch of the creek using a backhoe they borrowed from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) but the group was only able to clean some 100 meters of it.
Compared to a backhoe, a swamp excavator can penetrate some portions of the rivers and creeks because it will be deployed directly in the waterway.
When they started dredging two weeks ago, Garganera said a portion of the wall of Tejero Elementary School had to be destroyed to access the river.
Fourteen barangay captains of the coastal areas in the City agreed to dredge the waterways in their areas to prevent floods during the rainy season.
They borrowed equipment from DPWH while waiting for the City to allocate a budget for dredging and desilting.
The City, through the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, already pushed for the purchase of the swamp excavator.
“We are aware that there was already a plan to purchase the swamp excavator but I don’t know what happened why we still don’t have it now. I think we have to remind the City,” Garganera said.
Once City Hall will have the equipment, Garganera said, Redz can already initiate an all-year-round dredging and desilting of creeks, rivers and other waterways.
Ideally, the north and south districts should have at least one swamp excavator, a backhoe and two dump trucks when conducting dredging operation, Garganera said.