Dumaguete Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria said the city is facing a big problem with its drainage system that is not designed to accommodate huge amounts of rain, but has put much of the blame on excessive rainfall brought on by climate change.
Sagarbarria also admitted in a recent interview that the city does not have the money to improve or build a better drainage system, in order to avoid a repeat of the massive flooding on June 30, that submerged many parts of the city.
He said one of the biggest problems of the city is that its drainage canals are too small.
However, it will cost millions of pesos to revamp its drainage system, he added.
A farmer himself, he is apprehensive over the amount of rainfall in Dumaguete, noting that several years ago, the city only recorded about six or seven inches of rain in a month’s time.
Nowadays, the city experiences rainfall of two to three inches within an hour to two hours, due to climate change, he added.
He said they can only do the regular de-clogging of these canals, now, and that, since last year, at least 22 people have been mobilized by the city to regularly clean out the drainage canals.
The day after the June 30 flooding, Sagarbarria ordered Rey Awayan, chief of the city’s General Services Office, to conduct an ocular inspection of the city’s drainage system and canals.
Awayan reported that the canals were just too small to hold the huge volume of rainfall that day, he said.
Sagarbarria said he cannot be certain yet whether the city can source funds for an improved drainage system, and it is considering looking for external funding to help solve the city’s flooding problem.*JFP
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