Rama to ask President Marcos to give Cebu City a new dam
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama will request to President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. to give Cebu City a new water dam.
In a statement posted at the Cebu City Public Information Office Facebook page on July 15, 2022, Rama shared his plan to request President Marcos to include in the national government’s flagship projects the construction of a dam, which he had already brought to the attention of former President Rodrigo Duterte.
“This came after the mayor issued a public statement yesterday on the plan of Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) to increase its water fee to 60 percent by July 1, 2023 and an additional 10 percent by July 1, 2024,” a portion of the statement said.
Rama has requested MCWD to implement the water fee increase in a staggered basis as he deemed the fee adjustment “unreasonable” during this time.
The mayor then requested the City Council to conduct a public hearing to solicit public sentiments regarding MCWD’s planned move.
Build a dam, bite the bullet
“This issue brings forth what I have been calling for, to build a dam that would collect abundant rainfall so that a surplus in supply would mean lower rates for the consumers,” he said.
“In saying that a dam project is too expensive, we have heard that song before even as early as 1992. We had enough of that statement. When will we ever learn? It is about time to bite the bullet,” he added.
Rama said he first raised the project to Duterte after Typhoon Odette hit Cebu and other parts of the Visayas and Mindanao last December 2021, and he intends to bring it to the attention of President Marcos too for the national government to allocate resources and funding for the realization of the project.
Rama said that had the city seriously pursued the dam’s construction years ago, it would not have caused the government billions of pesos, which he said, was the cost now.
Last January, Rama handed a letter, addressed to Duterte, to former Environment Secretary and national government “Build Back Better Task Force” Roy Cimatu detailing the city’s needs.
These included the construction of surface water retaining systems.
Cimatu visited the city January this year to see what the national government coud do to help the city recover from from the damage brought about by Typhoon Odette.
On MCWD’s planned construction of desalination facilities, covered under a joint agreement venture, Rama said it should be made available to all interested suppliers to have the most equitable offer.
“Desalination projects that may seem cheap against a dam are just pocket solutions that don’t last long. A dam lasts generations,” Rama said.
Moreover, the mayor also instructed the City Agriculture Office to pursue the construction of gabion dams in the city’s hinterlands, which, he said, was part of his target accomplishments in his first 100 days in office.
Rama then urged households to have their cisterns to catch rainwater, while being mindful of measures especially that these too could become a breeding ground for dengue-carrying mosquitoes.
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