DPWH, Cebu City expedite legal remedies to finish clearing operation along Kinalumsan river

·2 min read

PRIVATE structures along the Kinalumsan River remain a hindrance in the ongoing clearing operation of the Cebu City Government.

Councilor Jerry Guardo, chairman of the committee on infrastructure, told SunStar Cebu on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the City Government are expediting legal remedies for the demolition of these structures.

According to Guardo, the private properties range from small lot parcels to big warehouses that are located in Barangays C. Padilla, Duljo-Fatima and Mambaling.

“The legal issue is on how we (can) deal with the private lot owners. That is why we want to put on board our legal team so that they can work out with the recommendations," Guardo said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

Affected owners will be compensated by the DPWH since it is implementing agency of the flood control projects that will be started right after the clearing operation, Guardo said.

He said the role of the City Government is to make sure that all legal processes will be expedited and lot owners will receive their just compensation.

Since the clearing operation started last Aug. 8, Guardo said they have demolished around 300 illegal structures in Duljo-Fatima and another 200 structures in Mambaling.

Thirty-eight structure owners did not receive financial assistance from the DPWH, but Guardo assured them that the City Government is processing the documents as quickly as it can.

He said some residents have been living in danger zones for quite some time and are probably not even native to the barangays. Poverty gave them no other option but to build settlements along the river, he said.

Meanwhile, Guardo said the design of the DPWH's flood control project will discourage informal settlers from building illegal structures along the riverbank.

"It will be wider and the design is very steep, making it hard for informal settlers to set up makeshift structures,” Guardo said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

The councilor explained that DPWH is using the sheet piling method to reinforce riverbanks to mitigate the effects of river swelling.