RDC-IDC 7 wants to meet lawmakers to discuss Metro Cebu’s flooding woes

Photo of a flood street in down Cebu City.

TOO MUCH WATER Children wade through the flooded street in downtown Cebu City in this August 4, 2022 photo, following hours of heavy rain. The city and many areas in Metro Cebu experienced its worst flooding since Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) battered the Visayas in December 2021. | Contributed photo

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu – The Infrastructure Development Committee of the Regional Development Council in Central Visayas (RDC-IDC 7) want to seek an audience with the district representatives in Metro Cebu to ask their assistance in pushing for the implementation of projects that will especially address the flooding woes here.

RDC-IDC Chairperson Kenneth Cobonpue made the proposal during the IDC’s 4th Quarter Meeting held on Nov. 16, 2022 after updates were also presented on the status of the Metro Cebu Integrated Flood Control projects and drainage master plan.

A comprehensive study for the master plan was conducted from 2016 to present.  Since then, the RDC has passed at least seven resolutions relating to its implementation, stressing on the urgency to already address the flooding problems in Metro Cebu, the IDC said in a statement.

The master plan include various projects estimated to cost P44.295 billion.  However, only 4.6 percent or P2 million of the total cost was released as of September 2022, it added.

‘Concerted effort’

During their meeting, the Department of Public Works and Highways Unified Project Management Office-Flood Control Management Cluster (UPMO-FCMC) reported that the Subangdaku Cut-off Channel Project was supposed to already be funded. However, its allocation was reverted due to still unresolved right-of-way issues.

“The project would have helped lessen the impounding of water along M. J. Cuenco Ave., near the Cebu City-Mandaue City boundary,” the IDC said.

With the recent flooding being experienced in Metro Cebu, DPWH UPMO-FCMC wrote their Central Office to request for the inclusion of the unfunded projects in the request for Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Cobonpue, who is also the RDC co-chairperson, said during their meeting that the flood-control projects in Metro Cebu are already long overdue. He made a  suggestion to organize a gathering that will bring together the concerned local chief executives and the district representatives so that they could all discuss the matter.

He said that they will especially needed the help of district representatives to lobby for funding and ask the national government to make the implementation of the already identified projects a priority.

“This [the implementation of flood control projects] requires the congressmen’s cooperation… because the situation is really difficult now. All we can do is keep on proposing projects and endorsing them; the budget [costs of project implementation] keeps on going up every year but these [projects] will never be funded. This needs political will and has to be a concerted effort as the projects cut across several congressional districts,” he added.

Other projects

Aside from Metro Cebu’s flood control project, several other critical infrastructure issues were also discussed during the IDC meeting. These include:

  1. Restructuring of the Malinao Dam Improvement Project in Bohol
  2. Transportation Link Study for Central Visayas
  3. Central Visayas Regional Development Plan Infrastructure Sector Situationer and Subsector Strategy Framework for 2023-2028

As to the Malinao Dam, the IDC made a recommendation for the National Irrigation Administration in Central Visayas (NIA-7)  look into the concerns and recommendations that were raised relative to the proposed restructuring of the project before this should be elevated to the RDC Full Council for endorsement.

Bohol Governor Aris Aumentado, the new chairperson of the RDC, said after he took his oath on Monday, Nov. 21, that he will work to ensure implementation of pending and future projects for Central Visayas.

And to do this, Aumentado, who will preside his first full council meeting on December 6, said that he will be need all the support that he could get.

He also considers his experience as former representative of the 2nd district of Bohol and the experience of his father, the late Bohol governor Erico Aumentado, who was also former RDC-7 chairperson, a plus factor in the fulfilllment of  his responsibilities as the new RDC-7 chairperson.



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