AN OFFICIAL from the Davao City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) revealed that some areas in the downtown area are not suitable for residential dwelling because these used to be part of the river flow path.
CPDO head Ivan Cortez said this during the regular session of the 19th City Council on Tuesday, October 26, a day after the flood incident experienced in several parts of the city.
Cortez, who was one of the resource speakers of a certain item, said the city is a “catch basin,” making it prone to flooding.
“We do have areas that are not supposed to be heavily populated because these are areas used to be part of the waterways when there is heavy inundation," he said.
He added, “Looking back at the history of Davao City in the 60s and 70s, you would notice that it is largely kangkungan area na meron mga (that has) submerged areas. Ibig sabihin part of the waterways talaga ang most areas in the downtown area (That means that most areas in the downtown area are part of the waterways).”
The official added that because of the concreting infrastructure developments in these areas, it has reduced the capacity of the land to absorb water.
Cortez did not specify which areas of downtown.
In the draft Comprehensive Land Use Plan (Clup) 2020-2028, Cortez said they already recommended areas frequently flooded as areas for open space easement, as these are not recommended to be residential dwelling.
In previous interviews, Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DCDRRMC) administration and training chief Lyndon Ancajas said he estimated around 157 barangays that are near the city’s rivers.
He said almost 90 barangays are situated near Davao River, almost 20 are near Lipadas River, seven barangays in Matina Biao, and about 40 barangays near Talomo River.
He added that Paquibato and Lasang area in Lasang River.
Meanwhile, Cortez said the City is currently incorporating the flood mitigation plan in the feasibility study for drainage control project spearheaded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).
He said this will serve as a master guide for the city in its future infrastructure projects.
“Once this is approved, we can already use it as a guide for us to veer away from indiscriminate implementation of projects without knowing where the waters are going on its final flow,” the city planning head said.
The study, which is already completed, still needs approval from the City.
Meanwhile, the City Council approved on second reading the resolution adopting the Davao City Flood Contingency Plan as prepared by the CDRRMO.
Councilor Mabel Acosta, resolution author, said the contingency plan aims to ensure "effective, efficient, timely, and well-coordinated response mechanisms in the event of the occurrence of flooding in Davao City."