The Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII passed Resolution No. 53, s. 2015, “Endorsing the Project on Storm Surge Protection: Road Heightening and Tide Embankment for Tacloban-Palo-Tanauan, Leyte” during its 4th quarter meeting held last 11 December 2015 at the DPWH VIII Multi-Purpose Hall, Government Center, Palo, Leyte.

Cognizant of the critical relevance and huge investment requirement of the Project on Storm Surge Protection: Road Heightening and Tide Embankment for Tacloban-Palo-Tanauan, Leyte, the Full Council endorsed the project subject to the conduct of consultation with the experts to be participated by professionals affiliated with UP-Marine Science Institute, Ateneo de Manila University-Manila Observatory, Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Reconstruction, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, and the Area Management Committees of the Local Governments Tacloban City, Palo and Tanauan as suggested by RDC VIII Private Sector Representative Oliver Cam of the Leyte Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The said project is intended to: a) protect the Yolanda affected areas in Tacloban-Palo-Tanauan from future calamities such as storm surge; b) prioritize the protection of urban area; and, c) minimize the number of affected people/casualties during calamities. Total project cost is estimated at PhP 7.9 billion for civil works and right of way acquisition to be implemented in six years from year 2015 to 2020.

The project was initially endorsed by the RDC VIII-Executive Committee through Res. No. 34, s. 2015 for confirmation by the RDC VIII Full Council members.

Other resolutions passed by the Council are: Proposed Construction of the New First Mass Cross Monument at the National Shrine in Brgy. Magallanes, Limasawa, Southern Leyte; Proposed Archaeological Museum in Limasawa, Southern Leyte; Establishment of a Roll-On Roll-Off Port in the Island of Limasawa, Southern Leyte; Inclusive Partnership for Agricultural Competitiveness Project; 2014-2016 Eastern Visayas Coconut Industry Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan and the 2014-2016 Eastern Visayas Cacao and Banana Action Plans; Supporting the Institutionalization of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program; Immediate Construction of School Buildings and Temporary Learning Spaces in Yolanda Resettlement Areas in Tacloban North, Tacloban City; and Request to the Office of the President for the Expeditious Release of Funds for the Proposed Tacloban Water Supply Expansion Project from Pastrana, Leyte to Brgy. Tagpuro, Tacloban City.

The RDC VIII Chairperson and Leyte Governor Dominico L. Petilla, in his message, thanked the Council members for generously sharing their skills and knowledge that helped in the region’s recovery from various typhoons and calamities that hit Eastern Visayas. He expressed hope that everyone will continue to hone the spirit of sharing their skills and knowledge in facing various challenges in the Council’s efforts to attain inclusive development.

Meliza Y. Bacolbas, DRD, NEDA VIII