GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/13 June) — The city government has launched a comprehensive review of the city’s drainage master plan to effectively address the flooding problems in parts of the area within the next two years.
Mayor Ronnel Rivera on Friday said a team from the city engineering and the disaster risk reduction and management offices is currently evaluating the details of the five-year master plan for possible updating and revision.
He said they are looking at making the drainage plan more responsive in terms of addressing the perennial flooding in several low-lying portions of the city as well as complement with the area’s continuing development expansions.
“Our main focus is to provide proper direction to the drainage master plan in terms of the implementation aspect,” he said.
Along with the review, the mayor said they are currently pooling the local government’s resources to ensure proper funding for the implementation of the drainage master plan.
He said they will prioritize the funding for projects that will eventually be identified by the team as necessary for immediate implementation.
“We will allot substantial funds for it and make sure that they will be implemented as set in the plan,” Rivera said.
The city government completed two years ago its drainage master plan, which requires a total funding of around P600 million.
The master plan involves the construction of major drainage channels and additional flood-control systems in major rivers traversing the city’s 26 barangays.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Region 12 has identified barangays Baluan, Buayan, Bula, Calumpang, Siguel, Lagao and Sinawal as high-risk to flooding.
The seven villages were among 340 communities in Region 12 found to be highly vulnerable and will likely become “uninhabitable” during floods.
MGB said most of these areas are part of a flood plain and are vulnerable to heavy flooding after just two to three hours of rains due to lack of substantial storm drainage.
Other areas in the city that are considered flood-prone are barangays City Heights, Apopong, Labangal, Dadiangas North and Dadiangas West.
In the last three weeks, portions of these villages experienced occasional heavy flooding due to the onset of the rainy season.
On Wednesday night, parts of Barangay City Heights and the neighboring villages were submerged in knee-deep floodwaters following hours of heavy rains spawned by a local thunderstorm.
The mayor said the flood was caused by the impounding of floodwaters that failed to flow towards their natural outlets. The mayor said the situation worsened due to the clogging of household waste in drainage canals and other waterways in the area.
“We’re hoping to change that situation by eventually coming up with a better drainage plan,” he said. (MindaNews)