THE Cebu City government has allocated at least P50 million for the dredging of river deltas.
But this is not yet enough to prevent flooding , said Alvin Santillana, head of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office.
Santillana said that dredging would only mitigate or ease flooding, not solve it. Drainage improvement projects must be made and waterways cleared of obstruction.
“The tendency is for the water to backflow because it has no outlet” he said.
Mayor Michael Rama said the city needed at least P2 billion to implement programs and projects identified in Cebu City’s comprehensive drainage master plan.
But securing funding to execute it is a problem especially after the City Council approved only P100 million of the P500 million the mayor proposed in his 2012 executive budget.
Rama said he will seek additional funding for drainage improvement in Supplemental Budget 2 which he has yet to submit to the council.
The city government appropriated at least P50 million in 2011 for the desilting of the following waterways: T. Padilla creek, Tejero river delta, Mahiga river, Tagonol and Basak Pardo river, Estero Pari-an and the Inayawan river delta.
Of this, only the dredging of the Tejero creek worth P7.2 million was completed. Other dredging works are still ongoing, said Santillana.
Santillana said the city is set to acquire a walking excavator for maintenance dredging of waterway, for earth moving, and geological hazard emergency response.
The P25 million walking excavator will be delivered to the city after the Bids and Awards Committee complies with documentary requirements of the purchase.
Councilor Michael Rallota, president of the Association of Barangay Councils, said the ongoing dredging did not seem to make a difference in his area.
“When it rained this week, our barangay was still flooded,” he said.
Illegal structures in waterways were identified as a factor that aggravates flooding during the rainy season.
Aboutt 6,000 families still live in danger zones in roads, creeks and rivers accoring to surveys by City Hall’s urban poor office .
Eviction is difficult because the city government is not ready with a relocation site. /Doris C. Bongcac, Chief of Reporters