TACLOBAN CITY- Families at sitio Alimasag in Barangay Costa Brava, San Jose District, remain uncertain whether they continue to live there or be transferred to a relocation site. The area has been identified as part of the expansion of the Daniel Z. Romualdez (DZR) Airport whose work was temporarily sidelined after supertyphoon Yolanda struck Tacloban more than nine months ago. The rehabilitation of the Tacloban Airport is to be undertaken by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) which had earlier informed the families on their impending transfer.

Residents of the area, numbering to close to 1,000 families, claimed that while they are willing to move out, the government should assure them assistance once they will be transferred to a relocation site in Barangay New Kawayan, a northern village of the city. The government, through the DOTC, had promised to provide them financial assistance worth P25,000 for those families who will be affected by the expansion of the airport. The area will be used as the site of the terminal building of the airport. “We were already given pin cards for the distribution of the disturbance fee and we were just waiting for the DOTC to come” said resident Brenda Doza, referring to the promised financial assistance.

Doza said that they are still waiting from the DOTC on any update regarding this matter. The rehabilitation and expansion of the DZR Airport, the premier airport of the region serving 14 daily flights, has been in the pipeline for more than a decade now. But for some reason, the projected P4 billion DZR Project has yet to be fully realized although some minor works are now underway like the construction of a new apron of the airport. The DZR Airport sustained major damages during the onslaught of Yolanda. (LUEDITA RAPADA, LNU Intern)