Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez held a meeting with the Department of Public Works and Highways, Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, and City Engineers Office on Tuesday, October 4, to come up with short and long term solutions to the flooding problem in Bacolod City.
Twenty-two problematic areas where water rose from 0.5 to 2 feet during a downpour on Monday were identified.
City Administrator Pacifico Maghari III said these areas will be prioritized for declogging of drainages.
There is a need for vendors and residents to have discipline in the disposal of waste, because the main cause of the flooding is the garbage clogging drainage systems, he said.
The mayor has increased the city’s declogging teams to clear drainages of garbage, he said.
But the main solution is for the city’s engineers to improve the drainage systems to ensure that they have proper exits into the water system, Maghari said.
Among of the short term solutions identified during the meeting called by the mayor are the replacement of manhole covers with steel grating, declogging of drainage systems, the widening of water inlets and the openings of catch basins, and the strict implementation of rules on waste disposal and collection.
The need to seek the cooperation of stakeholders to prevent flooding was also stressed.
The long term plan is the establishment of diversion channels for the release of the water from drainages. This will relieve the downtown and the SM City areas of flood water, the city officials said.
The details of the plan to address the flooding situation are being finalized.
The 22 flood-prone areas identified were Hi-Strip, SM City in Brgy. 12, Burgos-Hilado streets, the downtown area, Gonzaga Subdivision in Brgy. Villamonte, the Libertad Public Market, Central Market, Lacson-Hernaez streets, Rosario-Mabini streets, Gonzaga-Lopez Jaena, Luzuriaga-Gatuslao streets, Gonzaga-Mabini streets, Lopues East, Lupit River in Barangay 40, Mandalagan River near the Queen of Mercy Hospital, Sta. Ana in Brgy. 31, J.R. Torres, Gatuslao-Hernaez streets, Mabini-Libertad streets, Hernaez Street, (Cokin Bldg.), Magsaysay (Flyover), and Magsaysay – Lacson Street.
The meeting was also attended by Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran.*