Tomas wants birds to have part of SRP
By Doris C. Bongcac
Cebu Daily News
Last updated 11:30am (Mla time) 08/30/2007
Cebu City, Philippines - Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña
yesterday said he wanted two hectares of reclaimed land
at the 300-hectare South Road Properties (SRP) to be developed
into a nature park designed to accommodate migratory birds.
WBCP pays courtesy call to Cebu
City Mayor's Office to discuss
the 3rd Philippine Bird Festival Sugbu and plans to
the habitat at the South Road Properties. Photo shows
WBCP President Mike Lu, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña,
WBCP Conservation Committee Chair Anna Gonzales, and
City Administrator Francisco Fernandez at the mayor's
something that I think should be a source of pride.
Ours is the only real estate development in the country
that has attracted wildlife,” he said.
More than 20 bird species, including the Chinese Pond
Heron, egrets, sea gulls, and the Philippine duck,
often mingle at a wet portion of the 100-hectare Pond
B of the SRP during the rainy seasons to frolic and
Osmeña has sought the assistance of the Wild
Bird Club of the Philippines to develop the nature
park. He has asked the group, through its president
Michael Lu, to make him a project proposal.
The mayor said he can set aside at least two hectares
of wetland from Pond B for a nature park.
SRP project manager Nigel Paul Villarete said the sunken,
water-filled area of Pond B was a result of a sudden change
in the SRP’s design implemented by former mayor Alvin
He said Garcia changed the elevation of some parts of Pond
B from 3.2 meters from sea level to only 2.7 meters. This
allowed rainwater to fill some portions of Pond B close
to the South Coastal Road (SCR).
If a nature park is established, Villarete said he would
prefer to have it in the section of Pond B closest to Pond
A, away from the SCR.
Globally threatened and endemic Philippine Ducks are some of the resident species at the SRP. |
He said he was worried
that the presence of rainwater might affect the soil’s
load-bearing capacity, which, in turn, may affect
The logical thing to do, Villarete said, was to fill
up the flooded area with soil.
Osmeña said it would cost the city government
another P100 million to fill the sunken area of Pond
B with soil to bring it up to 3.2 meters.
The city does not have funds for that purpose, the
Since the sunken area has already attracted wildlife,
the mayor said he would set it aside for that purpose.
“The presence of birds will enhance the attractiveness
of the SRP,” he said.
The mayor expressed apprehension that once development starts
at the SRP, the birds might be driven away.
But Anna Gonzales, a member of the Wild Bird Club said “urbanization
and birds can co-exist.” She cited the Guandu Nature
Park in Taipei, which was built in the middle of the city.
Lu, president of the club, said properties located around
Taipei’s nature park ended up having higher market
Skyscrapers were also built around the park to provide a
good view of it.