CEBU CITY – Mayor Michael Rama announced that discussions are underway between the city government and an entrepreneur regarding the development of a substantial water catchment system on Tuesday, February 6.
This initiative aims to address both flooding issues and water supply concerns within the area.
“I asked Mr. Hans Sy since his family is into malls and is a philanthropist. I asked him to come up with an investment for a huge underground water catchment that will have a water pump connecting from the rivers to the catchment,” Rama told reporters.
The mayor also emphasized the necessity of constructing reverse osmosis and desalination facilities alongside the water catchment. These facilities would be instrumental in treating the stored water, making it suitable for consumption.
Mayor Rama highlighted the effectiveness of water catchment as a solution, particularly due to the geographical challenges faced by some villages situated below sea level. He explained that existing causeways leading to the sea are obstructed by seawater during high tide, only accessible during low tide.
Mayor Rama outlined that the proposal will follow standard procurement procedures, with potential consideration for a public-private partnership to realize his anti-flooding initiative.
The city’s current strategy to combat floods, led by former military official Melquiades Feliciano, primarily emphasizes the enforcement of legal easements. These include maintaining a 3-meter easement in urban areas, a 20-meter easement in agricultural lands, and a 40-meter easement in forest lands.
It was in 2023, when Guardo recommended that the mall operators increase the size of their water tank and modify the design of their parking lot to enhance its ability to absorb rainwater effectively.
Additionally, Guardo observed that the Maria Luisa Estate Park, an upscale subdivision in Banilad, lacked adequate rainwater catchment systems due to its expansive land area.
Guardo speculated that when the developers of Maria Luisa Estate Park initially applied for the subdivision project with the City, they likely based their rainwater catchment installations on a smaller land area, perhaps around 10 hectares, which proved insufficient for the larger development.