GOVERNMENT CENTER, PALO, Leyte- The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Regional Office 8 OIC Director Edgar B. Tabacon clarifies issues and concerns of Center for Environmental Concerns (CEC) with the Community of Yolanda Survivors and Partners (CYSP).
OIC Director Tabacon asked Pascualito Ilagan, EVSU professor and Community of Yolanda Survivors & Partners (CYSP) spokesperson in a dialogue on Monday (December 12) within the premise of DPWH Multi-Purpose Hall to address the issues and concerns with affected “Yolanda” survivors who initiated the march-caravan and protested in front of the agency.
The dialogue was presided with OIC Director Tabacon.
Also present were Atty. Eulogio Laboga, DPWH legal consultant; CYSP spokesperson Ilagan; Danilo Carranza, CEC policy and advocacy lead person; DPWH Tide Embankment Working Group and 188 participants composed of Yolanda survivors, Urban Poor Association (UPA) members and Bakhawan Groups.
During the dialogue, among the concerns addressed were: no consultations done by the DPWH; massive transfer to relocation site is caused by the construction of tide embankment; the project is a loan from JICA; inland flooding were not answered; mangrove planting instead of tide embankment and DPWH are now constructing tide embankment alongside Tacloban areas.
OIC Director Tabacon reiterated that DPWH has not started yet the construction of tide embankment as he assured them that structures being constructed are not tide embankment.
The massive transfer of affected families to resettlement areas is due to the urgent instruction of President Duterte to answer the request of Yolanda survivors of their housing needs.
DPWH assisted the transfer of these victims to the relocation as well as the assistance to transfer of water tanks in response to the water shortage in these areas.
Tabacon further said that the project is not a loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) but the national government through the General Appropriation Act (GAA) funds the project.
Moreover, he said that construction of tide embankment along Cataisan and Magallanes will not push through anymore because of the reclamation project from the city of Tacloban. The families along these areas need not to worry.
Director Tabacon clarified that tide embankment is designed with the installation of flood river gate or flap gate and/or extra size culverts as the case may be to facilitate easy flow of flood waters or run-off.
These side canals and relief pipes with flap gates are carefully designed to effectively drain flood waters.
The four-meter high structure is designed to shield coastal communities from storm surges similar to that of Yolanda. (rbtc/arl/DPWH-8/PR)