Rama’s urgent order: Destroy 2K structures on riverbanks

·2 min read

CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama has ordered the immediate removal of settlers within the three-meter easement of waterways to prevent casualties during heavy rains.

Rama gave the order Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, after a downpour in Cebu City Thursday night caused flooding and the overflowing of rivers, including the Kinalumsan River in Barangay Mambaling, whose rampaging waters swept away two persons.

The two were later rescued.

It turns out that the occupants of the structures along the Kinalumsan River, which violate the three-meter easement for waterways, had already been paid by the City to leave the riverbanks, using funds from the Department of Public Works and Highways.

There are some 14,000 individuals occupying at least 2,000 structures along rivers and waterways of the city, the Cebu City Government said.

Rama ordered the City’s Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enhancement (Probe) team to immediately demolish the structures so people would no longer live there.

EO to be drafted

In a Zoom video conference meeting with department heads and key personnel Friday, Rama tasked his secretary, lawyer Collin Rosell, to craft an executive order on this, the Cebu City Public Information Office revealed.

Rama is under home quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19 earlier this week.

“Before the executive order, my directive, which is a verbal order, is that Gerry Carillo would be the implementer in the south district. In the north, it would be Kelly Quijada. I will lay that out in an executive order. And the date to start implementing is today,” the City’s official news platform quoted the mayor as saying.

Rama said the displaced settlers would be housed in schools while they await the setting up of container vans at the South Road Properties (SRP), which would serve as their temporary dwellings.

“They will be placed in the school and then they will be transferred to the SRP. And when you are putting up at the SRP, see to it that the medium-rise buildings are also being built. That is what we are leading to,” the mayor said.

‘Aggressive’ clearing

Rama wants an “aggressive” clearing done even at the risk of going to jail for it.

The mayor cited the urgency of saving lives, saying he himself had been placed at risk by the rising floodwaters on Thursday night as he rents a house next to the Guadalupe River.

The mayor said everyone must act now or risk counting bodies of casualties when the heavy rains return.

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