Rody emergency powers sought to stop Cebu flooding
CEBU CITY—Aside from quelling the traffic monstrosity in Metro Manila, President Rodrigo Duterte should be given emergency powers to also address the flooding problem in Metro Cebu, according to a business leader in Cebu.
The powers may be summoned to remove structures owned by businesses that clog the Mahiga Creek, which divides the cities of Mandaue and Cebu, and cause it to overflow during heavy rain, said Donato Busa, outgoing president of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).
Busa said the only solution to the perennial floods was to remove the establishments that built on creeks so that the waters could flow again naturally.
“I think Duterte should have emergency powers to unclog the drainage or widen the drainage. That’s the best way. If there are no emergency powers, this is going to be like this forever,” he said.
Busa said the past local executives had allowed the construction of establishments along the creek and just placed culverts as water passageway like what happened in A.S Fortuna Street near Rolling Hills in Mandaue. The street was flooded up to waist-deep when it rained late Friday night because the creek was blocked by a structure near a funeral parlor.
Since the culverts were small, he added, the water found its way into the street, submerging small cars and bringing traffic to a standstill, Busa said.
Floods also affected nearby Cebu City, which caused a gridlock and left hundreds of commuters stranded.
At least 350 people or 90 families were evacuated after floodwaters reached their houses at Sitios Little Pasil and Mabugnaw in Barangay Kamputhaw here.
The families returned home after the water subsided, said Nagiel Bañacia, Cebu City public information officer and head of the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council. But their food stocks and appliances were damaged.
Bañacia said the city’s Department of Social Welfare Services provided the families with food.
The city government also sent heavy equipment and personnel to Barangay Pulangbato to clear the mounds of earth that fell on the road after a landslide.
Busa recalled that illegal settlers resisted when then Mandaue Mayor Jonas Cortes started removing the structures on the Mandaue side of the Mahiga Creek.
“The city government could not move when the informal settlers resisted. So how can you now remove big establishments that built over creeks?” he asked.
Busa said Duterte could delegate the emergency powers to Mayors Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City and Gabriel Luis Quisumbing of Mandaue so they could act swiftly in solving the problem.
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