Celso orders massive cleanup in all waterways vs flashfloods PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 04 January 2011 14:08

Mayor Celso Lobregat has instructed the City Engineer’s Office to lead in the cleanup operations on all waterways in the city in a bid to prevent flashflood in any part of the city.

Also, Mayor Lobregat said the city government is willing to go to court to demolish private structures that obstruct or impede the natural flow of water for the general welfare of the residents and not just one or two lot owners to help resolve flooding woes in low lying areas.

The mayor emphasized these yesterday as he reconvened in City HallTask Force Contra Avenida to look into the causes and possible solutions to the flooding that occurred in Barangay Putik early dawn Monday (January 3) as well as in other low lying areas including Sangali, Tugbungan, Sta. Catalina, Kasanyangan and other areas.

Past 1 a.m. Monday, the mayor received reports about the Putik flashflood following continuous downpour Sunday night. He immediately proceeded to the affected area and observed that the flood was caused obstructions in the water ways.

Last week, another flashflood also hit Sangali in the east coast and the same was caused by obstruction in the waterways.

He voiced out his observation that most of the waterways and slope protection on riverbanks in the city are heavily clogged with garbage and other refuse materials that prevent the water from flowing freely, thus flashfloods occur. He also attributed these obstructions to the fact that there are residences on if not near the waterways and slope protections.

On the basis of his observations, the chief executive directed City Engineer Luis Despalo to coordinate closely with the barangay officials concerned and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in the conduct of dredging operations on all waterways and slope protection projects in all barangays, particularly in the Tumaga River.

He has also requested the DPWH to strictly implement the three-meter easement on riverbanks within which no houses or other structures should be constructed even if they are on private properties, particularly in areas where there are rip raping projects.

At the same time, Lobregat also bared plans to complete all ongoing rip raping projects and to rip rap all other riverbanks to prevent flashflood in the future.

The City Engineer’s Office was given one week period or until next Monday to submit a report on the status of all waterways and rip raping projects in the barangays.

Meanwhile, records from the City Social Welfare Office under Francisco Barredo show that over a hundred families in barangay Putik have been affected when river water swelled early Monday dawn. All those affected were not evacuated to other areas, as the water receded or subsided barely after an hour or less.

Hardest hit areas were Ramos Drive, Gutierrez Drive, Lobregat Bunkhouse, De los Santos drive, Guerrero Drive, Teri-An Drive, Morning Glory and Marcos drive in Putik.

Barredo has been directed to provide the necessary assistance specifically the emergency food assistance to the affected families.

It can be recalled that as early as July 2007 Lobregat had issued Executive Order No. CL-141-2007 creating Task Force Contra Avenida to address the city’s perennial flashflood problems.

In his executive order, the mayor stressed that the city government is mandated to call all concerned departments under its umbrella, barangay officials, government owned and controlled corporations, non-government organizations and concerned national line agencies to study, develop and formulate a comprehensive flood control plan to address the problems on floods.

Since its creation, the Task Force has initiated various flood control projects that helped ease flooding in previously flood-prone areas such as Sta. Catalina, San Roque-Suterville and San Jose Gusu areas and several others.  -- Vic Larato