Acting on an agreement during the 1st Quarter Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC) VIII meeting, NEDA Regional Office (NRO) VIII convened representatives from the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), National Housing Authority (NHA) and the City Government of Tacloban for a follow-up problem solving session (PSS) to address the lack of land for the proposed construction of five permanent school buildings at St. Francis Village (SFV) in the northern part of Tacloban City. It was held on April 29, 2019 at the NEDA Regional Office VIII, Palo, Leyte.

The NHA originally allocated 1,266 sq.m. for the construction of the school buildings. But according to DepEd, the area is not enough and has requested the NHA for a minimum site allocation of 3,000 sq.m.

In previous meetings, DepEd proposed for the consolidation of two school sites (SFV 1 and SFV 2 with 1,266 sq.m. each) to provide the agency with the necessary area for the construction of five permanent school buildings. NHA, in turn, said is not within their mandate to grant the consolidation of the two areas. Instead, they advised the turn-over of the “open spaces” to the city so that the latter can make the decision to consolidate the two areas and ensure that the site satisfies DepEd’s 3,000 sq.m. minimum site allocation request.

The concerned agencies and city government representatives came up with the following agreements at the end of the session: (1) for the developer to partially turn-over to NHA the open spaces in SFV 2; (2) for DepEd to write the City Government of Tacloban requesting the said site for construction of school buildings, including the revised plans/proposal, by May 3; (3) for the City Government of Tacloban to write NHA requesting to modify the use of the property; (4) for NHA to partially turn-over to the City Government of Tacloban the requested site; and (5) for the City Government of Tacloban to allocate the needed area at SFV 2.

The quick resolution of the issue will ensure the accessibility and adequateness of education services for children displaced by disasters as advocated in the Eastern Visayas Regional Development Plan 2017-2022.

Article by Knulp Aseo, NEDA VIII