Mayor suspends all quarry, earth-moving activities in Cebu City
CEBU CITY—The mayor of this city has suspended quarry activities, particularly in the 30 upland villages here, to avoid deaths and damages caused by landslides.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, in Executive Order No. 13 signed on Nov. 3, also halted all earth-moving activities here to give the city government time to set up the mechanisms to prevent, mitigate, rehabilitate, prepare the response systems and manage incidents in landslide-prone areas in the city.
Rama’s EO took effect on the same day and would remain effective until revoked.
“The lifting of the suspension is subject to the evaluation of the current geological condition of the city’s 30 upland barangays, and the recommendation by the special task force,” the mayor said.
The order came after a landslide destroyed six houses in the upland Sitio Garahe, Barangay Busay, on Oct. 29, following incessant rains spawned by Severe Tropical Storm “Paeng” (international name: Nalgae).
No one was hurt since all the occupants of the six houses moved to safer ground before the landslide happened.
Rama instructed the Cebu City Mining Regulatory Board to enforce the suspension of permits and operation of quarry and earth-moving activities in the city’s mountain barangays.
All village officials were also ordered by Rama to report and/or suspend quarry and earth-moving operations within their respective jurisdiction, stressing that all villages “must take an active role in the enforcement of all laws related to the environment, public health and safety within their respective barangays.”
Rama also prohibited heavy equipment, including transport vehicles (six-wheeler and up) from traversing on roads in the mountain barangays that are affected by landslides and soil erosion, except emergency vehicles, public service vehicles and equipment operated by the government responders and public utility companies, subject to permission from the special task force.
Signage and advisories on the road restrictions would be put in these villages and would be enforced by personnel manning traffic control stations, he said.
Rama ordered the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) to immediately conduct an inventory of all structures and drainage systems built within the 30 mountain barangays that were identified by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Central Visayas to be highly susceptible to landslides.
The CDRRMO, along with other concerned agencies and village officials, were also directed to verify if the houses and other structures in these areas have complied with the National Building Code and other requirements, such as soil-testing and/or geo-technical studies prior to construction.
Structures illegally built in areas determined by the special task force to be highly susceptible to landslides must be vacated, Rama said.
An initial geo-hazard study presented by the MGB in Central Visayas to the city government on Oct. 31 revealed that some upland barangays of the city, a number of them densely populated, were highly prone to landslides. These included Barangays Banilad, Budlaan, Busay, Babag, Bonbon, Malubog, Pung-ol Sibugay, Sirao, Pulangbato, Guba, Mabini, Binaliw, Agsungot and Sinsin.
The city government decided to adopt a “holistic” mechanism in addressing the hazards of landslides. The solutions include planning, engineering solutions, housing and resettlement solutions, disaster prevention, and mitigation and rehabilitation.
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