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Just one month and four days after it was opened, Kagay-Anons and visitors are encouraged to preserve and avoid ‘pollution’ on Rio de Oro Boulevard promoted by City Hall as a ‘wellness and family friendly’ site.
“We request the public, especially motorists to understand that the boulevard (is not limited) to vehicles. Only cyclists (regular bicycles and e-bike riders) are allowed to pass…and we also ask those who use the boulevard to take care of it like you take care of your own home. We will not pollute, we will not abuse because the main purpose of the boulevard is to flood,” said Atty. Edgardo Uy, chairman of the Rio de Oro Boulevard technical working group.
During the press briefing on Monday sponsored by the City Information Office, Atty. Uy said that the two-lane, 2.3-kilometer boulevard is part of Phase II of the Cagayan de Oro River Flood Risk Management Project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
“The boulevard is included in the project so we will take care of the boulevard like our own house. We will not pollute,” said Uy in Bisaya.
Because of this, Uy said that passersby on the boulevard including pet owners are reminded to clean themselves.
In the three-page order issuing guidelines for the use of the boulevard approved by Mayor Rolando Uy, the boulevard is classified as a ‘flood-resiliency structure’ that is also a ‘family-friendly open space’ to promote ‘mobility, tourism, and entertainment.’
Trash cans are also placed at strategic locations throughout the boulevard for the public. Uy said that those who live on the banks of the river in the boulevard must leave for their own safety.
“The rivers are (no build area) danger zones and that is the reason why a flood control structure was installed because that area is prone to flooding,” said Uy.
The technical working group had a dialogue last Tuesday with 100 residents of Barangay Puntod and Consolacion who live on the river side of the boulevard, most or all of them were given a notice by the City Housing and Urban Development Department (Chudd) and the Office of the Building . Officer (OBO). The residents were moved to one of the city’s relocation sites.
In their response, the residents reasoned that they have difficulty sustaining their livelihood in the relocation site.
“Many of those who live in the river along the boulevard have houses in other areas and they work in quarries. Chudd profiled them and they will be relocated and those who were relocated but still insisted on staying in the river so we are working with the barangay (to resolve this),” said Uy.
Uy said that the important thing is to keep the residents away from the danger zone.
“Those who live on the banks of the river should not stay there because it is illegal and unsafe for them to do so. That’s why we have a dialogue for them to explain their situation,” he said. (Stephen Capillas with a report by Annabelle Ricalde of the City Information Office)
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