Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he would meet with City Hall offices to discuss the city's preparations for the rainy season.
Rama was referring to the city's quick response team, city administrator Jose Marie Poblete, budget officer Nelfa Briones and Rama's chief-of-staff Philip Zafra.
“We cannot just sit down and watch what will happen next. This early, we have to be prepared knowing how bad the city’s drainage system is,” he said.
Rama said the city would need about P2 billion to implement a 10-year comprehensive drainage improvement program.
Of the P500 million which Rama proposed in his executive budget for drainage improvement, the City Council only approved P100 million.
While clamoring for more funds, Rama admitted that the P100 million appropriation in the 2012 annual budget had not been fully spent.
“There’s still an existing budget but it may not be sufficient,” he said.
Rep. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City's south district criticized the mayor for complaining about the appropriation.
While the mayor complained about the city drainage project’s minimal budget, Osmeña said, Rama didn’t even submit a proposal to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) or the district representatives to seek help to secure national funding of the projects.
Mayor Rama who has been opposing the rise of flyover projects implemented by the DPWH suggested that funding for flyovers should be diverted to other important concerns like the city’s drainage improvement.
“What has he (Rama) done? Nothing, except to blame everyone else. He can’t even do a feasibility study and yet he is asking where the drainage is,” said Osmeña.
Osmeña recalled that when he was mayor he applied for funding assistance from government agencies and foreign institutions.
A Flood Mitigation and Drainage Study for Cebu City was made by consultants Genson-TCGI-Woodfields- Spaces JV in 2004 and 2005 but the recommendations were not carried out. /Chief of Reporters Doris C. Bongcac