SUMMER FUN: Kite flying is a popular pastime enjoyed by both children and adults during the summer months, capitalizing on the favorable weather and breezy conditions. Photo shows students engaged in a kite flying activity, showcasing the joy and excitement of this seasonal tradition.(JAG)

Amid uproar from Borongan officials, residents

TACLOBAN CITY– The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in the region has stopped the construction of a seawall in Barangay Lalawigan, Borongan City.

This decision was announced by DPWH-8 Regional Director Edgar Tabacon following an ocular inspection conducted by a team from the regional office on Tuesday (April 2) at the site of the seawall project in Lalawigan.

“Upon the request of our city mayor, barangay officials, and other city officials, we have decided to temporarily suspend the construction work while the request for the realignment of the seawall is under review by the DPWH,” Tabacon stated.

“For now, we have verbally instructed the contractor to halt construction temporarily. Subsequently, we will organize a public consultation to determine the new alignment for the project,” Tabacon added, mentioning that a written order for the temporary stoppage of the project will follow.

Residents of Lalawigan village, along with city government officials, have raised concerns about the design of the seawall, which they argue is poorly planned and encroaches on coral areas, potentially impacting the livelihoods of fishermen.

Additionally, the project would affect residents of Divinubo Island who rely on the coastal area of Lalawigan for docking their motorboats when conducting transactions and trade in the city proper.

Mayor Jose Ivan Dayan Agda, leading the city government officials, emphasized that no infrastructure should infringe upon the Borongan reef line, which serves as a crucial defense against calamities.

He expressed gratitude to DPWH-8 officials for heeding their appeal during the ocular inspection.

“It was my duty to advocate on behalf of the people’s concerns,” Mayor Agda conveyed to the DPWH-8 officials.

Construction on the seawall project in Lalawigan village commenced in March, catching residents and city officials off guard when corals along the shoreline were extracted.
The city government promptly requested the temporary suspension of the project and proposed a redesign that would preserve the beachfront, popular among visitors and tourists, including surfers.

The seawall project, with a total budget of P864 million, is slated to be implemented in six phases.