CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The government must solve the recurring flooding with haste to ensure that progress and development of the city will be sustained and not drive away potential investors, a hotel executive said.
“It’s the image we are giving the world, that this is already in bad shape and we want to always sell Cagayan de Oro as destination for investment,” said Jerome De La Fuente, Hotel Manager of Lim Ket Kai Luxe Hotel in an exclusive interview.
De La Fuente said that since the city is the center of trade and commerce in Northern Mindanao, it must maintain that reputation by solving the flooding of some portions of the city, most especially along the stretch of the CM Recto Avenue where the Lim Ket Kai mall complex, which includes the Luxe Hotel, and the state-run University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) are located.
Flooding on that part of CM Recto has been attributed to the inadequate drainage system causing the creeks to overflow and the floodwaters to rise.
A massive drainage project undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is already in construction along the Agora area in Barangay Lapasan but a right-of-way issue has delayed the interconnecting of drainages that is seen minimize the flooding.
De La Fuente said the flooding will turn away business owners wanting to put up shop in the city’s downtown area.
“How will investment come if they see it’s underwater during rainy season?” he said.
He said another problem that has contributed to the flooding is the indiscriminate throwing of garbage into the canals.
“I think we should have a law here that is stricter. You cannot throw your garbage, especially plastic, on the creek,” he said.
“We have to be conscious about it because we are the ones suffering here. Not just us, the whole of Cagayan de Oro suffers because of garbage. I think we should look into this seriously now,” De La Fuente said.
He said if the right-of-way problem and the wanton littering could be addressed by the city and barangay governments, then the flooding would no longer a headache for both residents and business operators.
Meanwhile, the city government is embarking on a program that would lessen the use of plastic especially in business establishments in Cagayan de Oro.
Acting City Administrator Teodoro Sabuga-a said they are slowly implementing the “no plastic policy” to reduce the effects of inappropriate plastic disposal on street flooding. It is expected to be in effect later this year.(davaotoday.com)