Mayor Danny Toreja Considers Centralized Drainage System
By Ibaan Ito
In the past years, administration of previous Barangay Chairmen of different barangays in the Municipality of Ibaan have been constructing and installing open canals and open drainage system in an effort to beautify their area of responsibility. This may have afforded number of benefits to the residents, but there still a long prevailing problem that needs to be addressed.
In a meeting with Barangay Chairmen, Mayor Danny Toreja called for one centralized drainage system that will connect and identify the water floods flow and direction during rainy season. He considers this to be an issue that needs to be addressed since some of the barangays, particularly those situated along high ways often times get flooded, causing risks and danger not only to residents but also to motorists.
According to him, the efforts spent with regard to drainage systems were done with the intention of developing the social environment of the people. However, there are times when these open canals hardly perform their purpose. He attributed this to the some uneven leveling of drainage system that disrupt the continuous flow of water, including their last stop or as to where the canal will end.
To have a clearer picture of the situation, he has tasked the Municipal Engineering Office headed by Engr. Mario Samson to go around different barangays to inspect existing drainage system and to determine possibilities of constructing canals in barangays without drainage system. Along with this, Mayor Toreja also informed the Barangay Chairmen that he has asked and coordinated with Provincial District Engineering Office that they be furnished with an inventory of drainage systems in Ibaan. His office will also seek help and assistance in assessing and in drafting plans for a centralized drainage system, focusing on barangays along highways.
Engr. Samson, on the other hand, said that there are factors that contribute for some drainage system’s failure to perform their purpose. Based on his observations, after their construction, either plants or flower/plant boxes were placed in front of open canal, hindering the water from going to open canals themselves. This result for rain water to stay on the road which affects the latter’s integrity. Also, old “natural” water ways were neither covered nor redirected causing changes on their elevation –ending up with an overflow with water spilling around the area. The size of culverts installed in converging point of the drainage system also contributes to the problem.
Mayor Toreja further explained that for a municipality to attract investments, its social infrastructures must be improved and developed. Drainage systems might be the least of investors’ concern, but if the municipality can perfect even the simplest infrastructure, this can deliver a good impressions for the municipality to probable investors.
Barangay Chairmen for their part, as represented by ABC President Hano Portugal, pledged their support on the said project.
Barangay Road Inventory
In the same meeting, Mayor Toreja also asked the Barangay Chairmen to make an inventory of their barangay roads for possible government funding in the future. He also asked them to submit to Sangguniang Bayan and Engineering Office for assessment any planned road openings in their area.
According to him, barangay road problems often stem from the barangay administration’s failure to secure Deed of Donation from the land owner where the roads are constructed. He explained that without the said Deed of Donation, the family members of the land owner will always have the right to claim any donations made to the barangay. If this prevails, no matter how much the residents clamor for any infrastructures, funding from the government will not be made. Worst, in case government funds were used on private property, this might result to a malversation of public fund or falsification of public document case filed against the concerned elective municipal or barangay official.
In line with this, both Mayor Toreja and Engr. Samson convinced Barangay Chairmen to draft their Development Plan to provide directions as to where their leadership will be and for easier identification of priority projects.