Posted on August 21, 2023
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) allegedly did not consistently do its part in the dredging, desilting, and de-clogging activities in Cebu City, despite an earlier promise.
Because of this, the Cebu City government will use its own manpower and volunteers for a massive cleanup and dredging operations at the Estero de Parian and the rest of the city’s rivers beginning today, August 19.
To recall, the city had called DPWH’s attention over unfinished flood control projects that are tagged as causing more flooding than as solutions to the problem.
That prompted the task force to gather all concerned government agencies, together with experts, to discuss short, medium, and long-term solutions to the longtime flooding problem in the city.
DPWH then promised to help in the dredging, desilting, and de-clogging activities while their projects remain unfinished.
DPWH personnel had been scheduled to do such things at least every Thursdays and Fridays.
But they have not always been there, leaving the task at the hands of the City’s Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW).
In a meeting yesterday, however, Engr. Norman del Mar, head of the DEPW drainage maintenance and flood control section and chairman of the Task Force Gubat sa Baha technical working group (TWG), admitted that without the DPWH personnel, they can only do so much, as they have limited manpower.
City Hall’s Task Force (TF) Gubat sa Baha is currently focusing on cleaning Estero de Parian as a longtime flooding problem in downtown Cebu City, particularly Colon Street.
This is paramount as flooding has affected the economic activities in the city, as there are so many business establishments around the area.
Executive Director of the Coastal Management Board, Lemuel Felisario, though, pledged to send his own personnel to help.
The City’s Public Information Office reported that Felisario committed to deploy a thousand personnel during the different schedules for the needed massive clean-up around Estero de Parian.
For today, around 300 are assigned to do the Estero de Parian clean-up, as agreed by the TF Gubat sa Baha TWG during the meeting at City Hall.
The massive cleanup at the waterway is expected to ease up the flow of water, in the meantime that the recovery of Estera de Parian’s three-meter easement is not yet in full swing.
The Cebu City Police Office and the Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office are also instructed to help out in the cleanup drive as well as in the enforcement of environmental laws.
After Estero de Parian, the Task Force would then proceed to do the same to the Lahug/Camputhaw River.