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Residents of San Jose district opposes tide embankment project; claims economic dislocation

TACLOBAN CITY- The planned tide embankment here in the city continues to draw strong opposition from residents who will be affected by the P 7.9 billion project.
According to them, if this project will push through, this will not only result in the destruction of their houses but more importantly, dislocate them economically.
Losanto Castillo Jr., a resident of Barangay 88 in San Jose district, said that in their area alone, around 300 houses will be affected by the project being undertaken by the national government through the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Castillo, who is also the president of the Tacloban Fisherfolk Association, said that about 500 fishermen will be affected by the project which primarily aims to protect coastlines from storm surge.
“We are opposing its construction because it will not only result to the destruction of our houses but will cause economic dislocation for us fishermen,” the 58-year old fisherman said.
Alex Pingol, another resident of the said village, also expressed his opposition saying that they owned the property where their houses are built but the government will only be paying them less of the actual amount.
“We are supposed to be part of our government and they should listen to us. What they are doing can actually be considered as trespassing to one’s private property,” he said.
Last Friday (August 4), residents of the Barangay 88, in particular, dramatized their opposition during their dialogue with personnel of the DPWH- Tacloban City Engineering District Office.
The construction of the 27.3 kilometer tide embankment was a reaction of the national government to help protect against storm surge that hit the city when super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ pummeled Tacloban City in 2013.
Aside from Tacloban City, the tide embankment is also to be constructed in the towns of Tanauan and Palo which is now underway.
The cost of the project, divided into six sections with a total 27.3 kilometers covered, is P7.9 billion.
Fish landing and boat docking, view deck, mangrove highway, among others, are the components of the project which is expected to be finished by 2020.
(JOEY A. GABIETA)

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