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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesTuesday, July 12, 2011
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 ‘City facing drainage,
 flooding woes’


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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