Cebu City braces for ‘La Niña’ rains, floods

File photo
File photo

CEBU City Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia is looking at the possibility of building gabion dams in the mountains of Cebu City in preparation for the La Niña.

In a press conference on Thursday, May 23, 2024, Garcia said ‘Task Force Gubat sa Baha’ (TFGB) appropriated around P200 million for flood-control projects in priority areas around the city.

Garcia said task force overseer retired Major General Melquiades Feliciano apprised him that TFGB was continually desilting and dredging rivers in Cebu City.

However, Garcia said he wanted to have gabion dams in order to control the flow of water from mountain barangays.

“Our floods are terrible because it will find its own way into the streets and houses. But if we can delay the flow of water from the mountains, perhaps we can prevent more floods,” Garcia said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

Garcia noted that some existing drainage systems in the city were still built in the 1970s and had been replaced since then.

“Our drainage systems are so small so runoff water will be very strong and this may result in terrible floods in our city,” Garcia said.

Garcia ordered City Administrator Christine Joyce Batucan to look into the P1.382 billion flood-control project awarded to the A.M. Oreta and Co. Inc. with an advanced payment of P199.323 million and mobilization fee of P28.8 million.

Garcia said he wanted this pending project of A.M. Oreta to be aligned with the TFGB’s plans.

DPWH 7

Earlier, Garcia also met with Department of Public Works and Highways regional director Ernesto Gregorio Jr. regarding its existing, upcoming, and completed projects in the city.

In September 2023, SunStar Cebu reported that the Cebu City Government allocated P8 billion for its drainage master plan, with P1.8 billion already spent on flood mitigation projects in Barangays Tejero, Tinago, T. Padilla, Lorega San Miguel, and Zapatera; as well as dredging and desilting projects at the Lahug, Bulacao, Kinalumsan, and Guadalupe rivers; and the Tagunol, Tejero, and Mahiga creeks.

Garcia assured that as acting mayor, he will work closely with the DPWH 7 and other government agencies for better coordination in implementing projects. / AML

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