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ROUGH CUTS | Now they’d be talking of flood mitigation

We wish every Davaoeno for the potentially peaceful celebration of the Feast of St. Peter, the Patron Saint of Davao City. It will be held on June 29, 2024.

Already the festivities are started as early as last June 21 with the holding of the Davao City version of the Pride Parade during the day and later the concert of sort held at the Rizal Park featuring several local bands and other musical artists.

We can only hope that the week of the festivities will remain peaceful and no incident will happen that will disturb the peace currently reigning the city. And we hope as well that the preparations the City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) headed by our idol community relations man Ret. P/Col. Dionisio Abude will be effective so as not to create chaos in the city’s downtown roads.

For now we will just be waiting if the coordination efforts done by the various offices involved in the planning of the activities related to the fiesta of St. Peter highlighted by the “Duaw Davao” will work to its perfection.


Now that the rains are back we are certain that our local officials, as well as officials of national government agencies with functions that include implementation of anti-flooding programs and projects, will be talking in the loudest decibel about the status of projects intended for the earlier-mentioned purpose.

Say, what happened to some drainage improvement projects, desilting of creeks and other waterways used as primary dumping sites of waste water from residential and commercial enclaves? What about the laying of drainage pipes in flood-prone areas of the city? Are projects to this effect completed, or simply set aside in favor of more “profitable” government propgrams like the overlaying of asphalt in some newly concreted roads? Or, are these government agencies and offices pursuing such project as a bridge spanning a creek that serves as boundary of Catalunan Grande of the first District and Barangay Tacunan in the third? The bridge completed some three years back has not been used until now.
Apparently the government failed to acquire road-right-of-way on both of the 10 or 15-meter span’s approaches.

For now the same bridge project which we knew to have cost the government several millions of pesos, is idly serving as monument of waste of government funds, some of which have long gone to some people’s pockets. And…

Oh, yes, the rainy season is back, according to the Pag-ASA. And possibly not just the simple rainy season but the usually destructive La Nina phenomenon is likely to be with us. When this indeed will happen the city will not just be confronted with such problem as inundation of its many low-lying downtown areas but also the possible devastation of crops in the remaining city land still used for agriculture.

Is the city ready for such eventuality?

We have no idea. What we know is that we have not heard, read reports of flood prevention projects started or completed during the last many months when the El Nino prevailed. We have not also seen any of anti-flood projects completed. Perhaps the local and national government agencies concerned are so “thrifty” with words on such projects for reason they only knew.

What we are more aware of course, is the relatively easier manner with which property developers such as those into building high-rise condominiums, and opening wide residential subdivisions now invading hillsides and coconut plantations, get permits to do their thing.

In fact we have seen areas in Cabantian, Buhangin, Maa going to Magtuod where the hills are flattened to give more space for houses, mostly high-end, to be constructed. It is as if the regulators do not know that levelling of hills and cutting of trees like coconut will not result to faster soil erosion leading the debris to the creeks and rivers.

Somehow, with this prevailing situation on the flood prevention program of the city, we are reminded of this one funny anecdote:

“A family member complains to his father that the roof of their house is leaking quite strongly, and the father’s curt reply was, for that family member not to worry. After all it only leaks when it rains.”
So are our city and national government officials may have thought similarly. That is, anyway the city will only be submerged when there is flood.

Yes, we missed those days in the 70’s when people residing along river banks like those in the vicinity of the Bankerohan stretch of Davao River appeared “celebratory” when the water rises. It was time for them to gather firewood from trunks and branches carried by the raging rising water without fear of having their households inundated.

Of course we understand that development has always its price. And it is expensive if no mitigating projects are undertaken.


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