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Informal Settlements Encroachment Along the Major Rivers and Creeks: A Major Obstacle in Addressing Drainage Problem and Flooding in the Central Cluster of Metro Cebu, Philippines

Author(s): Joan Arce Jaque, Ma. Dolores V. Llenos

Linked Author(s): Joan Jaque

Keywords: River management, river encroachment, informal settlements on waterways, issues on river management, hazards on waterways

Abstract: The problem of drainage is commonly viewed as physical and technical concerns. But in reality, the problem is actually complicated by various socio-economic factors. These key factors include: encroachment of settlements and establishments along the water ways; improper solid waste disposal; and unenforced regulations or policies. More than the technical and physical challenges, these issues are more critical and most of the time is more difficult to deal with. Often times these issues become the major hurdle and cause of delay in implementing river improvement projects. The encroachment of informal settlements is a common sight in Metro Cebu's major rivers and creeks. In the central cluster alone, there are about 9, 000 informal settlements along or within the three-meter easement of the major rivers and creeks. This number may continue to increase if the Local Government Units (LGU) will not make a definite stand to stop this inappropriate and unlawful encroachment on the waterways. The removal of these informal settlements is imperative. Sooner or later, these houses and structures must be relocated in compliance to the Water Code of Philippines and Urban Development and the Housing Act (RA7279 UDHA) which prohibits the establishment of structures along or within the easements of rivers and creeks or waterways. The relocation or resettlement will not only improve the physical condition of the waterways and its capacity to accommodate the increasing runoff but more importantly, it will uplift the living condition of the affected households, prevent them from possible health and environment hazards and protect lives and properties in case of flooding and other calamities. Humane demolition however does not stop in dismantling these housing structures, it goes toward people's integration to their new living environment. The President Rodrigo Duterte strongly emphasizes in his first State of the Nation address that there shall be "No Demolition, Without Relocation". This paper presents how these social issues will be approached with consideration on the environmental issues and ensuring the social safeguards in carrying out the river improvement programs; which may include people's participation, comprehensive planning and careful execution to lessen conflicts and negative impacts on people's lives and properties


Year: 2017

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