MEGA RIPRAP. Personnel of the Housing and Land Management Division Office and the Zamboanga City Engineer's Office conduct an assessment on the easement along three riverside villages to pave way for the construction of a mega-flood control project. Mayor John Dalipe said Friday (Jan. 27, 2023) the affected families would be relocated to three resettlement sites. (Photo courtesy of HLMDO)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The city government is set to evict 600 families from riverbanks here to give way to the construction of a mega flood control project.

Those subjected to eviction are families residing along riverbanks from the San Bernardino Bridge in Barangay Guiwan to the Barigon Bridge in Barangay Tugbungan, passing through Barangay Tetuan.

Mayor John Dalipe said Friday the Housing and Land Management Division Office and the City Engineer’s Office have already conducted an initial inspection of the riverbank easements in the three barangays.

“We have to clear the riverbanks of dwellers the soonest possible time so that the project can be implemented this year,” Dalipe said.

He noted that the "riprap" project, which will be undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways, is about 3.5 meters to 4 meters wide, passable for vehicles on both banks of the river from Barangay Guiwan, Tetuan to Tugbungan.

Zamboanga City 2nd District Rep. Jose Manuel Dalipe has secured PHP700 million in funds for the implementation of the project, the mayor said.

As a counterpart, the city government will clear the riverbanks of the makeshift houses and work on the resettlement of the affected dwellers.

Dalipe said an information caravan would be conducted among the target riverbank dwellers to explain to them the benefits of the project and resettlement issues.

Meanwhile, he said the affected families would be relocated to three local government-built resettlement sites. (PNA)