Clogged drainage, constricted river cause Cebu flooding

SILTED and clogged drainage, constricted river or creek systems and insufficient drainage outfall.

These are some of the problems that contributed to the heavy flooding that left hundreds of commuters stranded in the cities of Mandaue, Cebu and Talisay last July 1.

Among the affected areas were A.S. Fortuna and Tipolo in Mandaue City, Lawaan in Talisay City, and the reclamation area and downtown Colon St. in Cebu City.

READ: 3 Cebu cities swamped

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Central Visayas Director Ador Canlas said that based on their findings, the river and creek systems in Cebu have been constricted because of encroachments by informal settlers.

Canlas attended the consultative meeting held at the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. Wednesday. He said during the meeting that the DPWH had a difficulty expanding the river and creek systems because they are located within private properties.

To alleviate the flooding in Metro Cebu, Engr. Fortunato Sanchez Jr., chair of the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (MCDCB) Research, Program and Organizational Development Subcom on Infrastructure and Utilities, said the integrated drainage network master plan for the metro must be applied and implemented.

The master plan, which is based from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) study, is ongoing.

"We already have an ongoing study being conducted by the DPWH through the Woodfields consultants, and this is a study which was initiated actually by Mega Cebu through Sir Bobby Aboitiz," Canlas said.

Sanchez also said that right-of-way must be resolved and dams must be built.

The MCDCB also plans to widen the drainage systems in Metro Cebu just like in Iloilo, he added.

The Jica Flood Control Project in Iloilo serves to prevent major flooding in the city. Jica floodway adequately drained storm waters.

In the 2016 budget, the DPWH was able to fund 731 million for the improvement of some river systems. Five rivers in Cebu City will be improved soon through the Jica floodway. Five of which are Kinalumsan, Subangdaku, Bulacao, Guadalupe and Lahug rivers.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, who also attended the consultative meeting Wednesday, vowed to address the flooding problem in Cebu.

"The Duterte administration is deeply concerned with the events that transpired in Cebu," he said.

Aside from Villar and other officials, Presidential Assistant for Visayas Michael Dino was also present in the meeting Wednesday. (Apple Jay Ortega, PIT intern/Tovya Kaiko Galeon, USJR intern/Sunnex)

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