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Mayor Cortes to meet with village chiefs to discuss clearing of settlers in ‘danger zones’

By: Mary Rose Sagarino - CDN Digital | October 15,2020 - 02:37 PM

Flood water half submerges vehicles along a portion of M.J. Cuenco Avenue near the border of Mandaue and Cebu Cities after the Subangdaku river overflowed due to heavy rains on Tuesday, October 13, 2020. | file photo

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu—Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes plans to meet with barangay captains (village chiefs)  to discuss the clearing of settlers living in “danger zones” or within the 3-meter easement zone from the riverbanks of both the Butuanon river and Mahiga creek here.

Cortes believes clearing settlers from the danger zones can help address the flooding problems in the city, which was highlighted anew after Tuesday’s (October 13, 2020) heavy downpour.

Read: Boy hurt; over 400 houses flooded in Mandaue City

“We need to have an agreement with the barangays that once the areas are cleared, they have to make that settlers won’t go back,” Cortes said.  “Because we’re like a broken record. We clear, and then the settlers return. We clear again, and then they return again.”

Cortes said village chiefs have the responsibility to monitor the danger zones because there are a lot already building shanties in those areas.

“Dili lang sa Mandaue, sa uban sad nga lungsod.” Cortes said.

(Not only in Mandaue, but also in other cities.)

Cortes explained that if settlers are cleared from these areas, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) can continue with the flood control projects such as building retaining walls and desilting to deepen and widen the rivers.

This would minimize the overflowing of the river as water from the mountains can flow freely especially when there is a heavy downpour.

The mayor also looks to convince settlers to return to their respective towns in the province. He said the city will assist them in  going back home.

“They will be given assistance. We will help them bring their things to the province. We will encourage them to go back to the province so they don’t have to live near the danger zone,” Cortes said. 

Meanwhile, Cortes also plans to tap the national government and the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) for the building of gabion dams in Cebu City’s mountains.

He believes that this would also help solve the flooding of the cities and at the same time also help address the water shortage problem in metro Cebu.


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TAGS: easement zone, flooding, Mandaue City

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