THE Cebu City Government’s Task Force Gubat sa Baha has urged households and non-compliant developers of subdivisions to connect their existing drainage systems to the city’s waterways and to address their inadequate rain catchment facilities to store rainwater during downpours.
Task Force Gubat sa Baha chief Roy Cimatu said the flooding in a parking lot of a mall in Barangay Banilad, Cebu City, following heavy rainfall on Sept. 11, 2023, might have been caused by a problematic drainage system of the mall.
“Nakita namin during sa aming mga inspections na meron flooding dito sa area na katabi sa river, pero ang river walang tubig. So walang linya connecting sa flooded area at sa river. Eto ang aayusin natin,” Cimatu said in an episode of the Sugboanon Channel of Cebu City’s People’s Progressive Radio Media Network on Wednesday, Sept. 27.
(We observed during our inspections that there is flooding in the area next to the river, but the river has no water. So, there is no connection between the flooded area and the river. This is what we will fix.)
He said without a proper drainage system or catchment facility, wastewater from homes and businesses during heavy rainfall flows into the street instead of going to the river.
Cimatu said he had talked with Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama about issuing an executive order appointing someone to ensure strict compliance with this initiative.
During the same program, City Councilor Jerry Guardo, infrastructure committee chairman, said the management of the subdivisions in the uptown city will be summoned next month to determine their compliance with the rainwater catchment facility.
He said the management of non-compliant establishments will be required to make, fix, or expand their existing drainage system and catchment facilities.
Meanwhile, Cimatu said the City Government must implement flood-mitigation measures including rehabilitation, desilting, declogging, and clearing of its major rivers while improving the existing drainage system and connecting them to the waterways.
To hasten this, Guardo said the City has allocated a budget for the rental of heavy equipment to help in the efforts of desilting and declogging the city’s rivers.
He added that the proiject will soon enter the bidding phase to select a contractor for the rental of heavy equipment, and he assured that the funds for disbursement are already available.