To mitigate the flooding problems that arise during and after heavy rains, the Ancillary Services Unit (ASU) of the City Government of Davao continues to conduct drainage clearing and desilting operations in the city’s waterway systems.

ASU Chief Paul Bermejo said that while the weather has been relatively good since last month, the ASU has also been relentless in its drainage rodding operations, particularly in the most flood-prone areas.

“Nagpasalamat pud ta kay wala pud kaayo kita nakasinati og kusog-kusog nga ulan so kami sa Ancillary Services Unit gibanatan pud namo ni sa pagpanghinlo tungod kay kung muulan na pud, balik na pud ni ang mga silts sa canal. So samtang karon nga wala pa’y kusog-kusog nga pag-ulan, amo na daan ng ginasiguro na mahinluan (We are also thankful because we did not experience heavy rain recently so we in the Ancillary Services Unit have been conducting clearing operations non-stop because once it rains again, then the silts will go back to the canals. Since there is still no heavy raining, we are now declogging our drainage systems),” Bermejo said during the Madayaw Davao program of the Davao City Disaster Radio on Tuesday.

Bermejo said the arrival of the unit’s new backhoe loader had been most welcome in the clearing operations in the city’s bigger canals.

“Timing pud nga na-deliver na atong backhoe loader so naa na ta’y backhoe loader na makatabang sa ato sa paghinlo sa mga dagko nga mga kanals ug mga creeks labi na diha sa flooded areas sa may Bago Gallera, sa may Bago Aplaya (The delivery of the backhoe loader was really good timing because now we have a backhoe loader that can help in the clearing of big canals and creeks especially in the flooded areas around Bago Gallera and Bago Aplaya,)” said Bermejo.

Aside from the backhoe loader, Bermejo said, a P32-million program approved last year promises additional new equipment that will make drainage clearing operations much more efficient for ASU and the City Engineer’s Office (CEO).

The program includes the procurement of a jetting and vacuum truck. Bermejo said the CEO’s existing jetting truck is too big to fit into the narrow streets of some frequently-flooded areas, thus, a smaller one is necessary. A jetting and vacuum truck can be used for suctioning and discharging sludge at high pressure and transporting mud and debris away from drainage systems.

Another equipment called “slurry pump” which is a submersible centrifugal pump designed to move thick, corrosive fluid with solid particles such as sand and gravel will be used to drain out flood in certain areas.

“Unya paghumana ang ulan, pila na ka-adlaw ang milabay wala gihapon nag-subside ang tubig so pwede nato na ideploy didto ang slurry pump na pwede na siya mag-pump og tubig ug lapok pagawas didto sa flooded area (And then after the rain, after how many days and the water still do not subside then we can deploy our slurry pump that can pump out water and mud away from the flooded area),” he said.

On top of this, a multi-purpose vehicle will also be added to ferry ASU responders and other personnel.

The procurement of these equipment, according to Bermejo, are needed to effectively manage the flooding issue in some parts of the city. In the meantime, Bermejo said ASU personnel will continue their drainage clearing operations using traditional means. CIO