The Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII endorsed the PhP 1 billion worth of proposed flood control and river rechanneling projects in Biliran Island Province presented by Cong. Rogelio J. Espina of the Lone District of Biliran. The Council also endorsed the Southern Leyte Multi-Year Programs and Projects (PPs) 2018-2022 in support of the province’s T-E-A Strategy, focusing on Tourism development and promotion, Environment protection, and enhanced Agriculture, fishery and forestry production, presented by Cong. Roger G. Mercado of the Lone District of Southern Leyte. This was during the Second Quarter 2018 RDC VIII Full Council Meeting on 8 June 2018 at the Summit Hotel, Tacloban City.

Biliran’s flood control and river rechanneling projects seek to address the damage to infrastructure and agriculture caused by Typhoon Urduja, which devastated the province on 16 December 2017.

Meanwhile, Southern Leyte sought the endorsement of its TEA PPs to the Office of the President for funding support.

The Council also passed resolutions to expedite and improve implementation of major infrastructure projects in the region, including the following: 1) Request for Engineering Intervention on the Perennial Flooding, Landslides and Roadslips along the Matag-ob to Palompon Highway and Capoocan Highway Section; 2) Creation of a Technical Working Group to Oversee the Budget Allocation, Timeframe, and Comprehensive Planning for All Airport Projects in Region VIII; 3) Requesting the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) VIII to Fast-Track the Completion of the Asphalt Overlay Project and Repainting of the San Juanico Bridge in Preparation for the San Juanico Bridge Aesthetic Lighting Project; 4) Requesting the DPWH Secretary to Issue a Memorandum Requiring Project Contractors to Put Up Station Markers on Ongoing Projects and to Impose Penalties for Those Who Fail to Comply; and 5) Requesting the DPWH VIII and the Department of Education (DepEd) VIII to Conduct Consultations with Respect to the Implementation of Schoolbuilding Projects in Region VIII.

Also passed were resolutions on Yolanda-related concerns, such as: 1) Requesting the National Housing Authority (NHA) VIII to Fast-track the Completion of the Yolanda Permanent Resettlement Project in Brgy. Anislag, Isabel, Leyte; and 2) Requesting the Office of the President (OP), through the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Special Concerns (OPASC), to Facilitate the Reallocation of the Yolanda Funds Reverted to the National Treasury.

The following resolutions were also passed to address delayed implementation of Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) projects in the region: 1) Requesting the Secretaries of the DPWH and Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to Provide Appropriate Interventions on PAMANA Projects with High Negative Slippages; and 2) Endorsing the Transfer of Implementation of Unimplemented and Terminated PAMANA Projects to the Department of National Defense (DND), Specifically the Engineering Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

During the meeting, RDC VIII Vice-Chairperson and NEDA VIII Regional Director Bonifacio G. Uy, on behalf of RDC VIII Chairperson and Tacloban City Mayor Cristina G. Romualdez, delivered the 2017 State of the Region Address (SORA). The meeting was presided over by RDC VIII Co-Chairperson Roy Bernard C. Fiel.

RDC VIII also conferred plaques of recognition to former TESDA VIII RD Toni June A. Tamayo, former BSP Tacloban Deputy Director Ludivina M. Realina, former DOT VIII RD Karina Rosa S. Topes, and former DOLE VIII RD Joel M. Gonzales for their active participation in the RDC VIII and dedicated service to Eastern Visayas.

Article by Veda Eslopor; Photo by Judith Maris Torres