Samsam eyes removal of informal settlers from Bulacao riverbank
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Some riverbank occupants in Barangay Bulacao, Talisay City may be asked to vacate their respective dwellings to allow the Department of Public Works and Highways in Central Visayas (DPWH-7) to widen water outfalls in the area.
But this will take time to implement, said Talisay City Mayor-elect Gerard Anthony “Samsam” Gullas in a Facebook post at 5 p.m. today, June 17.
Still, this will have to be done under his administration.
“I assure our constituents that we cannot sacrifice the interest of the public at the expense of the few,” said Gullas’ post.
Gullas said that he already directed the City Engineering Office (CEO) and the City Legal Office (CLO) to conduct an ocular inspection of the area and for Bulacao Barangay Captain Banjo Abastillas to speak with the riverbank occupants “so they can vacate and allow DPWH to go ahead with the project.”
While discussions are ongoing, Gullas said he also directed CEO to continue to desilt the city’s drainage system, which they already started to work on during the weekend.
Gullas first raised a concern on the city’s drainage problems on Saturday after reports of the hip-deep flooding in Barangay Bulacao, which resulted from the Friday evening rain, reached his office.
This morning, Gullas said that met with engineers from the 2nd Engineering District of DPWH-7 and officials of the Solid Waste Management Office (SWMO) to discuss possible solutions to the city’s flooding problems particularly the one affecting Bulacao residents.
During their meeting, DPWH-7 representatives admitted that there was a problem with the barangay’s water outfall.
“DPWH officials assured that there is a current budget to fix the outfall in the area but they can’t start since there are still informal settlers living near the project site,” Gullas said.
While the problem on the informal settlers is being fixed, Gullas said that he already directed the CEO to deploy the city’s submersible pump in Barangay Bulacao in case of another flooding incident there.
“I also requested DPWH-7 director Edgar Tabacon to deploy their submersible pump which is to be stationed at the DPWH’s 2nd District office in Barangay Lawaan. With this, we can mitigate flooding in Barangay Bulacao while DPWH personnel will start construction of the drainage outfall,” he added.
When he formally assumes as Mayor on July 1, Gullas said that he will also issue an Executive Order (EO) for the implementation of a city-wide and city government initiated quarterly coastal cleanup drive, monthly river cleanup and weekly drainage cleanup drives.
Gullas said that he has already directed the SWMO to draft the guidelines that will govern the implementation of a city-wide cleanup drive.
“(But) though we are slowly addressing the problem, the city government shouldn’t shoulder it on its own. I urge Talisaynons to also do their part in helping prevent another flooding incident by properly throwing their plastic wastes,” he said.
“Knowing that these problems exist is just half the battle. Concerted efforts between the City and all the Talisaynons are needed in solving the problem as well,” Gullas added.
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