Palo, Leyte – The Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII-Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC) convened for its 4th Quarter 2017 Meeting on 27 December 2017 at NEDA VIII, Palo, Leyte, primarily to discuss the damages wrought by Typhoon Urduja (International name: Kai-tak) to infrastructure and resettlement facilities in the region, among others.

RM Rizalde A. Mediavillo of the National Housing Authority (NHA) VIII and representatives from the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) VIII and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) VIII reported their respective agency updates. The NEDA VIII – Yolanda Program Monitoring Office (YPMO) also reported results of separate field monitoring visits conducted in several resettlement sites in Leyte, Samar and Eastern Samar to validate reported flooding incidents in said areas.

Typhoon Urduja slammed the region with heavy rains and strong winds for more than three (3) consecutive days from December 13 to 16, 2017. The incessant rains have caused heavy flooding in several towns. Some government and non-government Yolanda resettlement sites were flooded, including Tzu Chi Great Love City, a temporary relocation site in a farmland in Ormoc City.

Major infrastructures have also been damaged. These included road slips and road blockage caused by land/rockslides along national roads in Pinabacdao and Calbayog, Samar, and Naval and Biliran in Biliran Province. Major bridges in Biliran have also been destroyed, namely: Caraycaray Bridge and Catmon Bridge.

Based on the reports, initial measures to address the situation are already being undertaken by the concerned agencies.

On top of the immediate agency interventions, the RPMC VIII also came up with long-term solutions to the flooding problem. These include the development of the following projects: 1) Tacloban City Comprehensive Drainage Master Plan, 2) Flood Control Project along Taft-Paranas Road, and 3) Comprehensive Drainage System Project for St. Genevieve Resettlement Sites in Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

In order to push said projects, the Committee recommended to the Regional Development Council VIII to request the DPWH VIII to include in its 2019 budget the funding requirements for these projects. This recommendation is embodied in RPMC VIII Resolution Nos. 18-20, s. 2017.

Mary Fretzie R. Basal, PMED, NEDA VIII