RIVERS in three Cebu towns in the third district will be desilted to prevent a repeat of the calamity that occurred nearly a year ago when the rivers overflowed during heavy rains and caused flooding.
Last Wednesday, the Cebu Provincial Government said Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia wants the dredging of the big rivers in Balamban, Asturias and Tuburan to begin this week.
Nearly 20 sand and gravel or quarry operators will be issued special permits to undertake the dredging of the three rivers.
Garcia said the Languyon River in Tuburan, Ginabasan River in Asturias and Combado River in Balamban were already heavily silted, and the rivers needed to be deepened to prevent the rapid rise in their water levels during heavy rains.
The special permit issued to sand and gravel or quarry operators would be valid for two months, and allow the operators to haul a maximum of 10,000 cubic meters of soil or earth.
The Department of Public Works and Highways, which made the plan for the dredging, will supervise the activity to ensure that the right volume of ground matter is extracted.
The third district comprises Toledo City and the towns of Aloguinsan, Asturias, Balamban, Barili, Pinamungajan and Tuburan located on the western seaboard of Cebu.
On December 2, 2020, a man drowned, while thousands of individuals fled their homes after heavy rains caused rivers to overflow and inundate communities in Danao City and in the towns of Tuburan, Asturias, Balamban and Compostela.
The lone fatality was swept away by floodwaters in Danao City. The Tangon River in Brgy. Tabok in Danao had also overflowed.
In Asturias, 156 families in at least three barangays were affected by the floods.
In Balamban, over 100 households in three barangays were evacuated.
Tuburan was hit hardest by the flooding, with 2,565 families affected in six barangays when thunderstorms struck.
Weather bureau Pagasa said then that there was no tropical depression but that two weather systems were affecting Cebu.
These were the trough or extension of the low pressure area spotted east of Sorsogon and the presence of the tail end of a frontal system.
In the fifth district, the Municipal Government of Sogod has started dredging and desilting Ongon River to prevent it from overflowing again during a heavy downpour.
On the evening of October 25, 2021, over 200 families were evacuated and five barangays in Sogod were affected during a severe flooding when the river swelled. The affected villages were Poblacion, Bagatayam, Damolog, Bawo and Ibabao.
Vice Mayor Lisa Marie Durano-Streegan conducted an ocular inspection in the area near Ongon River on Wednesday, November 3, to check the river’s condition.
The inspection was conducted with the team from the Cebu Provincial Engineering Office deployed by Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, Streegan said in her Facebook page.
On Thursday, November 4, Streegan said the governor sent a backhoe to start the dredging and dissilting operations on Ongon River.
Meanwhile, the families affected by the flood have received housing materials worth over P262,000. The distribution were led by Streegan and her husband Mayor Richard Streegan.
The vice mayor said they are looking for ways to fast-track the release of cash assistance to the families this November. (CTL, KAL)