AT LEAST 100 houses built within the three-meter easement at the Mahiga Creek in Barangay Subangdaku, Mandaue City will be demolished in the coming weeks.
Subangadaku Barangay Captain Ernie Manatad said Monday, September 18, 2023, that these houses are in Sitio Visayas and Sitio Pildacan.
The demolition, he added, was discussed during the second roundtable discussion organized by the Mandaue City Government to address the city's perennial flood problem.
The discussion was attended by the Department of Public Works and Highways in Central Visayas (DPWH 7) and Sixth District Engineering Office, Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV), Cebu City Officials, and other stakeholders.
The first roundtable was held on September 14, 2022.
The discussion primarily centered on the clogged drainage that lacked desilting, particularly on Gov. Cuenco Avenue in Barangay Banilad, where water rises to unbelievable heights, particularly within the Cebu Rolling Hills Memorial Chapel in Mandaue, Sto. Niño Village, University of San Carlos (USC), among other areas in Cebu City.
In September last year, the flood water in this area was beyond the head level, pestering residents, commuters, and motorists.
Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes said the culvert pipes in these areas, particularly on M.L. Quezon Avenue, have small diameters that could not sustain strong water flow, resulting in floods during the heavy rains.
He pointed out that the flood water in the area usually comes from the upland areas, such as Cebu City, going to the culvert pipe in M.L. Quezon connecting to A.S. Fortuna St. considering that Mandaue is a low-lying area.
Cortes asked the Cebu City Government to find other means to divide water distribution, such as water diversion in the creek located at Banilad Road Apas, Cebu City.
Cortes also brought up Mandaue's clogged drainages, particularly with garbage resulting in floods.
Architect Marlo Ocleasa, head of Mandaue City Planning and Development Office (CPDO), said they had done manual declogging among city drainages during regular clean-ups.
Cortes said the City lacked declogging equipment and suggested the DPWH provide them with de clogging machines, stressing "free drainages" could become a band aid solution to decrease flooding.
DPWH 7 Assistant Regional Director Danilo Villa said they could propose their central office provide declogging equipment for Cebu local government units (LGUs) to use.
Villa also emphasized the importance of desilting major drainages and outfalls (discharge points) and the DPWH's efforts to do such with the LGUs involved.
Some major water bodies discussed during the roundtable discussion were the Mahiga Creek and the Butuanon River, which borders are found in both Mandaue and Cebu City.
Aside from faulty culvert pipes and drainages, the roundtable also talked about the importance of regular and closely coordinated cleanups of Mahiga Creek and the Butuanon River of Mandaue and Cebu LGU.
During the meeting, it was announced that Mandaue and Cebu City would sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to share accountabilities and tasks in these water bodies' rehabilitation on Tuesday, September 19.
Mandaue City Drainage Masterplan Consultant and Hydronet Consultants Inc. Danilo Jaque suggested Cebu City prioritize building a detection basin or mini dam in the upstream reservoir of the Butuanon River.
Jaque said the dam could at least accommodate 200,000 cubic meters of water to avoid overflow, which Mandaue and Cebu City could turn into a Wetland Park and create business around it, such as land development and commercial housing.
He also proposed that Mandaue and Cebu flood prevention and drainage maintenance teams meet twice a month with representatives from the DPWH to calibrate underground issues and achieve comprehensive results in their flood regulation initiatives.
Also, during the dialogue, DPWH 7 and Sixth Engineering Offices discussed their implemented, ongoing, and upcoming flood mitigation projects.
Engr. Luis Paredes, DPWH 7 Unified Project Management Office-Flood Control Management Cluster representative, said they have seven flood mitigation projects approved under the General Appropriation Act (GAA) 2023, amounting to P820 million, which mostly concentrated at the Butuanon River.
"There is a need for improvement because the Butuanon (River) is where our drainage, streams, and drainages run through. It serves as the main outfall," said Paredes.
Paredes lauded Mandaue's master plan, which he said would serve as the technical basis for them to narrow down the relevant projects to be implemented.
Paredes also presented five flood mitigation projects identified for Mandaue City amounting to P742,296, which they will propose to be included in the GAA 2024.
Cebu Sixth District Engineering Office Head Engr. Daisy Toledo also said they implemented five mandated flood control projects worth P180 million within the Cebu sixth district and a total of P1.3 billion flood mitigation projects covering 3.86 kilometers area in Mandaue for 2023. (HIC)