AN OFFICIAL of the Cagayan de Oro City Engineer’s Office clarified that the city need not craft a master drainage plan, as it already has one produced by the UP (University of the Philippines)-Planades (Planning and Development Research Foundation Inc.).
City Engineer Rolando Pacuribot said the comprehensive drainage plan, although created by experts in Manila, was a joint effort of UP and the City Government.
“There is no need to create one because the city government is very much involved in the process of creating a drainage master plan,” he said.
Pacuribot was reacting to statements of Councilors Edna Dahino and Teodulfo Lao Jr. in a commitee meeting of the public utilities last week, insisting that the city has no drainage plan, and that a drainage plan created by experts who are not from Cagayan de Oro is not effective to address the city’s flood woes.
But Pacuribot explained that as early as 2016, the drainage plan was already available, prompting the Department of Public Works and Highways to start main canal projects, particularly drainage works in Bitan-ag Creek, Kolambo Creek, Gumamela in barangay Carmen, Sapang Creek, and NHA creek.
“Why do we create another plan when we already have one? What we are doing now is align our projects with that of the DPWH,” he said.
“They are right that we Cagayan de Oro engineers are experts in terms of the water ways, but the UP-Planades has the expertise on the design and hydraulics. This is exactly why we had coordInation meeting with them so that we can create a viable and effective drainage plan,” Pacuribot said.
After the master drainage plan was created, Pacuribot said the city also has to redesign its drainage system to connect to the DPWH’s main drainage system.
Some of the drainage projects are the Alae flood Control, Agusan Flood Control, Umalag Riverbank Protection, Bigaan River Protection, Seal Wall Grouted Riprap for Zone 8, Cugman, among others.
The city has so far spent P156.5 million for the drainage works.
“Maybe what we can do now is to urge the DPWH to hasten their projects, but we also understand that their budget is released according to phases, but we still urge them to finish the soonest possible because to mitigate flppding in our city,” Pacuribot said. (PJ Orias)