Drainage master plan may take 10 years to fully implement; lack of funds blamed

·2 min read

MANDAUE City’s P5-billion comprehensive drainage master plan, which will address the flood problem, will take 10 more years to fully implement, a city official said.

Architect Marlo Ocleasa, head of the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO), told SunStar Cebu on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, that the City Government does not have the funds to implement all the projects specified in the master plan.

He said the City also needs to revise the plan and ensure that it addresses the current flood situation since the original plan was created in 2017 yet in coordination with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

“We need to revisit the plan to check if those implemented were effective and improve those that are not yet implemented and see if there are additional priorities,” said Ocleasa.

Earlier in August, Mayor Jonas Cortes met with different department heads to revisit the drainage master plan.

The meeting came after several areas in Mandaue were submerged in flood during heavy rains last month, particularly on A.S. Fortuna St. in Barangay Banilad, portions of the highway in Barangay Tipolo and a portion of A.C. Cortes Ave. leading to the first Mandaue-Mactan bridge.

Ocleasa said the City Government and DPWH are implementing the drainage plan in phases, which covers drainage restructuring and rehabilitation of major waterways, including the Butuanon River, Mahiga Creek and Tipolo Creek.

Ocleasa said so far, drainage projects amounting to around P1.5 billion are already about to be completed.

He said the City lacks funds to implement all phases of the master plan, adding that the City can only fund projects that cost below P150 million.

Last Aug. 18, Cortes requested the National Government for additional funds to implement other phases of the project.

Ocleasa said it would take 10 years to fully implement the drainage master plan, considering the processes involved in securing funds for the projects.

In a separate interview with reporters on Sept. 1, DPWH 7 Director Ernesto Gregorio Jr. also said there was a need to revisit Mandaue’s drainage master plan.

Gregorio pointed out that since the plan was initiated almost five years ago, some of its sections may not be effective with the current flood situation in Mandaue.

“Matagal na yung master plan, 2017 pa sya eh. Iba na yung conditions lalo na sa dumaraming informal settlers. Kailangan na ng mga new structures na wala doon sa master plan (The drainage master plan was initiated a long time ago, in 2017. The conditions now are different, especially with the increasing number of informal settlers. We may need to add new structures, which are not in the original plan),” said Gregorio.

He said he already talked to Mandaue Lone District Rep. Emmarie Ouano-Dizon regarding the funds needed to continue the projects.