TACLOBAN CITY- This city ravaged by supertyphoon Yolanda more than nine months ago is slowly getting back its feet. In fact, investors remain to have their confident to Tacloban, considered the ground zero of Yolanda, said City Mayor Alfred Romualdez. “Slowly but surely, we are recovering. We are slowly gaining so long as more businesses will open up,” Romualdez said. He told Leyte Samar Daily Express that the operations of these business establishments will be a big factor for Tacloban to return to normalcy after it was devastated by Yolanda.

Records from the City Licensing Office has indicated that out of the 12,900 businesses that were in operations before Yolanda struck Tacloban, only 3,770 businesses have return for operations with 84 others signified their permanent closure.The operations of the 3,770 business establishments generated employment to 11,250 workers and earned for the city government of P85.76 million as income. Mayor Romualdez said that he remain confident that Tacloban could still attract new investments in the coming months. He said that the operations of big establishments in the city like the Robinsons and Gaisano malls are indications that they remain bullish of Tacloban as an investment haven in the Visayas.

Mayor Romualdez said that the opening of the Save More, a branch of the Shoe Mart(SM) this year and the opening of a Robinsons Mall at the Tacloban New Bus Terminal in the city would further help attain his goal for the recovery of Tacloban. The operations of these big establishments would not only help the city’s income but more so provide employment to the people of Tacloban, Romualdez said. Yolanda has resulted for the city government to revise its annual budget for the year from its original amount of around P800 million to just P600 million was due to the closure of thousands of business establishments in the aftermath of Yolanda. The city government earns around P400 million from its tax collection, almost the same amount it received from the national government on internal revenue allotment (IRA). (LIZBETH ANN ABELLA)