Concrete wall demolished to free up mouth of Lahug-Kamputhaw-Tejero river

By: Wenilyn B. Sabalo - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | September 16,2022 - 12:46 PM

The CPA-owned concrete wall at berth 18 of Pier 3 in Cebu City was demolished on Friday morning, Sept. 16, 2022, to free up the mouth of the Lahug-Kamputhaw-Tejero river. | Photo courtesy of CCDRRMC chief Gerry Carillo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — To free up the river mouth of the Lahug-Kamputhaw-Tejero river, the Cebu City Task Force “Gubat sa Baha” demolished a concrete wall at berth 18 of Pier 3 in Cebu City on Friday morning, Sept. 16, 2022.

Former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu, who was appointed by Mayor Michael Rama to lead the task force, said this was just the start of their efforts to address the city’s ongoing flooding issue.

Cimatu said ensuring the unobstructed, free flow of water would be crucial especially that the size of the city’s rivers were no longer the same as before and also considering the volume of rainwater these rivers receive and taking into account the effects of climate change.

“It is necessary kasi nabuksan natin ito para kunin yung mga debris galing sa ilalim…Yung outlet ng mga waterways natin, buksan na natin. Yun lang muna,” he said.

(It is necessary that we open it so that we can get the debris at the bottom…the outlet of our waterways, let us open it. Let’s us just do that first.)

CPA project

The concrete wall, which was demolished on Friday, was a project and owned by the Cebu Ports Authority (CPA), a government-owned and controlled corporation.

Cimatu said before the demolition was carried out, the city negotiated with the CPA board.

Raquel Arce, Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CCDRRMO) chief, said the demolition of the concrete wall was supposed to happen last Wednesday, Sept. 14.

“Actually, dugay sila nihatag sa ilang go signal. Ato pa gud unta ning Wednesday. Nagconvene pa ang Board and ila pa sang gikuan ang COA (Commission on Audit) kay it’s a government (funded project), kwarta sa gobyerno sad baya ang gikuan,” Arce said.

(Actually, it took them a long time to give the go signal. That should have been taken down last Wednesday. But they had to convene the board and they had to check with COA (Commission on Audit) because it is a government (funded project). It is the money of the government that was used to fund the project.)

She said that after the clearing of the concrete wall in Pier 3, the task force would also open up the river mouth of a tributary in Pier 2.

Writ of Kalikasan

Meanwhile, Cimatu is also supporting the plan of the city to file a Writ of Kalikasan to sanction those who violate the three-meter easement rule in the city and to urge the responsible government agencies to take measures to protect the city’s seven major rivers and tributaries.

Cimatu said filing the petition will reinforce and accelerate what they were doing to improve the city’s flooding situation.

READ: Cebu City gov’t to file Writ of Kalikasan to restore seven major rivers

The Task Force Gubat sa Baha, composed of various city government offices and departments, has so far, started the tagging and serving of notices to identified structures encroaching the three-meter easement of the Guadalupe, Kinalumsan, Mahiga, Lahug, Estero de Parian, Bulacao, and Butuanon rivers.

They Task Force is also set to conduct massive dredging of rivers this Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022.

The Task Force is also coordinating with the DENR-7 in the issuance of Notice of Violation to the management of big commercial establishments whose properties are either directly impeding the water flow of the river in their vicinity or whose properties are situated inside the three-meter easement of the rivers.

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TAGS: berth 18 of Pier 3, Cebu City Task Force Gubat sa Baha, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, Cebu Port Authority, concrete wall, demolition, former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu, Lahug-Kamputhaw-Tejero river, Racquel Arce

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