DEPW needs P2B to address Cebu City’s flooding problems
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) in Cebu City needs at least P2 billion to address the city’s flooding problems.
Engineer Kenneth Carmelita Enriquez, DEPW head, said that the amount could even be bigger depending on the outcome of the individual Program of Works and Estimates (POWE) that will be prepared for each of the drainage improvement projects that they will soon implement.
While they are yet to make a formal budget request to source the P2 billion allocation, Enriquez said they have already started to identify 200 frequently-flooded areas that are located in the city’s urban barangays. Their list includes 40 areas that are located along the Kinalumsan River.
At least 36 other areas including Sitio Paradise 3 are located in Barangay Kinasang-an in the city’s south district.
Initial investigation conducted by DEPW traced flooding problems to the lack of or the presence of a shallow drainage system in these areas.
Enriquez said there is now a need to establish waterways especially in thickly populated barangays like Barangay Kinasang-an to address flooding problems, a concern that has been ignored for decades.
“Ang tubig mangita man gyod nag kaagian. Karon daghan na kaayog structures nagbabag sa mga waterways, mobaha gyod na,” Enriquez said.
(Water will always find a path. Structures now block our existing waterways, this leads to flooding.)
However, Enriquez admitted that her proposal to open waterways in the barangays will take time and will require a huge investment from the city government. She said that the project would cost at least P2 billion.
The amount already includes the cost of expropriating affected properties.
“We already have a system of underground drainage so we can restore the waterways underground, but the construction may still affect private property,” Enriquez said.
As a preparation, DEPW is now coordinating with the City Planning Office (CPO) to ensure that no new developments or constructions will be allowed in areas identified for drainage improvement. She will be asking CPO not to issue a location permit which is a requirement to start development works.
Enriquez said that any new structures that will be built above existing waterways should be designed in such a way that it will not obstruct the natural flow of water in the area.
“Even small waterways are valuable in maintaining balance in our city (to) avoid flooding,” said Enriquez. / dcb
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