CDO flood project hits snag as Lim Ket Kai changes mind

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The construction of the P1.8 billion solution to this city's flooding problem hit a snag when Lim Ket Kai Complex changed its mind.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said LKK had earlier agreed to allow the digging of a subterranean drainage along a private road inside their complex.

However, LKK changed its mind in the last-minute said Leowald Pecore, DPWH project engineer and in-charge of Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental projects. “They (LKK) agreed before, now they changed their mind,” Pecore said Monday, October 22.

LKK's last-minute decision severely affects the project, said Pecore, because “we can finish the project connecting drainage within six months if they will allow us.” 

In the past years Cagayan de Oro has been hit by massive flooding. Among the most vulnerable areas are the Lim Ket Kai mall complex and the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) along Claro M. Recto Avenue (National Highway).

City Engineer Rolando Pacuribot said that the city’s drainage master plan which was designed by the University of the Philippines-Planning and Development Research Foundation provided 4 solutions to the flooding problem in the LKK-USTP area.

DPWH has already completed a massive 3 meters high and 3 meters wide subterranean drainage system that runs from CM Recto to Agora area that will drain rainwater into the Macajalar Bay.

DPWH and the city government construction hit a wall when LKK would not allow the diggings along its two-lane road that would bypass Bitan-ag Creek and connect it to the Agora drain.

“Connecting that (via the LKK road) is the closest way,” Pecore said.

“If LKK will not allow the drainage,” Pecore said, “We will be forced to raise the national highway by almost a meter high, to prevent the flooding along the national highway,” Pecore said.

Raising the national highway would also mean demolition of the LKK overpass. 

This solution, though, will flood LKK’s almost 36-hectare commercial complex with more than 6 feet of flood water.

The UP-Planades offered four solutions: 

Of all the options, option No. 2 is the least costly and the shortest route.

“It is less costly because we are just going to make drainage under a road lot,” Pecore said.

Pacuribot said that Bitan-ag drainage project also connects at least 30 barangays drainage.

Pecore said that DPWH has allotted P1.8 billion for the drainage project, of which, P680 million has already been spent.

The city government, the DPWH and LKK Corporation will again meet this week to iron out their differences. –