FILINVEST Land Inc. (FLI) has appealed to the Cebu City Government to address the flooding at the South Road Properties (SRP), saying it is hurting all developments in the area.
The SRP investor asked City Hall to come up with a drainage master plan and to implement it immediately.
FLI has raised the complaint to city officials for the third time. The last time was on July 6, a week after the June 27 flooding where water level rose to about 43 centimeters.
Aside from the FLI properties, the area around the SM Seaside City project and the rest of the Mambaling access road was also flooded following a downpour.
“We call on our leaders, both local and national, in collaboration with the private sector, to seriously address the issue and come up with a truly problem-solving Drainage Master Plan,” FLI vice president Allan Go Alfon said in a statement the company released yesterday.
FLI owns a 10.6-hectare seaside lot at the SRP, where it will build commercial and retail spaces. It is also constructing medium and high-rise residential buildings in City di Mare, a 40-hectare area being developed through a joint venture with the City Government.
“With incidents experienced over the past four years, we expect DPWH and the Cebu City Government to have already taken measures to prevent and better mitigate flooding, one that anticipates more volume of rainfall and run-off waters in the coming years,” Alfon said.
While waiting for the City and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to solve the problem, FLI said its property management teams in all of their projects in Cebu that encountered floods are using their own pumps to hasten the outflow of run-off waters.
But on the Pardo access road near their City di Mare project, Alfon said the elevation of water is so high that whatever volume of water they pump out only flows back.
In a letter sent to SRP Management Office (SRPMO) head Roberto Varquez last July 6, Alfon reiterated FLI’s earlier request for the City to take immediate action to correct the drainage system along Pardo Access Road and to provide drainage outfall for the run-off waters.
He said these projects will benefit not only FLI but also other developments nearby.
In a separate interview, Varquez said they have long wanted to start working on the drainage plan but engineers of DEPW have been called to work on the reblocking of several sitios hit by fires recently.
He said that in a meeting with SM Prime Holdings officials last Monday, they agreed that SM will undertake the study on how the flooding can be effectively addressed.
“Our proposal to SM was to just do this through a public-private partnership. SM agreed to conduct the study and we will implement it, we already have the funds to spend for the drainage projects there. We’re done talking to SM and we will make the same proposal to Filinvest,” he said.
Alfon said the company is willing to help the City develop the drainage master plan, but said the City should allocate resources for its implementation.
In a phone interview yesterday, Mayor Michael Rama said the City cannot address the flooding on its own, and that DPWH will have to play its part in preventing floods at the SRP.
Rama will meet with officials of DPWH, FLI, SM Prime Holdings Inc. and engineers from the City’s Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) this morning to map out solutions that can be implemented immediately.
The mayor said his administration will pursue the drainage master plan, but the SRP investors will also have to help develop an integrated drainage system as part of their corporate social responsibility.
“We are not taking this concern for granted… We have set aside something for that. Let’s see if the funds are still available. But you know, the City has limited capability, that’s why the investors will also have to come in with their contractors and their ideas,” he told Sun.Star Cebu.
Some P1.5 billion worth of repairs and construction of drainage systems, including those in the SRP, are in the approved budget for 2015.
One of the solutions the mayor has in mind to address flooding on the Mambaling access road is to direct run-off water to the creek that separates the SRP from Barangay Mambaling.
On the Pardo access road, the SRPMO proposed to build more canals along the road and to build a drainage system that will pass under the coastal road and FLI’s seafront lot, directing the water out to the sea.