As the flooding problem at the Banica River in Dumaguete Citycontinues to pose a threat to the public, millions of pesos in funds are already “pouring” in for the building of bridges to replace the two spillways at the river.
The city government has announced that it has PHP100 million to fund the projects, while Rep. Manuel Sagarbarria(Neg. Or., 2nd district), said he will allocate the same amount for inclusion in the 2019 budget.
Meanwhile, the Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is also proposing to Dumaguete Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo that the construction of the two bridges be done by the private sector under a Build, Operate, and Transfer scheme.
The city government, however, is confident that it can jumpstart the project this year as it only needs an appropriation from the legislative council, City Information Officer Dems Rey Demecillosaid Wednesday.
The city government has the PHP100 million from local funds for the two bridges to be constructed in place of the spillways in Barangay Taclobo, one connecting to Colon Extension, and the other to Barangay Bagacay, he added.
Demecillo said this is the mayor's response to the traffic problem in the city, and the mitigating measures in times of calamity, as there are many residents living along the banks of the Banica River.
These spillways overflow and are rendered impassable during heavy rains, creating traffic build-up in the city and endangering the informal settlers living nearby.
Demecillo said, the city government is optimistic it can start building the bridges within this year once the bidding process has been conducted after the appropriation of the funds.
While the mayor welcomes the congressman's statementabout funding the same projects, he pointed out the time constraints involved.
Demecillo said the mayor is hoping that the funds from the 2nd district congressman could be used to build more bridges at the Banica River.
Meanwhile, some consultants of the Asian Development Bank have offered “free” technical help to Dumaguete for the construction of the bridges.
The mayor said some of them expressed willingness to extend their help to the city in terms of consultancy, free of charge.
Remollosaid that, aside from the tourism potential, it is the connection that matters most.
He said this will be helpful because city engineers of Dumaguete do not have the experience in constructing bridges.*PNA
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