Sanchez: Not water under the bridge

Nature Speaks

YOU would have thought residents from other urban areas would be green with envy of Bacolod. After all, two years ago City District Engineer Abraham Villareal of the Department of Public Works and Highways bragged that the drainage project aimed at mitigating floods in this city was already “95-percent complete” in August 2018, the rainy season.

The remaining 5 percent of the work involves the installation of inlets that will connect the pipes, Villareal said. He stressed that the flood control project may be completed by middle of September 2018.

This, Villareal stressed, will efficiently collect surface water when it rains and convey it toward the Mandalagan Bridge.

Fast forward March 2020, summer time, we get this. Last Friday night’s heavy rains that caused floods in several parts of Bacolod City claiming the lives of two people, including a five-month-old baby boy.

At that time, woman still braved the rains so she could go home to her family in Eroreco, Barangay Mandalagan that she always does every afternoon. And, poor soul, was caught flatfooted. She was unprepared for the torrential downpour.

I would probably react the same way. I expect the summer heat, not floods. I don’t even bring an umbrella for emergencies not for unexpected rains every summer. I still imbibed the Boy Scout values of being always be prepared.

We had been promised two years ago that floods in Mandalagan is a thing of the past. No floods are not water under the bridge for floods.

Summer floods in Mandalagan? What happened to the flood control projects that should have been set last year in November 2018?

The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) said the project did not cause the flood. Rainwater equivalent to about four days of rain poured over the city at the time, the CDRRMO said.

“We are currently living in the age when climate change makes natural disasters real. We at DRRMO had been proactively and seriously performing our mandate to implement sound disaster prevention and disaster preparedness program,” he said.

Garbage that collected in drainage systems also blocked the flow of water and worsened the flooding, the office added.

Oh that darn garbage again. Our Bacolod LGU was caught flatfooted for not enforcing its anti-littering ordinances. We can expect floods when the onset of the real rainy season in May or June.


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