TACLOBAN CITY-More than nine months after the onslaught of supertyphoon Yolanda, communities in this city are now facing another disaster. This after the Department of Public Works and Highways Tacloban Engineering Office started the implementation of road widening in the city’s national highways wherein about 6,178 families will be affected by the project. This was revealed by Engineer Arnaldo Bonifacio, district engineer of DPWH Tacloban City Engineering District during an exclusive interview. Bonifacio said that the families that are affected by their road widening project, particularly along San Jose District, have been identified long before Yolanda pummeled Tacloban.
“Right now we don’t have yet the updated list of structures occupying the road right of way but I suspect that there could be a possible increase considering that a lot of makeshift houses were built near the street after the typhoon”, Bonifacio said. It was learned from Bonifacio that they already sent a lot of notices especially that they have started the implementation of the road widening in San Jose and Nula-Tula areas and soon along Marasbaras Highway.
While the road widening project has been in the pipeline of the DPWH, its implementation was hastened due to the visit by Pope Francis on January next year. Roselyn Devio, 44 of Marasbaras confirmed that she already received three notices from the DPWH advising her to remove the makeshift she built after her house was destroyed by the typhoon.
Unfortunately her house which she also utilized for her small variety store is within the road right of way. “When I received the notices it’s really heart- breaking because i haven’t recovered yet from the effect of the typhoon and I only have a very limited space behind my house. I can’t imagine how I will continue my living to provide the needs of my son” Devio, a single mother, said. On the other hand Bonifacio said that relocating the affected families is not among their concerns. “They have been living there for so long a time thus it is but proper that this time they will give way to governments project after all it is for the good of the community” Bonifacio stressed. With this road widening, DPWH will initially implement the 20 meters width of the national Highway instead of 30 meters. (ALLAN AMISTOSO)