CEBU CITY (August 6, 2022) — Mayor Mike Rama will go into what he calls an “investment blitzkrieg” next week and speak with business leaders and tycoons of the country to convince them to assist the City Government in helping realize the vision for a “Singapore-like Cebu City”.

Mayor Mike Rama. (PIO/File)

In particular, he wanted them to help finance the construction of medium-rise buildings (MRBs) for those who would be displaced by the strict enforcement of the three-meter easement for waterways, which he wants to do right away.

Aside from river banks being devoid of obstructions, implementation of the easement rule means the city’s constituents are safer as they would no longer be in danger of being swept away when rivers swell or overflow every time it rains.

“I Just had a talk with Hans Sy this morning to talk on…I call it investment blitzkrieg that will commence Monday, to bring about the Singapore-like Cebu City,” the mayor told a Zoom video conference with City Hall department heads and officials with property developers operating in the city.

Hans Sy owns the SM group of malls in the country.

I Just had a talk with Hans Sy this morning to talk on…I call it investment blitzkrieg that will commence Monday, to bring about the Singapore-like Cebu City.

Mayor Mike Rama

The mayor said he intended to speak with property developers, a few of which he mentioned during the Zoom meeting, to convince them to be part of the city’s thrust in the next three years.

“Naa ron ang developers (in the meeting) aron sila mag-preparar para sa medium-rise building…. Importante kaayo nga we come up with a common understanding, especially sa mga developers nga mo-respond sa three-meter easement,” Mayor Rama said.

The City is banking on the “balance housing development” provision of the country’s housing law, which sets that developers and owners of residential subdivisions and condominium projects set aside 15 percent of a project area or five percent of the total project cost for socialized housing.

The medium-rise buildings (MRBs) in Barangay Lorega-San Miguel will be used as a model for the government in constructing buildings for its socialized housing program. (PIO/File)

This was trailblazed in the City by Cebu Landmasters, Inc., which turned over to the City last June 29 two medium-rise buildings in Barangay Lorega-San Miguel that it built at a cost of P115 million as compliance to the balance housing development requirement.

The mayor was made more adamant at implementing the easement requirement after Thursday night’s heavy downpour that flooded several areas of the city. 

Architect Florante Catalan. (PIO/File)

There was also a resident who got swept away by the raging waters of Kinalumsan River along with his house built within the river’s easement. He was rescued and sent home by Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office emergency responders.

In the Zoom meeting today, Mayor Rama also directed Architect Florante Catalan to see to it that the Office of the Building Official (OBO) does not approve permits to buildings that do not have water catchment and treatment facilities.

“Diha sa inyo sa OBO, kinahanglang walay ma issue nga permit sa building nga walay mosawod sa tubig…. Una ta mang-approve og building permit, ang ilang building naay sewage treatment…ang ilang tubig molusot gyud,” the mayor said.

The other day, the mayor ordered Atty. Gerardo Carillo, Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council chairman to take the lead in immediately removing structures within the three-meter easement of rivers, especially Kinalumsan River.

Carillo then called a meeting today with the concerned offices today and they agreed to conduct a walkthrough inspection of the banks of the river this Monday. (See separate story: Gipangtukod kilid sa sama sa Kinalumsan susihon)

Atty. Gerry Carillo (right), head of the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, leads a coordination meeting with the Department of Public Works and Highways, Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor, and the Cebu City Environmental and Natural Resources, today at the Office of the Mayor’s conference room. (PIO/Ruel Rosello)

The mayor had said that he wants the people moved to schools as evacuation centers while containers vans are being prepared in a five-hectare area at the South Road Properties as their temporary shelters. The container vans will serve their purpose until such time that the city, through the cooperating property developers, are done constructing MRBs.

 The mayor director SRP Manager Bo Varquez to see to it that the container vans are double-walled and have windows to minimize humidity. The mayor also instructed that for toilets Varquez adopts the “German technology” employed in Iligan City.

“The five hectares should be made into a temporary dangpanan, youth center, urban greening, pocket forest. These four,” Mayor Rama said. (PIO/rhm)

Five hectares will be set aside of the South Road Properties lots to serve as “evacuation center” for those who would be displaced by the strict implementation of the three-meter easement for waterways. (PIO/File)