Question Hour with the representatives from CEO and DPWH before the City Council. || Image courtesy of the Sangguniang Panlungsod

The City Engineering’s Office (CEO) was once again grilled for the delayed implementation of the master drainage system plan in the city, after flooding along the the city roads were experienced as the rainy season began.

Engr. Kenneth Alcala, representative from the CEO, appearing at the City Council on Monday, said they will start the implementation of the comprehensive drainage plan in Barangays San Pedro, San Manuel, and San Miguel.

“May master plan na ‘yong urban drainage ng buong Puerto Princesa, natapos siya mga September 2014. Ang alam ko, hinahabol siya this year. Hindi ko masabi kung gaano ‘yong itatagal,” Alcala said.

Some P120 million was allocated on the 2020 city budget to fix the drainage system in the city, as several structures were alleged to have blocked the natural waterways causing water build up on certain roads.

Councilor Elgin Damasco asserted that a certain shopping mall in Bgy. San Jose was erected without proper drainage permit.

“Maliban sa San Pedro, problema din natin ‘yong harap ng Massway. Ano na ba ang ginawa ng City Engineering Office? Parang may violation ‘yong may-ari ng Massway dahil sinarahan nila ‘yong water way doon?,” Damasco pointed out.

Engr. Arthur Torillo, representative from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), clarified that the permit issued only pertained on tapping to the drainage system, and not the use of “back culvert”, which was reported to have caused water build up within the area.

“Ang nakuha nilang permit sa amin ay hindi ‘yong pag lagay ng culvert. Ang permit na nakuha nila sa amin ay ‘yong mag dugtong ng kanal sa amin,” Torillo said.

Councilors Damasco, Nesario Awat, Matthew Mendoza, and Peter Maristela, piled on the issue citing several claims of drainage system issues dating as far back as 2016.

However, Alcala was unable to provide definitive answer during the Question Hour, which prompted Damasco to file a resolution urging the chief executive to compel the department heads in attending the invitations from the City Council.

The Council on January questioned the CEO’s drainage system plan pointing out several flaws on the design presented, which later turned out to be conceptualized without an ocular inspection by the engineers in charge of the design creation.

Reports on November 2018 following an intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) resulted to flooding in certain parts of Bgy. San Pedro, San Manuel, and San Jose which prompted the city government to first tackle the issue.


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