Proposed railway project also discussed

SECURITY CONCERNS: Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos, Jr.(center) met on Saturday (March 23) with several mayors from Leyte’s third district, an area plagued by a surge in shooting and killing incidents. Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho ‘Icot’ Petilla and police officials, led by regional director B/Gen. Reynaldo Pawid, were also present.Sec. Abalos made a commitment to tackle the escalating security problem besetting the area. (PHOTO COURTESY, JAY VIAGEDOR)

TACLOBAN CITY – The Regional Development Council (RDC) in Eastern Visayas has greenlit various projects for the current year with a total budget of P268.7 billion.
These government-initiated projects were approved by the RDC, chaired by Ormoc City Mayor Lucy Torres-Gomez during their first quarter regular meeting held last March 19, Meylene Rosales, the regional director of the National Economic and Development Authority(NEDA) which serves as the secretariat of the council.

Rosales said that these projects are composed of 3, 575 government initiatives submitted and approved by the RDC to the various government agencies for funding purposes.
Included in these projects are ongoing projects under Tier 1 to be implemented next year and Tier 2 projects funded and to be implemented this year.

Of these 3, 575 projects, 1, 268 are priority programs and projects under the infrastructures and utilities sector, 357 under the social sector, 215 under the economic sector, and 127 under the development administration.

The RDC-8, during the meeting, also discussed three priority projects for the region which include the proposed Eastern Visayas Railway System worth P105 billion, scheduled to be implemented from 2025 to 2035.

The railway project aims to connect Samar and Leyte Island through a railway system which is one of the priority infrastructure projects of the Marcos administration.

The Department of Transportation will lead the implementation of this project which bidding for a feasibility study worth P78.60 million will be conducted this year.

They also discussed the Basic Education Facility project of the Department of Education worth P8.1 billion which implementation started in 2023 until 2027.

Another priority project for the region is the Tuna Development Program of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources worth P2 billion implemented in 2023 until 2028.