Cebu developer hires award-winning ex-mayor in risk reduction efforts

July 22, 2013 11:02 am 

CEBU CITY, July 22 — A Cebu-based developer has enlisted the assistance of a former Cebu town mayor who won an international award in implementing its risk reduction and environmental management.

Genvi Development Corp. (GDC) said it is collaborating with former mayor Alfredo Arquillano Jr. of San Francisco, Camotes, Cebu to implement disaster risk prevention in its 400-hectare development project in Barangay Guadalupe and its neighboring barangays Tisa, Sapangdaku and Buhisan in Cebu City.

GDC is the developer of the upscale residential township Monterrazas de Cebu, a landmark project in Cebu City’s hinterlands.

It started with 210 hectares, which was later increased to 350 and to 400 hectares.

Monterrazas is 80 percent complete and has approved close to 20 structures for construction by the end of the year, GDC officials said.

Lawyer Dindo Antonio Perez, GDC president and chief executive officer, said their risk reduction and environmental management would create long-term benefits for the environment and the residents they serve.

Arquillano said disaster and hazard risk measures must be integrated into every horizontal or vertical development to minimize risks when calamities strike.

“Proper planning means involving preventive measures before building the actual project. There is a need to inculcate this approach in the construction industry,” Arquillano said.

He lauded GDC’s advocacy as the first player from the local real estate sector to adopt the purok-based system he started in San Francisco when was mayor.

It involved waste reduction and learning how to make communities more resilient in case of disasters.

Arquillano said educating the public is a major challenge in disaster risk reduction and that it took five years for San Francisco to see results.

Arquillano, who began the purok system in 2004, gained international recognition for creating awareness and enabling local risk reduction efforts when his term ended in 2010.

He was recognized as the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction-Asia regional champion for making cities resilient.

The San Francisco system, he said, also won the United Nations’ 2011 Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Perez said they have positioned four detention ponds in Monterrazas since the development was launched in 2007 to regulate the flow of rainwater in the area.

The detention ponds, which cost about P50 million, were proposed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as a standard feature for hillside developments. (PNA)

JBP/EB

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