TO ADDRESS the persistent flooding problem affecting both cities of Cebu and Mandaue, the local government of Mandaue has recommended to its counterpart in Cebu City to prioritize the construction of a mini dam in the upper section of Butuanon River, as they promised shared responsibility in rehabilitating rivers along their borders, among other measures.
A mini dam in the Butuanon River can prevent an overflow during a downpour or days of steady rainfall, a person who has knowledge about it told government officials during their roundtable discussion on finding solutions to flooding in the two cities at Maayo Hotel in Mandaue City on Monday, Sept. 18, 2023.
The proposal to construct a mini dam or detection basin was pushed by Danilo Jaque, consultant for the Mandaue City Drainage Masterplan and Hydronet Consultants Inc.
Jaque said the mini dam should have a capacity of at least 200,000 cubic meters to prevent overflow. Once realized, the area sorrounding the dam can be transformed into a wetland park, which can create business opportunities, he added.
The 23-kilometer Butuanon River starts from the mountains of Cebu City. It flows through both cities of Cebu and Mandaue, and it drains into the Mactan Channel.
Jaque also suggested that flood prevention and drainage maintenance teams from Mandaue City and Cebu City to hold bi-monthly meetings with representatives from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to address issues and achieve comprehensive results in their flood regulation efforts.
These measures were discussed during the second roundtable discussion between the city governments of Mandaue and Cebu on Monday.
Attendees included representatives from the DPWH 7 and its Sixth District Engineering Office, Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, and other stakeholders.
The first roundtable meeting was held on Sept. 14, 2022.
The discussion on Monday focused on identifying issues that should be addressed to help alleviate flooding conditions, such as clearing clogged drainage systems, particularly in Gov. M. Cuenco Avenue in Barangay Banilad, Cebu City, addressing encroachments on the three-meter easement zone of rivers, and improving small culverts, among other issues.
The meeting on Monday also addressed the issue of clogged drainage systems in Mandaue.
Marlo Ocleasa, head of the Mandaue City Planning and Development Office, said they have conducted manual declogging of the city’s drainage systems during regular cleanups.
However, he pointed out that the city lacked the necessary declogging equipment, thus he requested assistance from the DPWH.
Ocleasa further said that solely relying on declogging drainage systems could be a temporary solution to flooding.
DPWH 7 assistant director Danilo Villa said they can propose to their central office to provide declogging equipment for use by local government units in Cebu.
Villa also emphasized the importance of desilting major drainage systems and outfalls (discharge points).
Meanwhile, Subangdaku Barangay Captain Ernie Manatad said on Monday that at least 100 houses that encroached on the three-meter easement zone of Mahiga Creek are set to be demolished in the coming weeks.
He initially mentioned a transitory housing in Barangay Paknaan; however, he did not provide details yet on the financial assistance for those who will decide not to avail themselves of the relocation program.
The discussion also addressed the severe drainage issues on Gov. M. Cuenco Avenue in Barangay Banilad, causing water levels to rise significantly, especially near the Cebu Rolling Hills Memorial Chapels on A.S. Fortuna Street in Mandaue City and Sto. Niño Village, which is located in Banilad, Cebu City and Banilad, Mandaue City.
Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes explained culvert pipes in these areas, including those along M.L. Quezon Avenue, have narrow diameters and are incapable of handling heavy water flow, leading to flooding to some parts of these streets during heavy rainfall.
He noted that most of the floodwater originates from upland areas in Cebu City.
Cortes requested the Cebu City Government during the roundtable discussion to explore alternative methods in managing the flow of water in its drainage systems.
Aside from faulty culvert pipes and problematic
drainage systems, the two city governments also tackled regular and closely coordinated cleanups of Mahiga Creek and the Butuanon River.
Cebu City’s efforts
In an earlier report, the Cebu City Government has set aside P8 billion for its drainage master plan, with P1.8 billion already utilized for flood mitigation initiatives in Barangays Tejero, Tinago, T. Padilla, Lorega San Miguel, and Zapatera.
Funds have been allocated for dredging and desilting projects along the Lahug, Bulacao, Kinalumsan, and Guadalupe Rivers, as well as the Tagunol, Tejero, and Mahiga Creeks. (HIC, WBS)