The city government has placed a mechanism to avert worst scenario in low-lying areas in the advent of La Niña.
Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell Yap said the city government already has ready action during heavy rains to address the concerns on floodings, particularly the Lamdagan area.
Yap also said the city government is already in the process of improving the drainage system of Tagbilaran.
The mayor said the city government intends to prepare Tagbilaran for the onset of a weak La Niña that recurs periodically in the light of climate change.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has warned the public anew of the onset of a weak La Niña that the country now starts to experience.
La Niña causes heavy rains that threaten areas along riverbanks that are flood-prone and the mountainsides that are landslide-prone.
Leonard Samar, officer-in-charge of PAG-ASA-Bohol explained that the sudden and torrential rains that the province and other areas in the Visayas experience from time to time are associated with the weak La Niña.
He said the weak La Niña would possibly last until March.
Samar warned that the rainfall level may rise to above normal if the rainy season would last for the entire first quarter of the year.
Except for the successive downpour, there is no major weather system that besets the Bohol.
The city government had just finalized its Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP) last year as a means to meet the goal to establish climate change preparedness by 2020.
The city’s LCCAP is aimed at establishing an “efficient drainage system to reduce the level of risk to life and property in flood-prone areas”.
The City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO), headed by Gerard Lavadia, drafted the Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP) for Tagbilaran City where flood-prone areas had been identified.
The preparation of the LCCAP included the process of identifying problem areas and the scope of the concern.
Under the LCCAP, city government intends to “provide adequate and efficient drainage facilities for storm water in areas identified as vulnerable to flood” and “update the drainage master plan of the city”.
The city government targets to construct 1,500 lineal meters of new drainage channel ways in areas identified as flood-prone by 2020.
Also by 2020, the city government targets to complete the replacement of 800 meters of non-functional and unserviceable drainage channel ways.
By then, the Drainage Master Plan of Tagbilaran City would already by updated.
In relation to climate change preparedness, the city government will “integrate its engineering designs to adapt to increased rainfall and extreme weather events”.
CDRRMO recognizes flooding as one of the concerns related to climate change impact on the city.
Low-lying areas such as barangay Cogon are identified as prone to flooding.
The lack of centralized drainage is also noted as having compounded to the flooding everytime heavy rain pours.
“With heavier rainfall according to the estimates of DOST’s LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), compounded by the lack of any centralized drainage system, the possibility of flooding has increased,” as also noted in the LCCAP.
The city government “started the process of generating exposure databases following the classifications of HLURB’s Climate and Disaster Risk Assessment” which “include population, urban use, resource use, critical facilities, and lifeline utilities”.