Cebu City spending P3,500 per day for suction of Poblacion Pardo floodwater
Drainage plan stalled due to complaints from residents in low-lying areas
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Cebu City government has been spending P3,500 per day for the suction of floodwater in Second Street of Sunrise Village in Barangay Poblacion Pardo, in Cebu City following the opposition of residents in the downstream areas for a drainage system that would direct the water into their area.
The amount is for the rent of the motor pump being used to remove stagnant rainwater on the street.
Engineer Kenneth Carmelita Enriquez, the head of the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW), said the city originally planned to create a drainage from Second Street to the main subdivision road, allowing the floodwater to flow to the downstream areas, where the drainage is bigger and can handle the flood faster.
But when the DEPW workers started digging in Second street on Wedenesday, October 2, 2019, the downstream residents protested the project, saying this plan would only direct the floodwater to their area.
“We cannot proceed with connecting the drainage because the other residents are protesting against it. So we have to keep the pump in the area to pump out the floodwater every time it rains,” said Enriquez.
Enriquez said they had to stop the digging for the meantime as they seek the help of the City Legal Office.
In the last 20 days, the city has spent at least P70,000 for the daily pumping of floodwater, and with the drainage construction stalled, the city is expected to spend more.
Enriquez said they already asked a conference with the downstream residents in order to explain to them that even if the floodwater is redirected to their area, they will only suffer minimal flood, which will subside fast because the drainage in the area is bigger.
Furthermore, the Department of Engineering and Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is set to conduct drainage widening projects in the main thoroughfares and major drainages, which includes the downstream area of the subdivision.
“We have to make them understand that redirecting the floodwater is just a temporary solution. The main solution is the drainage widening project,” said Enriquez.
The City Legal Office has already called a conference for the residents and DEPW on October 12 to find a solution to the flooding problem.
“There is a need to address the concern of flooding, especially in the areas of Pardo where the situation is at its worst. The DEPW has already figured out a solution but some residents seem to be uncooperative, despite their plight. It is in that light that the CLO will have to step in, pursuant to the directive of the Mayor invoking the General Welfare Clause, to approach the legal issue in a manner that due process would be observed vis-a-vis the impending exercise of the government’s power of eminent domain,” said Lawyer Rey Gealon in a text message to CDN Digital. /bmjo
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