Cebu City

Cebu City prefers dialogue to solve problem of illegal structures along rivers, creeks

Lorraine Ecarma

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Cebu City prefers dialogue to solve problem of illegal structures along rivers, creeks

File photo of Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella.

Photo from the Cebu City PIO Facebook page

Mayor Edgardo Labella says the city government is offering to subsidize a portion of the 'engineering solutions'

Cebu Mayor Edgardo Labella said he was looking for “engineering solutions” instead of taking “drastic legal measures” in dealing with establishments which encroached into the three-meter easement zones along the city’s rivers and creeks.

The city government was looking into the issue of these errant structures after the massive floods here last October 13 took the lives of 3 residents.

In a press conference on Thursday, October 22, Labella said that he planned to dialogue with the 83 owners of the buildings constructed within the easement zones. According to the mayor, some of these structures obstructed the flow of water in the city’s creeks and rivers, contributing to the flooding problem.

He said that instead of resorting to legal measures, the city government wanted to come to a compromise with the owners. Labella said the city government would subsidize a portion of the “engineering solutions” to be recommended to the owners.

“Previous administrations did not succeed in uprooting them. And this time, I would like to speak to them, appeal to their sense of civic-mindedness and social responsibility. That, although they have actually enjoyed having these buildings constructed, they have a responsibility to the people of the City of Cebu,” he said.

He added that most of the buildings were constructed in the 1980s and the 1990s with the permission of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

The City Engineering Office would recommend the possible solutions, Labella said.

He added that he would meet with the owners on Monday, October 26. —

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