By Marc Eric A. Cosep
PIO Staff Member

CEBU CITY (Nov. 29, 2022) – Have the projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) supposedly to rehabilitate rivers only caused flooding in the city?

Task Force Gubat sa Baha wants to verify its observations that particular projects along the rivers in Highway Tagunol and Tejero have seemed to have been abandoned and left unfinished that have caused cascading waters during heavy rains to overflow.

Roy Cimatu (PIO/File)

The group lamented during its meeting that its prime mover Roy A. Cimatu presided this morning that DPWH regional or district offices gave the city no update on the status of its river rehabilitation projects.

Only a few months back, Mayor Mike Rama expressed dismay to DPWH-7 and Cebu City Engineering District representatives that the agency do not coordinate with the local govrnment about its projects within its jurisdiction.

Rama had even expressed his sentiment to DPWH Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan when he and his workforce and task force head Roy A. Cimatu met with him last Oct. 17 in Manila.

Also as national president of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), he asked Bonoan to instruct concerned regional and district officials to consult and coordinate with the host LGU.

DPWH-LGU Coordination. Mayor Mike Rama points out to DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan (center) of the need for his agency to regularly update host LGUs about its projects in their jurisdiction, citing the case of the city that he lamented is not consulted about the agency’s projects, especially on drainage and river rehabilitation. 📷 (PIO/cte)


The task force decided to invite DPWH representatives to shed light on the status of all its drainage and river rehabilitation projects in the city in its next meeting.

Raquel Arce, Estero de Parian river commander, noted in Tejero River that DPWH “may have abandoned” its operations in the area as her team found no signs of new development.

Raquel Arce (PIO/ File)

“They failed to inform us about these projects and they have seemed to abandon this one because wala naman ni progress ka urong rana diha,” said Arce.

Furthermore, she noted that there seems to be a lack of planning on the side of DPWH as it causes the river to overflow during heavy rains.

“Naka cause gyud ni siya ug flooding kay mag-sugat man ang mga tubig kay na barahan sa silt sa ilawom, not only that grabe pa kaayo ang traffic diha na area tunggod kay wala nila gi human,” she said.


In Tagunol river, Harold Alcontin, head of the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, said that DPWH has placed barriers at the side of the river to mitigate the flooding.

However, because of an ongoing court case, DPWH temporarily paused its operations that caused flooding in the area.

Harold Alcontin. (PIO/File)

“Daghan kaayo sila ug projects unya wala nila gipang-human and we are not even informed about this. That is why we need their presence in every meeting so that we will be enlightened as to the spirit of their projects,” said Atty. Jerone Castillo, the mayor’s special assistant.

With the request, DWPH will now provide information on all its projects, especially those relating to the agency’s river restoration plan.

“At least with their information attune tayo sa ating mga initiatives and we can provide our inputs as well para di na tayo blind,” added Cimatu, a former environment secretary.

Furthermore, Cimatu also ordered all river commanders to fast-track their respective socio-economic survey with the residents affected by the City’s implementation of the three-meter easement law.

“We have to complete it by December na so that we can start identifying who will benefit sa ating mga relocation projects,” Cimatu added.

City Hall officials and employees as well as partner stakeholders and volunteers clean the coastal portion of Barangay Pasil during the June 5, 2022 quarterly coastal and waterways cleanup. (PIO/File)

Dec. 3 Clean-up

Meanwhile, Cimatu said he would encourage City employees to participate in the next round of citywide cleanup that will take place on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022.

Some areas identified for the cleanup include Guadalupe River, Carreta, Mahiga, Tinago Tejero Bridge-Kamputhaw River, T. Padilla Market – Kamputhaw Bridge, Ermita Coast, Pasil Coast, SRP Tower, Il Corso Coast, and Bulacao upriver.

Cimatu said that more than a thousand are expected to join the cleanup that different private companies will send employees to participate as well.

“We will be in full force in this cleanup drive so that we can show the people that we are serious about the things we do and ma inspire naman sila to segregate their garbage,” Cimatu added.