GOVERNMENT CENTER, PALO, Leyte- The proposed tide embankment along coastlines of this city and the towns of Palo and Tanauan will proceed as scheduled. However, unlike in the Palo-Tanauan area, the Tacloban side is encountering some problems reason why the construction on this side is hampered, said Edgar Tabacon, regional director of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), said. In fact, because of the problems involving the Tacloban side, the work of the tide embankment project connecting it to the Palo side is also affected, he added. “But the project will continue. It will proceed as scheduled. In fact, there is already a budget allocated to pay families that will be affected by this project,” Tabacon said. The DPWH has allocated around P10 million to pay the families to be hit by the project.
The amount is part of the P9.7 billion total budget of the project covering the towns of Palo and Tanauan and Tacloban city spanning 27.3 kilometers in all. The three areas are considered among the hard-hit when supertyphoon “Yolanda” pummeled Leyte on November 8, 2013.  Tabacon said that the refusal of some house owners and the lack of relocation site for the families located along Barangay 90, San Jose district that will be affected hinder the project to start. “Of course, we cannot just remove these houses without the (owners) being relocated. This is also the request of City Mayor (Cristina) Romualdez; that we’ll not start the project without these families relocated to their new resettlement,” the DPWH regional director said. Around 49 houses, to include a beach resort, are to be affected in Brgy. 90 for this project. The tide embankment is a project of the national government design as a deterrent against storm surges. Its time table covers 2016 up to 2020. Yolanda generated storm surges that rendered houses and other structures located along shoreline to be totally destroyed. The storm surges were also blamed for the death of thousands of people during Yolanda’s onslaught. (JOEY A. GABIETA)