TACLOBAN CITY- Mayor Alfred Romualdez of this city presented to the public his plan converting Tacloban into a “resilient, vibrant and livable city” after being pummeled by supertyphoon Yolanda last year.
Speaking to about 2,000 plus stakeholders comprising business sector, academe, people’s organizations and other national and international relief groups on March 21 at the Tacloban Convention Center, Romualdez maintained the city is focus now on “bringing people to safer area, with planned urban expansion.”
“We’re working on a plan for a new Tacloban in the northern part. The working figure is being worked out now because we have to determine also the pledges that will be realized. We will see how we will come up also,” he said.
Romualdez projected that it would need P3 billion or more to realize the program contain under the master rehabilitation plan with the bulk of the needed funds would come from the private sectors as donors.
He added the new housing project in the northern part of Tacloban would result into a “township.”
Asked if the plan will be realized until 2016 (the term limit of Romualdez), he answered, “I hope so.”
After the presentation of the city’s mechanism for a new city, the plan will be presented again to the various government agencies and private groups and individuals for possible financing.
“Even in the beginning, this is what the donors are asking. This is just a mechanism, but what we have now are areas being approved and determined already to be a hazard area and safe,” Romualdez stressed on the importance of the plan.
Ma. Adelaida Cea of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, who helped presenting the over strategic framework of the plan, maintained that the city can “bounce back” given its many opportunities and potentials.
The short-term plan includes construction, trading and agri-diversification; while in medium term, covers industrial development, tourism, business outsourcing, economic infrastructure and development.
The proponent has divided its development districts to north covering satellite urban center; mid-coast is for urban expansion and trading area; south coast is for redevelopment with urban expansion in risk inland areas; and upland for conservation and protected area.
The city government owns 86 hectares lot ready for shelter needs in the northern part.
For its shelter projects, the city is targeting about 10,000 permanent housing (now with total donor housing commitments of 6,661); target of about 3,000 for Community Mortgage Program in Diit, Bagacay and Cabalawan; and acquisition of additional land (30 to 50 hectares) for new housing.
The Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) would also be relocated in the northern part as well as the University of the Philippines-Tacloban. (RONALD O. REYES)