A Call to Action After Severe Flooding
In the wake of severe flooding in the Banilad area of Cebu City, Mayor Michael Rama issued a stern warning on Monday. Furthermore, the city is gearing up for a massive effort to prevent future floods, and this includes demolishing structures that obstruct waterways.
Taking Swift and Decisive Action
Mayor Rama, speaking in Cebuano, stated that they are committed to aggressively clearing rivers and creeks of obstructions. In addition, to spearhead this mission, the city has enlisted the expertise of former Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, who heads the city’s task force against flooding.
Influential Establishments in the Crosshairs
Acknowledging that influential businessmen in Cebu own many obstructing structures, Mayor Rama urged these individuals to voluntarily remove their establishments. Furthermore, he emphasized the need for a collective effort to combat flooding, citing the common interest as a driving force.
The Notorious “Lost Creek”
One of the prominent structures in the spotlight is a sizable mall in Banilad, often referred to by netizens as the “lost creek.” Mayor Rama singled out this structure, drawing attention to its role in blocking a river.
A Task Force’s Mission
According to Mayor Rama, Cimatu was alerted to the recent severe flooding incidents that affected the Sto. Niño Village and the aforementioned Banilad Mall. Consequently, these floods necessitated rescue operations, including evacuations using rubber boats.
A Consultative Approach to Environmental Challenges
Mayor Rama’s proactive approach to environmental concerns is evident in his appointment of Cimatu as a consultant for the environment in December of the previous year.
Furthermore, working alongside former Councilor Gerardo Carillo, Cimatu had the task of enforcing the mandatory three-meter easement along rivers and relocating thousands of settlers to safer locations.
Revisiting the Agenda
In February of the current year, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. inaugurated a housing project at the South Road Properties (SRP) aimed at providing a new home for riparian settlers.
The city’s task force will revisit the initiatives set in motion earlier this year, with a focus on demolishing walls, structures, pathways, and houses that violate statutory easement regulations.
No Exceptions to the Rule
Mayor Rama concluded by stressing that there will be no exceptions in the pursuit of their mission. Consequently, he directed the Office of the Building Official (OBO) and the Cebu City Planning and Development Office to revisit and enforce all planned interventions without compromise.