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What awaits Cebu for the year 2012?

No flyovers but still with inundated streets.

This is the prediction of environmental lawyer Gloria Estenzo-Ramos of Philippine Earth Justice Center Inc. for Cebu in the Year of the Dragon.

Floods in Cebu will continue to get worse in 2012, she said.

“It will be more and it will get worse. I told my kids what a sad future they will have. I don’t encourage them to have kids because they will suffer from the flood,” she said in an interview with Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.’s (RAFI) Pagtuki last December 31. Pagtuki is RAFI’s weekly radio program that airs every Saturday from 10-11 a.m. over dyLA.

Ramos said that the local government units should start updating the land use plan of Cebu to prevent flooding.

If the government won’t heed the call of environmentalists in flood prevention, then the people should take up the cudgel, she said.

“We keep saying that the disasters are wake-up calls for everybody but we cannot just wait for our public officials to act on them. If they won’t act, we should take the initiative to prepare ourselves for disasters,” she explained in Cebuano.

Last January 2011, the cities of Mandaue and Cebu suffered severe flooding in different areas, which prompted Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama to clear the houses located within the three-meter easement along the Mahiga Creek.

“We are all disasters waiting to happen. Instead of planting trees, we are planting houses,” Ramos observed.

With these predictions, Ramos said that Cebuanos should be prepared for any disaster. They should be trained with disaster preparedness to build resiliency against typhoons.

Though streets will still be flooded, Cebu will have no new flyovers for 2012, according to Ramos.

“What is my bold prediction? It will not flourish. I don’t think President Aquino will risk his philosophy ‘daang matuwid’,” she said.

The issue of building new flyovers in Cebu has been brought up to President Aquino last year. Results of further studies are still to be released, pending the suspension of the construction of the flyovers.

“If it will pursue, which I doubt, we will go to court. We are going to file criminal cases to the people who approved it. We have the Republic Act 10066, or the National Culture Heritage Act of 2009,” Ramos said, referring to the law that ensures the conservation and preservation of monuments and structures of important heritage value, including structures more than 50 years old.

by: Nancy Cudis

Originally from rafi.org.ph

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