Quick Response Team to declog culverts in barangays

By: Inna Gian Mejia, Jose Santino S. Bunachita October 24,2017 - 10:58 PM

Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera discusses the city’s flood problems in his privilege speech during the council’s regular session.


TO address the flood problem in Cebu City, Mayor Tomas Osmeña has approved in principle the proposal to create a Quick Response Team that will be tasked to respond to the clearing and declogging of silted culverts in the city’s barangays.

Osmeña yesterday met with Councilor Jerry Guardo to discuss the matter together with consultant Engr. Gregg Cuyanan and City Administrator Engr. Nigel Paul Villarete.

In an interview, Guardo said clogged culverts can cause water to rise and flow towards the road which results to flooding.

With the creation of the team, he said, requests of clearing and declogging of silted culverts in the villages would be immediately addressed.

For now, Guardo admitted that the city lacks the manpower to do this.

“Upon ocular inspection of the manpower in the city engineering, we found out that we lack the manpower. So we cannot respond immediately whenever there are requests for declogging or clearing in their drainage,” he said.

Guardo, deputy mayor for infrastructure, suggested to the mayor that two teams be stationed, one each in the north and south districts of the city.

He said they also plan to create another team that will be tasked to construct a silt trap or catchment basin in frequently flooded areas.

The city is now prioritizing the implementation of flood control projects in accordance to the Drainage Master Plan Study for the city, said Guardo.

Meanwhile, Osmeña has also agreed to purchase equipment necessary for the operation such as handheld radios and service vehicles, among others.

He said additional dump trucks and backhoes will also be needed.

Asked when the team would start its desilting and clearing operations, Osmeña said the city still has to procure much of the equipment.

Council session

The same problems of flooding and clogged drainage lines were raised by Councilor Joel Garganera during yesterday’s Cebu City Council session.

In a privilege speech, Garganera said the problem of flooding in the city is caused by four main reasons: irresponsible and improper waste disposal in streets; ineffective and inefficient use or absence of cisterns in establishments; rapid development upstream and under-maintained drainage systems downstream; and disposal of waste in waterways and encroachment of households and establishments.

“No matter the efforts of the government, without the cooperation and participation of the people, it is useless,” he said in his speech.

“We must work hand-in-hand, as a community, in addressing the problems that our city is currently facing. The challenges we face today will be the same challenges that will haunt us unless we do something about it,” he added.

The City Council passed several resolutions proposed by Garganera, which included requesting the Department of Public Services (DPS), Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to conduct regular drainage maintenance on the drainage systems of the city to prevent clogging.

They also requested the DEPW to provide an improved design for drainage systems like providing for a catch basin together with the traditional culvert system.

Big establishments like malls, companies and schools were also requested to establish their own cisterns to limit the discharge of huge volumes of rainwater to the streets.

On the other hand, the executive department was also asked to allocate a budget for the relocation of households and establishments located in danger zones and those encroaching easements and waterways while the DEPW and DPWH were also requested again to update the city’s Drainage Master Plan.

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TAGS: barangays, Quick Response Team
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