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PIA Press Release

Davao floodings a result of heavy rains and human folly, says city exec

by RG Alama

Davao City (8 July) -- The floodings in Davao City the past month is a result of abnormal heavy rains and inconsiderate development, this according to City Administrator Wendel Avisado.

Speaking before members of the media during last Monday's (July 7) Kapihan sa Dabaw held at Cafe Rhysus in SM-City Davao. Avisado said that based on PAG-ASA (Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) the rain fall in Davao City in the month of June was abnormally heavy.

"From January to May, Davao City received 168.8 mm of rainfall in June the City received 391.8 mm of rainfall which is 2.3 times than January to May." Avisado said.

The City Administrator cited that the heaviest rainfall was recorded last June 6, when the City was deluged with about 176.4 mm of rainfall. The heavy downpour flooded severa; thoroughfares in the city.

Aside from floodings, Avisado also blamed reckless development in the city. "Basta may development we have a tendency na takpan ang mga butas. (to cover holes)." Avisado said that the recent developments have destroyed or covered up existing waterways, creeks and canals.

He cited the case in Jacinto Extension which was covered by a drainage program implemented in 1996. He said these open canals constructed in 1996 are gone or were covered up. The same is true with Torres Street which was scene of the worst flooding; the road was once lined with open canals which have been covered up.

"We have to answer for our indiscretions and our lack of concern, our foolishness will go back to us." Avisado said. He also noted that present buildings are being built higher than street level, transforming the roads into waterways in times of heavy rains.

Avisado also said that drainage system in the city is already old. He cited that culverts in the Central Business District are already 40 to 45 years old.

The City Administrator has said that the City has established a Canal Brigade under the office of the City Mayor and which was given 15-days to improve the drainage system. Avisado cited the accomplishments of the Canal Brigade primarily of which was the removal of 10,500 cubic meters of silt and garbage in the city's drainage systems.

The Brigade has also expanded City canals and creeks, replaced smaller culverts with bigger ones, removed structures on top of creeks and utilized 495 personnel complemented with heavy equipment from the City Engineer's Office.

The work of the canal brigade is separate and distinct from the P250-million urban drainage program which spans about 18 major drainage systems of the city and which is being implemented by a private contractor. The brigade's areas do not cover those of the 18 sections, Avisado said.

He added that for the City to be entirely flood-free it will need at lease P15-billion to construct a very long dike complete (stretching from Magsaysay Park to the Davao River's estuary in Bucana then going all the way to Lizada Toril) complete with pumping stations and floodgates. (PIA) [top]

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