TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) here in the region will proceed with the bidding of some subsections of the P7.9 billion tide embankment project within this month after several design changes and consultations. Changes in project specifications particularly in some parts of Palo, Leyte have been approved by their central office, DPWH Regional Director Edgar Tabacon said. For this year alone, the allocation is P1.46 billion to start the construction of structures designed to shield coastal communities from the impacts of rising seas or storm surges.

The revised design incorporates recommendations of local government units, affected residents, and experts, according to Tabacon. “The project should have been started early this year. There will be spill over for few months for these batches and these will be extended until end of next year,” he added. Tabacon was unsure when the project covering the Tacloban section will start due to slow pace of relocation of affected families from coastal areas to northern resettlement sites.

The 27.3-kilometer tide embankment project, dubbed by some as “great wall,” stretches from Barangay Diit in Tacloban to Brgy. Cabuynan in Tanauan town. Sections 1 to 3 are in Tacloban, section 4 cover the coastal villages of Tacloban and Palo, section 5 are located in Palo and Tanauan, and section 6 in Tanauan town. The four-meter high structure, designed to shield coastal communities from storm surges, was pushed through by the previous Aquino administration after the 2013 storm surges wiped out neighborhoods in Leyte province generated by supertyphoon “Yolanda”. The P7.9 billion project include civil works and right of way acquisition broken down in four years – P1.46 billion for 2016, P1.19 billion for 2017, P2.64 billion for 2018, and P2.64 for 2019.