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Open to water and to life

By: Editorial October 01,2017 - 11:05 PM

It is almost late in the day for local governments in Cebu to prioritize implementing a comprehensive land use plan, but recent events underscored anew the urgency of this need.

At least three persons, two of them children, died when they fell into the river in Barangay Guadalupe after a footbridge on which they stood broke on Friday.

Meanwhile, Gordon Alan Joseph of the Mega Cebu Development and Coordinating Board called for more open spaces that would absorb rainwater and prevent flooding.

We commiserate with the bereaved family and friends of Juros and John Carlo Taran as well as of Arturo Cabradilla who drowned in the rampaging river.

Their deaths, like those of so many others in times of strong rain and widespread flooding will be best honored if their loved ones left behind take steps to prevent the recurrence of similar tragedies.

The decision of Janice Navarro, the mother of Juros and John Carlo, to relocate to a safer place is prudent and exemplary. We hope that her neighbors will emulate her rather than insist on living in constant danger by the river.

Michael Gacasan, the chairman of Barangay Guadalupe said riverbank settlers were already granted relocation before 2010, but a number of families refused the offer.

Perhaps, apart from demonstrating that they can live decently in the relocation areas, local governments must do more to convince the intransigent to settle elsewhere.

We recommend that our leaders invest in developing our easement zones. After all, they should be under the care of agencies like the Cebu City Parks and Playgrounds Commission since they, too, are supposed to be open spaces.

Sadly, our easement zones attract informal settlers because they seem like abandoned nooks where vegetation is left to run wild or piles of malodorous garbage and other refuse are left to decay.

If only these spaces are converted into well-lighted spots where eye-catching public art may be displayed amid well-tended trees and flowering plants.

Then our leaders will have responded to the need spelled out by Joseph for more open spaces where rainwater can find their way to the sea while creating a cityscape that promotes the health of residents and inspires them with beauty instead of providing shortcuts to the grave.

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TAGS: barangay Guadalupe, footbridge, land, landslide, local government

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