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Region : Legazpi | Philippines
Goal : Goal 11 | Goal 13
Author : CITYNET
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Legazpi City Urban Drainage Improvement Project Phase 1
This is a program which seeks to minimize the perennial flooding problem in the central commercial district and nearby residential areas of the city.
City Planning and Development Office, City Engineering Office, Department of Public Works and Highways Regional Office No. V, Host Barangays (Villages)
- Environment and Resilience
Goal 11 :Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGoal 13 :Climate Action
The project effectively contributed to making the city and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, as well as livable, since it will be free from perennial floods and will foster an environment that will bring about strategic gains for growth and economic activities.
Moreover, the project is a manifestation of adapting to the effects and impacts of climate change, such as frequent heavy rains which brings flooding, storm surge and sea level rise, through climate-adaptive and disaster resilient infrastructure.
The drainage system in Legazpi City is served mainly by its topography and rivers which dissect the urban center and meanders toward Albay Gulf. The three main river systems serve as main storm drainage outlets of the city, namely, Yawa River, which extends from the slopes of Mayon Volcano passing through the Municipality of Daraga (Barangay Cullat, Malobago, Kilicao, Tagas, Binitayan and Bañag) to Legazpi City (Barangay Bogtong, Bonot and Rawis) and directly flows to Albay Gulf; Tibu River around the Legazpi Port District and Macabalo River for storm water coming from Albay District. Macabalo River collects storm water from its upstream branch rivers - Ruran, Sagumayon and Panal Rivers in the Albay District.Drainage difficulties in some part of the area are caused by the encroachment of the waterways by structures; clogged culverts brought by sand deposits and siltation, and the outdated design of the structures. All of these reduce the hydraulic capacities of the drainage system. In addition, most drainage outfalls are located along the creeks and rivers that are oftentimes inundated by high tide causing saline water to backflow. This worsens when rainstorms occur simultaneously with high tide. A feasibility study for this purpose identified both structural and non-structural measures to solve the perennial flooding problem. The project was Phase 1 of the total solution. Phase 1 includes the construction and improvement of dikes, river channeling; and the construction of three (3) Pumping Stations and Flood Gates - Tibu, Baybay and Victory – at the city’s foreshores. The structures will control the sea water inundation and will increase the water holding capacity of dikes to channel flood waters from the urban center. Jetties are provided to improve the outflow of water from the rivers.The Legazpi City Urban Drainage Improvement Project is primarily aimed to mitigate the perennial flooding problem of the city’s central business district.
This project strengthened the local government unit (Legazpi City Government) and the national government agency’s (Department of Public Works and Highways) cooperation and partnership.The communities affected and those that will highly benefit from the impacts of this project were involved in the planning, implementation and management processes. They were made aware of the project and its benefits, and its effects especially on those that were dislocated from their settlements, as well as that of the extents and limits of the public realm due to this development. A befitting and approachable process was dealt by the city government to those who had been encroached upon by the project. The project passed through the scrutiny of the Legazpi City Planning and Development Council (LCPDC)-a multi-sectoral body composed of accredited Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) operating in the city, national line agencies, local government offices, business sector, people's organizations, and other sectoral groups; and was endorsed to the City Council for its inclusion in the City's Medium Term Public Investment Plan. The project has been regularly monitored by both the national government (through DPWH) and the local government (through its City Project Monitoring Committee). The project planning was a joint process of the City Government of Legazpi and of the Department of Public Works and Highways. A Terms of Reference (TOR) and Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) were drafted and ratified. An environmentally related program for the protection of the system was put in place. The local government, through its City Engineer’s Office and the Office of the Local Building Official, implement provisions of the National Building Code of the Philippines to protect urban rivers, tributaries and road line canals from encroachment. Man-made contributions to flooding problems were addressed through the implementation of the city ecological solid waste management system, the zoning ordinance and other laws. The domestic usage of plastic bags was also dramatically reduced as effected by a local government regulation.
The urban poor highly benefitted from the almost absent flooding since they are the least equipped with resources and are located in highly flood-prone areas of the city, hence the least to adapt. This saved them from the extra cost of refurbishing themselves of their lost or damaged resources due to flooding, or from economic losses brought by stopping their livelihood activities. It also saved the aged, the persons with disability and the children from the extra effort and nuisance of evacuating to safer grounds. Incidence of perennial floods dramatically dropped to almost none, compared to before when the number of flooding incidences were almost the same as the number of days with heavy rainfall. The city is rainy for almost half of the year starting in June, and it is also the start of the typhoon season.Moreover, it is also interesting to point out that investing in infrastructure for resiliency also served as a foundation for economic growth and development for the city. Increases in investments have been evident since the project was started. This is shown in the cost of new construction and development in the city which increased by 36 percent in 2016, from Php 556M in 2013. It gave the right signal to the business sector that despite the fact that the city is a hotspot for hazards and the effects of climate change; the city government is really doing its best to address all of these by providing resilient infrastructure.
Cities who shared the same urban drainage system with our city should consider ours a model. This is actually the first of its kind in the whole Southern Luzon area of the Philippines. National government and local government partnership is the core essence of the project, more specifically with a project of this magnitude. Local executive amity to other national government officials is also a factor for its realization and success.Another thing to underline is that having a feasibility study is a critical stepping stone to sourcing out funds.For replication, this initiative is best suited to environment and resilience.
Engr. Joseph B. Esplana
City Planning and Development Coordinator
Legazpi City Government
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