The 44-year old NEDA Regional Office VIII building recently completed much-needed repair and maintenance works in addition to the installation of new safety features.

Funded by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) VIII, the Php 9.65 million project included the installation of several safety features in the building, such as a state-of-the-art fire detection and alarm system (FDAS) and fire sprinklers, and roll-up storm shutters.

Under the project, the DPWH VIII also undertook repair and maintenance works of the NEDA VIII building. This included the repair of wall cracks in different parts of the building caused by two strong earthquakes in 2017 and 2019; the replacement of loose floor and wall tiles in the building; repair of leaky roof; and the waterproofing of office walls and roof deck. These repair and maintenance works aim to prolong the longevity of the office building and ensure the health, safety, and comfort of all staff working in it.

NEDA VIII also undertook efforts to improve its accessibility to persons with disabilites (PWD).

The office undertook the construction of a roof for its PWD ramp going up to the second floow; while earlier, the DPWH VIII also constructed a Php 1.42 million Accessible Facility for Physically Challenged Persons building in the NEDA compound.

The building was finished in November 2020.

In the remaining months of the year, NEDA VIII will be undertaking the renovation of the office canteen and pantry funded by the office’s own operating funds for 2021.

With the need for social distancing during the pandemic, improvement of this space will help alleviate the crowding in the NEDA building, as there is a gradual increase in the ratio of working staff reporting to the office.

For 2022, the DPWH Leyte 1st District Engineering Office (DEO) allocated Php 7 Million for the further improvement and upgrading of the NEDA VIII building.

This fund is proposed to be used for the following projects: (1) concrete perimeter walk; (2) replacement of waterproofing at roof deck and parapet; (3) repainting of NEDA VIII building; (4) rerouting and replacement of electrical wires of perimeter and repainting of perimeter fence; (5) re-piping of water pipes (with tile works); (6) re-polishing of marble floor at ground floor and 2nd floor; and (7) installation of window shield (accordion type).

The NEDA VIII Regional Office Building was previously renovated early 2014 after being thoroughly damaged by a 3.6-metre high storm surge during Super Typhoon Yolanda. The newly-renovated building was inaugurated in 2016 with then-NEDA Secretary Emmanuel F. Esguerra leading the ceremonies.

Article and Photos by: Knulp Aseo, DRD and Miriel O. Pido, FAD